A #FutureReadyLibs take on #DigCit in the new #AASLStandards

At #METC18 (Midwest Education Technology Conference) I was fortunate to attend several sessions with Dr. Kristen Mattson (@DrKMattson), including a 3-hour preconference session, “Digital Citizenship: Moving Beyond Personal Responsibility.” Dr. Mattson, who started the Future Ready Librarians Facebook group, had a book  published recently by ISTE , Digital Citizenship in Action: Empowering Students to Engage in Online Communities. Her sessions really got me thinking about the way we approach digital citizenship with our students, and I decided to see what the new AASL National School Library Standards had to say about the librarian’s role in teaching digital citizenship.

While the phrase “digital citizenship” does not appear by name in the Standards Frameworks, nor is it indexed in the standards book, digital citizenship is definitely a big part of the new school library standards. As is no surprise, the librarian’s role in teaching students to ethically gather and use information is prominent. The key commitment for shared foundation Engage states that learners will “demonstrate safe, legal, and ethical creating and sharing of knowledge products while engaging in a community of practice and an interconnected world.” However, it’s also not surprising that the competencies enumerated in this shared foundation focus much more on the “safe, legal and ethical” use of knowledge (what we traditionally view as digital citizenship) rather than the latter part of the commitment, where we help learners navigate within “a community of practice and an interconnected world.”

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In her book and her presentations, Dr. Mattson argues that our digital citizenship lessons need to move beyond “personal responsibility so that [we] can create opportunities for students to become participatory citizens, actively engaging in multiple levels of community and developing relationships based on mutual trust and understanding with others in these spaces.” Dr. Mattson further states, “As citizens, we have a responsibility to give back to the community and to work toward social justice and equity. Digital citizenship curricula should strive to show students possibilities over problems, opportunities over risks and community successes over personal gain.”

This expanded view of our responsibility in teaching our students to be good digital citizens is reflected in two of the other shared foundations in the standards: Include and Collaborate. Consider some of the following competencies and what we as librarians can do to guide our students:

  • II.A.3. Learners contribute to a balanced perspective when participating in a learning community by describing their understanding of cultural relevancy and placement within the global learning community.
  • II.C.I. Learners exhibit empathy with and tolerance for diverse ideas by engaging in informed conversation and active debate.
  • III.B.1. Learners participate in personal, social, and intellectual networks by using a variety of communication tools and resources.
  • III.D.2. Learners actively participate with others in learning situations by recognizing learning as a social responsibility.

Dr. Mattson believes that we should take a “participatory citizen” approach where equity and social justice are emphasized as we acknowledge student voice in digital spaces, help students understand their roles in digital communities, give them opportunities to participate respectful discourse, show them how to make meaningful connections through networking, and encourage them to make contributions that matter.

According to the Future Ready Librarians Framework, teaching digital citizenship should be part of the instructional partnerships that we build with other educators, and Dr. Mattson suggests that we help our instructional partners add a layer of digital citizenship to lessons they are already doing. For instance, a free speech discussion in Civics class could include consideration of digital speech, or a history lesson could ask students to consider how the sinking of the Titanic would be different if cell phones always existed.

For more practical ideas about teaching digital citizenship, check out Dr. Mattson’s website, view the #METCTV recording of her session, Beyond the Hashtags: What Can Social Media Do for Social Justice, and definitely consider picking up a copy of her book.

 

 

Getting Started with the #AASLstandards for Busy #FutureReadyLibs

Getting started with #AASLstandards for busy #futurereadylibs

Here’s a quick round up of resources available to help you get started with the new AASL Standards as well as an overview of key vocabulary related to the standards.

5 Resources for Getting Started with the Standards:

The standards: Aside from purchasing the book, The Framework for Learners is available for free here. To access all 3 frameworks (Learner, School Librarian & School Library), you can download the app for $12.99, but hurry because Jennisen Lucas said the price is increasing to $19.99 on February 15. One nice thing about the app is it allows you to create a profile where you can take notes.

The AASL Standards website: More resources are being added weekly to http://standards.aasl.org, including Where do I start?, How to Read the Standards, discussion forums, one pagers for admins, teachers & parents, and more.

Twitter chats: @AASL is hosting Twitter chats about the standards. Don’t worry if you missed the first one because they are being archived. Here is the Archive of Jan. 25th Chat. The next chat (Wednesday, Feb. 7 6pm CST. #AASLstandards) is for supervisors, but all school librarians are welcome, and most of the questions seem applicable to all.

Webinars: There have already been several webinars. I recommend Wyoming State Library’s webinar series, where AASL Affiliate Jennisen Lucas gives an overview of the standards, and then goes in depth with the shared foundations, starting with “Inquire,” where she walks us through deconstructing the competencies across grade levels.

#NotatAASL LiveBinders: Curated resources from #AASL17 and #NOTATAASL hashtags before, during and after the National Conference for the American Association of School Librarians, Nov. 8-11, 2017, Phoenix AZ include a section with AASL Standards Resources.

5 Key AASL Standards Vocabulary Terms:

Shared Foundations: the six core educational concepts that anchor the standards are I. Inquire, II. Include, III. Collaborate, IV. Curate, V. Explore and VI. Engage.

Key Commitments: Each of the shared foundations has a brief description called a key commitment located along the top of the standards. For example, the key commitment for Engage is “Demonstrate safe, legal and ethical creating and sharing of knowledge products independently while engaging in a community of practice and an interconnected world.”

Domains: The knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to enact the standards are developed in the learning categories of A. Think, B. Create, C. Share and DGrow.

Competencies:  The measurable statements within the standards for learners and librarians are the competencies. For instance, learner competency IV.B.4. states that “Learners gather information appropriate to the task by organizing information by priority, topic or other systematic scheme.” We label it IV.B.4 because it is the fourth competency for learners listed under the Shared Foundation of IV. Curate in the Domain B. Create.

Alignments: For school libraries, the competencies are called alignments.

A #FutureReadyLibs take on The New @AASL Standards 6 Common Beliefs

#FutureReadyLibs Take on AASL 6 Common BeliefsThis semester I’ll be taking a deep dive into the new National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians and School Libraries and exploring how those fit into my role as  Future Ready Librarian.

To begin, I’d like to take a look at the Six Common Beliefs or guiding assumptions upon which the standards are based.

For a great overview of how these updated belief statements compare to the nine Common Beliefs of the previous standards, see Hilda Weisberg’s blog post.

1. The school library is a unique and essential part of a learning community.

A key statement within this belief is “By providing access to an array of well-managed resources and technology, school libraries enable academic knowledge to be linked to deeper, personalized learning.” Personalized student learning is at the center of the Future Ready framework, and this belief statement recognizes the library’s role in providing an environment for this learning. A Future Ready Librarian “designs collaborative space” and “curates digital resources” to “empower students as creators.”

I want my library to be the “hub of the school.” Empowering students as creators has been of great importance to me, not only in terms of the resources available at the library for students but in helping this to become an Academy priority. I want my students to be creators and not just consumers of technology, and I advocate for this with the staff in my role facilitating teacher technology goals within their professional learning plans.

2. Qualified school librarians lead effective school libraries.

According to this belief, “Qualified school librarians perform interlinked, interdisciplinary, and cross-cutting roles as instructional leaders, program administrators, educators, collaborative partners and information specialists.” This guiding principle recognizes the Future Ready Librarian’s role not only as a collaborative partner in curriculum and instruction but as instructional leader who “facilitates professional learning” and is well positioned to “lead beyond the library.”

Juggling the many roles of the librarian can be a challenge, but I think leading beyond the library is important. I serve as Academy Technology Committee Chair and Future Ready Project Manager. My responsibilities include mentoring staff in their technology professional learning goals and planning Academy technology professional development. I stay current on ed tech by maintaining a strong PLN on Twitter and serving as a Board member and active participant of the Education Technology Association of St. Louis.

3. Learners should be prepared for college, career, and life.

This belief stems from the idea that “the purpose of learners’ education is to empower learners to pursue academic and personal success, whether in inquiry, advanced study, emotionally and intellectually rewarding professional work, or community readiness.” This aligns with the mission of The Alliance for Excellent Education, the organization behind the Future Ready movement. The Alliance is dedicated to ensuring that all students “graduate from high school ready for success in college, work and citizenship.” The Future Ready Schools initiative is based upon the idea that implementing “personalized, research-based digital learning strategies” will help students achieve their full potential.

This year our Academy began our back-to-school professional development considering what makes an ideal graduate and what we do as educators to develop this. This began an Academy-wide focus on adopting the essential elements of Project Based Learning. This shift to inquiry-based learning has been a opportunity for me as the information specialist to serve as a resource to staff and students.

4. Reading is the core of personal and academic competency.

Along with utilizing “motivational reading initiatives” and using “story and personal narrative to engage learners,” this guiding principle also recognizes the role of the Future Ready Librarian to ensure “up-to-date technology and digital and print materials that include curated open education resources.” OER is a big push within the Future Ready movement.

Meeting the independent reading needs of my students and fostering their love of reading is a major focus of my library and our LFLA Reads program. I have not been as focused on OER, but I know that the #GoOpen Missouri Education Initiative has some great resources.

5. Intellectual freedom is every learner’s right.

A key statement within this belief is “Learners are expected to develop the ability to think clearly, critically, and creatively about their choices [in what they will read, view or hear], rather than allowing others to control their access to ideas and information.” This relates to the Future Ready Librarians role not only in providing access to information, but in guiding students to be informed, digital citizens. Future Ready Librarians also serve as “advocates for student privacy.”

I am excited to be attending Dr. Kristen Mattson’s METC18 preconference session “Digital Citizenship: Moving Beyond Personal Responsibility,” which will be focused on empowering students as members of digital communities.

6. Information technologies must be appropriately integrated and equitably available.

According to this guiding principle, “Education leaders and policymakers should strive to provide sufficient  access to up-to-date, robust technology and connectivity. An effective school library plays a crucial role in bridging digital and socioeconomic divides.”  According to the FRL framework, a Future Ready Librarian “ensures equitable digital access.”

At my high poverty, Title I school, this is a huge issue. Since I came to the Academy as Library Media Specialist six years ago, I have been an advocate for improving our infrastructure, technology support, the number of devices and the quality of technology professional development. We now participate in E-Rate, have increased technology support from 10 hours per week to 30, have more devices thanks to switching from laptops to less expensive Chromebooks, have adopted Google Suite for Education, and use the SAMR (substitution, augmentation, modification, redefinition) model as a framework to improve technology integration. Yet, my students still experience barriers to access at home. In a recent survey of our high school students only 37% have a computer at home with reliable internet service, creating a “homework gap.” I am currently working on a partnership for next year that will bring Chromebooks to the library that are available for students to checkout overnight.