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Why Can't We Get Along? TCEA (Texas Computer Educators Association) February 2014
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Why Can't We Get Along? TCEA (Texas Computer Educators Association) February 2014

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This presentation shares tips for collaboration between School Librarians and Technology Specialists.

This presentation shares tips for collaboration between School Librarians and Technology Specialists.

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  • We need to find ways to appreciate our similarities and differences and work together!
  • If THEY can get along…
  • Looking back: Comments about the history of librarians and technology specialists in K-12 schools.
  • Look familiar? For me the answer is YES and much of the history described in Chapter One is straight out of my own recollections.
  • What do we call ourselves and why does it matter??
  • Building Bridges—We must find ways to work together!
  • Identify the problem…Chart a Course
  • Simple courtesies, welcoming atmosphere, friendly demeanor are all importantFoster mutual respect
  • Put best foot forward—get off to a good start
  • Give up that old baggage from the past…let bygones be bygones.
  • Take a hard look in the mirror
  • Engage all parties…Reach out and meet face to face
  • Attend the same conferences and training events
  • Web 2.0
  • Take timeBe persistent
  • You have to be persistent! Quoting Lisa VonDrasek…”Water on stone.”
  • Baby Steps
  • Involve administrator
  • When All Else Fails…Larry CubanThere are simply times when one individual or group, despite all efforts, finds collaboration and communication not being supported by counterparts. Frankly this complaint is one that librarians often express. Larry Cuban states that in examining problematic situations, part of the framing process is to decide whether the issue at hand is indeed a problem, or if it is actually a dilemma. A problem that is clearly identified and for which steps can be delineated, can then be dealt with in a straightforward manner. In a dilemma, however, a simple solution is not going to emerge. He describes a dilemma in this manner: “Some situations are so messy and intractable that they are not problems. They are dilemmas. Dilemmas have compromises, not solutions. Dilemmas are managed, not solved.” When faced with a dilemma, it sometimes helps to reframe the situation or to break it down into smaller parts, some of which can be addressed. Other tactics include moving up the hierarchy in the school and district seeking support, and enlisting parental support. Getting things right is too important to simply give up. As always, concerns should be voiced through the chain of command, starting at the campus level. Speaking out for what is best for students is too important for an educator to simply decide to “keep his/her head down” and do what is possible without addressing contentious issues. There may also be times when parental support is needed. If students and teachers are not able to use technology in pedagogically sound ways that can be documented as successful in other schools and districts, then parents can be involved to seek for their own children what students elsewhere have available in the way of access and instruction. Most parents want their students to have the tools and instruction that they need and deserve in today’s rapidly evolving technological climate. Extremely problematical situations may lead you to consider changing your position entirely.
  • Words of wisdom from Kathy Schrock: Take a Holistic View Kathy Schrock shared her insights about this topic in an email, taking a long view: “I would strongly encourage them (parties involved) to create a three-sided teaching model that includes the librarian, technology specialist, and content specialist in the development of the curriculum. “Library" and "computers" are not subjects, in my opinion. They are both very important components of curriculum that both allow students to showcase knowledge as well as become proficient in all of the 21st century skill sets.” She went on to say, “I would suggest a sit-down together, and each listing the types of things they do with students, and first see the overlap. I am guessing that the librarian list, among other things, will include some type of information literacy model that is used to make sure students develop good questions, pick the appropriate resources, effective searching skills and critical evaluation of the information they find, with the addition of correctly citing the information. In addition, the librarians will talk about copyright, fair use, and Creative Commons and the respect for the intellectual property of others.The technology specialists will talk about having students pick the correct tool for the job, whether on the computer or tablet, or Web-based. They might include tools that help students gather information and collaborate in real-time as well as the creation of project-based things that culminate in a movie or presentation. This group will also include the overview of publishing material with respect to font and color and how best to communicate using technology. They will include the fact they cover cyber-safety and identify protection and proper Internet etiquette.The third part of the triangle that should be invited to the table is the content specialist (the classroom teacher). The classroom teacher should be one to drive the content of both of the other two, and work with them to development appropriate formative and summative assessments that both showcase mastery of the content as well as use of the technology and information literacy skill sets.” Such a meeting of minds could not help but be beneficial to all concerned. Kathy Schrock is absolutely right that the third side of the triangular model, the classroom teacher, must never be overlooked. The librarian and technology specialist share the responsibility of supporting classroom teachers in all their efforts and needs from immediate quick answers to staff developments to collaborative projects. And it should be added that the real raison d’être for the entire set of efforts is the students.
  • Kathy Schrock shared her insights about this topic in an email, taking a long view: “I would strongly encourage them (parties involved) to create a three-sided teaching model that includes the librarian, technology specialist, and content specialist in the development of the curriculum. "Library" and "computers" are not subjects, in my opinion. They are both very important components of curriculum that both allow students to showcase knowledge as well as become proficient in all of the 21st century skill sets.” She went on to say, “I would suggest a sit-down together, and each listing the types of things they do with students, and first see the overlap. I am guessing that the librarian list, among other things, will include some type of information literacy model that is used to make sure students develop good questions, pick the appropriate resources, effective searching skills and critical evaluation of the information they find, with the addition of correctly citing the information. In addition, the librarians will talk about copyright, fair use, and Creative Commons and the respect for the intellectual property of others.
  • Transcript

    • 1. WHY CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG? TCEA, FEBRUARY 2014 Dr. Mary Ann Bell Dr. Holly Weimar James VanRoekel Sam Houston State University Huntsville TX
    • 2. WHAT’S IN… A NAME???
    • 3. JOB TITLE PREFERENCES Librarian 32.2% School librarian 21.1% Library Media Specialist 16.7% School Library Media Specialist 4.2% Library Media Resource Specialist 1.8% Teacher Librarian 175% Other 6.5%
    • 4. ASK YOURSELF SOME HARD QUESTIONS…THEN SET GOALS.
    • 5. Simple Courtesies Matter and Little Things Mean a Lot Welcoming atmosphere…friendly demeanor…coffee…thank you messages…public recognition… are all important!
    • 6. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A COOKIE!
    • 7. PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD!
    • 8. SUCCESS WILL NOT BE IMMEDIATE… IT WILL TAKE TIME!!!
    • 9. PARENT POWER!!!
    • 10. WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS… Is this a problem or a dilemma?
    • 11. BRIGHT IDEAS FROM THE INIMITABLE KATHY SCHROCK!!!
    • 12. CONTENT SPECIALIST
    • 13. STORY OF LONG SPOONS
    • 14. ILLUSTRATIONS THANKS TO… Computer History Museum: http://www.cityprofile.com/california/photos/18488mountain-view-computer-history-museum-2.html Wikimedia Commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Web_2.0_Meme_map.png Kathy Schrock http://www.schrockguide.net/ Phillip Martin http://www.phillipmartin.com/ ALL MARY ANN BELL’S STUFF CAN BE FOUND AT http://bit.ly/mabellstuff There is additional content relevant to this presentation as well as other presentations at the site above.