Monday, July 30, 2012

LIS 629 Final Reflection - Melanie Miller

Value of the course in preparing me to be a 21st century librarian

I don’t believe that one can be a 21st century librarian without Web 2.0 technology skills.  This is where information is today and as information brokers, teachers and communicators we must be conversant with it and even specialize in it.   Witness that the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics celebrated Tim Berners-Lee.  Times Square is currently sporting a huge tag cloud billboard.  I was somewhat aware of this before taking the course but I was unaware of the degree to which this technology has impacted information before I was introduced to the cornucopia of software applications and tools which were introduced to us in this course.  It was like opening a treasure chest.

My only regret is that I did not take remedial computing instruction prior to the class because I would have been able to explore the applications as they were being taught rather than learning them.  This was why I did not attempt to evaluate any of the tools because my limited competency would have shortchanged them.  It was therefore helpful to have, accompanying the instruction on the tools themselves, examples of how to integrate the tools into teaching and into the school library program.

I was overwhelmed with the sheer volume of material that was taught to me in those five days.  I would not have believed that it was possible if I had not witnessed it.   In summation, the the course was extremely valuable.

How do I foresee integrating these tools into my teaching?

As a prospective secondary-level library teacher, my first priority would be to help students perform research through integration of social bookmarking tools such as Diigo.   Google is THE reference tool of the 21st century, so I would engage students in all the wonderful Google applications we learned since they network to the searches so beautifully.  Once you’re inside Google, you’re in its world.  We didn’t have time to explore Google Earth, but after I read the textbook I was conceiving maps for everything from Stratford-on-Avon to Christopher Robin’s backyard.  I would incorporate Glogster and Photostory into just about everything.  They were my personal software favorites, probably because I found them so much fun and easy to navigate.  

Compare How I Felt before the Course Started and How I Feel Now That I Have Completed the Course and Assignments

I stand by my statement that my computing competency level was insufficient for this class at the outset.  Having said that, I was amazed when I began to be able to master some of the tools and felt inestimable joy when I did.  The organization of the course was superb and I repeat my statement that I would not have believed that you could teach that volume of material in that period of time.  
If anyone had told me before the course started that by the end I would be able to develop a school library website, develop an efolio wiki, create a Photostory trailer, embed a glog or an avatar, I would not have believed it was possible.  I’m flat-out amazed at what I learned to do and I’m a fan of social networking as an educational resource.

What Social Networking Tools Will I Continue to Use?

All of them!

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