Vogel, J. J., Greenwood-Ericksen, A., Cannon-Bowers, J., & Bowers, C. A. (2006). Using
virtual reality with and without gaming attributes for academic achievement. Journal of
Research on Technology in Education, 39 (1), 105-115.
This article addresses the impact computer-assisted instruction has on education, with a
particular focus on learning games as a method of instruction. The article summarizes results
from previous studies before explaining the experiment done by the authors. It addresses the
issue that games usually increase student motivation due to interaction, creating a challenge for
students, and “keeping score.” The authors also address the fact that learning games can be
broken down into two categories: simulation learning games and learning games that assume a
more traditional linear educational approach. Much research has been done to support the use of
simulation learning games and prove their benefits. However, the focus of the study addressed
in this article is to see whether a virtual reality game that is not simulation based, but instead
follows more traditional educational methods, will increase student knowledge in Language Arts
and Math, compared to a simpler program using computer-assisted instruction. Previous studies
have proved that the program implementing computer-assisted instruction leads to increases in
Math scores, but does not affect Language Arts scores. The study from this article also compares
the impact of these same instructional methods on students who are deaf, compared to students
who have no hearing disorders.
The sample population for the study consisted of students in a public elementary school
who were seven to twelve years old. Forty-four students participated in the study from Florida,
and the sampling method used was convenience sampling. All deaf students who had parental
consent participated in the study, and volunteers were used to make up the hearing portion of the
sample. Students were then randomly assigned to either the control group, where they received
instruction from a program focusing on basic methods of computer-assisted instruction, or the
experimental group, where they received instruction through a virtual reality game designed
using guidelines of traditional instruction. The students received their assigned form of
computer-assisted instruction for ten minutes a day for a two week period.
In order to measure knowledge in Math and Language Arts, the students took a fifteen
question pre-test before beginning work on the computers. They then took a post-test, which
covered the same material but asked different questions, after completing the two-week trial
period. The results from the test showed that students’ scores did not improve in Language Arts,
regardless of the computer-assisted instruction they partook in. However, Math scores did
increase for students who interacted with the basic program of computer-assisted instruction,
while they did not increase for students who interacted with the virtual reality gaming program.
Also, there was no noticeable difference between scores of students who were deaf and those
who had no hearing impairments.
Based on the lack of increase in Language Arts scores, this study suggests that computer-
assisted instruction, regardless of its form, may not be the most effective way of teaching
language arts skills. The authors suggest that other explanations for unaffected scores could also
include the fact that concrete representations are harder to achieve in Language Arts, or
Language Arts skills as a whole are harder to teach. However, they also argue that a slight
decrease in Language Arts scores of hearing children is attributed to variables outside of the
Similarly, based on the increase in Math scores for students interacting with computer-
assisted instruction, this study suggests that students whose instruction is supplemented with
computer-assisted programs will learn more. Also, because students scored better using the
basic method of computer-assisted instruction in Math than the gaming program designed using
traditional linear educational methods, this study suggests that simulation-based games are more
effective than traditional learning-based games. Simulation-based games create real life
situations for students to interact with throughout the game, where as traditional learning-based
games present material and have segments interspersed throughout the instruction where game
play is available. This can lead to students rushing through the “learning” part to get to the
While this study did a good job of posing an important question about the effectiveness
of instruction-based games, the sample size and sampling method were inadequate. Only forty-
four students from one Florida school were included in the study. Also, convenience sampling
was used, so that only volunteers were included in the sample. Therefore, the sample may not
reflect the population as a whole. For example, one section of the article addresses the fact that
Florida schools require all students in the third grade are reading on grade level before they can
be promoted to fourth grade. Therefore, Language Arts classes focus on reading and students
can become “overworked” at the end of the year. The authors presented this as a possible
explanation for the decrease in post-test scores in Language Arts. A better sample group would
have included students from other states where third graders did not receive this intense reading
unit at the end of the year, to see if scores still decreased. However, the article does address the
fact that further testing and studying should be done on this issue. On the other hand, the article
does an excellent job of providing background information for the study. For example, various
studies that focus on the impact of computer-assisted instruction are cited within the article, and
their results are presented. The article was also very well organized, with different sections and
headings, and was very easy to read.
Finally, this article could prove to be beneficial to me because as a future media-
specialist, I will be certified to work anywhere in a K-12 media center. Since the town that I will
be seeking employment in has several elementary and middle schools, and only one high school,
it will be more likely that I will find a job at a lower level. Therefore, it’s good that the students
in the sample were elementary students. Also, I like that more than one subject area was
addressed, because I will be responsible for technology integration in all subjects as a media
specialist. So it will be important that I understand what works for students in all subjects, not
just my “home” subject – Language Arts.
Parton, B.S., & Hancock, R. (2008). When physical and digital worlds collide: a tool for early
childhood learners. TechTrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning,
52 (5), 22-25.
This article addresses the need for technology intervention at the developmental stages
for children. The article is focused on a study where deaf students were exposed to radio
frequency identification (RFI) technology between the ages of three and five in order to learn
concrete nouns. However, the entire study was based on Piaget’s theory that children need
concrete ideas and experiences in order to learn and develop. Therefore, the authors of this
article address the fact that an early connection needs to be made for students between the digital
and physical worlds. This is done through the RFI experiment for children of preschool or
The authors of this study further narrow their chosen sample group by performing the
experiment with deaf students. This was done because the authors wanted to address the fact
that deaf students, who normally live in homes with parents who are not hearing impaired, have
no opportunity for natural association and development of vocabulary. Therefore, because these
students do not learn vocabulary naturally through daily exposure from parents (because the
parents are talking, not signing, and the children cannot hear what they say) they are at a
disadvantage in their early school years. So, to expose students to this vocabulary, and therefore
give them something concrete to build on (as was suggested by Piaget), the authors developed a
program where deaf students were able to watch a multimedia presentation of concrete nouns.
Here’s how the experiment worked. A list of twenty-five commonly used words was
created, and a multimedia presentation was prepared for each word. The presentations were very
short, the longest being twenty seconds. In the presentations, the students seen pictures of the
nouns, seen the noun signed twice, seen the noun written in English, and the noun was
pronounced audibly for students who may have had minimal hearing. Access to the
presentations was granted through the use of physical objects that were also RFID tagged. For
example, if the student “scanned” the plastic apple, they would watch the apple multimedia
presentation. Therefore, the idea is, that students will learn the vocabulary by being able to
associate the actual physical object with the way that it is signed, spelled, and the various
different looks it can have. Therefore, the entire experiment was based on Piaget’s learning
theory of exposing children first to concrete experiences to learn material.
Overall, the feedback from the students and teachers in the experiment was positive.
Eighteen students at the Louisiana School for the Deaf participated in the study, and teachers
offered constructive criticism. Among their suggestions was the idea of projecting the
multimedia presentations on the Smart Board instead of a single small screen and the need for a
larger bank of vocabulary words. However, the authors deemed their experiment to be a success
and hope to expand it in the future.
The authors of this article did an excellent job explaining how the experiment they
created was based on Piaget’s learning theory. The article began by addressing Piaget’s idea that
students need to begin with concrete images and experiences to learn. Also, the description of
the experiment was very precise and informative. Readers are able to easily understand how the
experiment was implemented and what the results were. However, one of the biggest flaws with
the experiment is that only eighteen students were in the sample group. Therefore, we are unsure
if the sample adequately represents the entire population, all three to five year old deaf children.
Also, I believe that the study would be more meaningful if data was collected to see if these
students performed well later in school with vocabulary. For example, if the students who
participated in the experiment were followed on through the next school year to see if their
vocabulary and word association was stronger than their fellow peers. And a final suggestion
would be to implement this experiment with both deaf students and those who are not hearing
impaired. Since Piaget’s learning theory applies to all students, it makes sense that this type of
early technology intervention would help all students, not just those with hearing disabilities.
The authors do address this desire to expand the experiment by stating that their future goal,
depending on grant funding, is to expand the experiment by including bilingual students with no
As with the last article, this article could prove to be beneficial for me in that I will be
certified to work in the media center at the elementary level. These multimedia presentations
could be beneficial to students in kindergarten, if I am in a kindergarten library, or possibly to
students who are older but slightly behind in their vocabulary retention. This article presented
yet another way to appropriately implement technology into the elementary school setting.
Brisco, S. (2007). Which wiki is right for you? A close look at the top three software choices.
School Library Journal, (May), 78-79.
Professional Practice Article
This article is written by a library media specialist in Texas, Shonda Brisco. Brisco
addresses the importance of choosing the correct wiki for your school media center. Her
intended audience is made up of media specialists who have not created a webpage for their
library, but want their media center to have a page on the web. She suggests that a wiki is the
easiest way to meet this need. She acknowledges the fact that many wikis exist, and
furthermore, many people prefer different ones. She therefore gives resources for reading
reviews and comparison charts between various popular wikis. However, she takes it a step
further when she “grades” three of the most popular wikis available to educators today.
Brisco evaluates and compares three of the most popular wikis on the market today:
PBWiki, Wikispaces, and Wetpaint. For each of these wiki services she explains the cost to the
school system, the basics for how the wiki works, the pros and cons of the wiki, and finally
grades it in a “Report Card” section. By including a pros and cons section for each wiki, Brisco
is able to identify strengths that one wiki may have over the others. For example, PBwiki and
Wikispaces are ad free, but Wetpaint is free of charge to users and provides unlimited storage.
Therefore, all of the wikis major strengths and weaknesses are addressed. Also, the report card
section grades the wikis on a letter scale, where PBWiki and Wetpaint received “A’s” and
Wikispaces received an “A+.” This “report card” section allows readers to easily compare these
wikis to the letter grade systems used in schools; a system everyone is familiar with.
This article was very informative and descriptive about wikis. It could prove to be very
beneficial to media specialists as many resources are given for analyzing wiki reviews and
exploring different aspects of wikis. However, for someone outside of the media education field,
the article could be very confusing and hard to read. Many technology terms are used
throughout the article that readers unrelated to the education field would not understand. For
example, Brisco mentions RSS alerts, SSL encrypted access, Del.icio.us, and Teacher Tube.
Though these terms are known by many educators and media specialists, not everyone knows
what they mean. These terms could even be problematic for older media specialists who are not
up to date on Web 2.0 options for their media centers. This vocabulary confusion could be
addressed by the addition of a short vocabulary section at the end of the article. This section
would not have to be very detailed, but could address the terms that could be problematic for
some who were unfamiliar with all of the technology jargon used in the article.
For me, this article could be very beneficial. As a media specialist, it will be important
that I have a library webpage that can be accessed by my students, teachers, and parents. This
article gives detailed information about three possible options for creating a library wiki, and
gives various resources that could aid me in creating others. The wealth of information provided
in this article is very beneficial to media specialists.
Mullen, R., & Wedwick, L. (2008). Avoiding the digital abyss: getting started in the classroom
with YouTube, digital stories, and blogs. Clearing House, 82 (2), 66-69.
Professional Practice Article
The first author of this article is a middle school Language Arts teacher in a small rural
town. The article focuses on her integration of technology into her classroom. She begins by
giving background information about her class. She has ten to fifteen students in her classes,
works with fifty minute class periods, has a limited technology background herself, and her
school system has an average amount of technology available to her and her students. Therefore,
she points out from the beginning that the strategies she uses are strategies any educator can use
in his or her classroom. The three strategies she focuses on are the use of YouTube, digital
stories, and blogs.
She begins by addressing the valuable educational videos available through YouTube,
and gives a brief description of how YouTube works. She acknowledges the fact that
inappropriate material can be found on the website, but provides options for avoiding student
contact with such material. Next she addresses digital storytelling, and describes a project where
she had students create their own digital stories on a topic of their choice. This method of
instruction had students writing, but they were having so much fun doing it, they didn’t have
time to complain! And finally, she addresses her use of blogs in the classroom. Mullen created a
classroom blog for student use and described the various benefits that came from this creation.
Throughout the entire article, Mullen and Wedwick include quotes from classroom students that
describe the benefits and joys they have received as a result of technology integration in the
Overall, this article addresses the importance of technology integration into the
classroom, and offers suggestions for efficient ways to do this. The authors acknowledge the
fast-paced ever-changing world that our students are growing up in, and they realize knowledge
of current technologies is a must for them. Our authors claim that literacy is no longer simply
being able to read, but instead, it is being able to use the various forms of technology available
This article, though easy to understand, is not very well written. Although it is well
organized with section headings, the “flow” of the article is not very good. However, the authors
do provide some useful suggestions for technology integration in schools. The fact that the
article is written by an actual middle school teacher who is using the technology tools in her own
classroom gives the suggestions more credibility. However, the author never uses the pronoun
“I,” which would give the article a more personal and believable touch.
The use of student quotes to support her points is very effective. The quotes illustrate
that students like and benefit from the technology being implemented in the classroom. This
gives the author’s suggestions more credibility and makes her ideas seem more practical. Her
ideas also appear practical because she gives background information for her school system.
Through this background section, the authors point out how anyone can effectively implement
technology into their curriculum, and they proceed to give low-budget ideas for doing so.
I found this article to be useful because it is very practical. The ideas presented in it are
not “far-fetched” or out of reach. Instead, the authors provide practical solutions for the
technology integration problem. Also, I enjoyed the fact that the teacher was a Language Arts
teacher. I taught Language Arts the past two years, and will be in an English classroom until I
can find a job as a media specialist. Therefore, her suggestions about digital storytelling as a
writing assignment, and blogging as journal entries could be extremely beneficial to me in my
Adams, D.C. (2008). Gaga for Google in the twenty-first century advanced placement language
classroom. Clearing House, 82 (2), 96-100.
Professional Practice Article
This article, written by high school and community college teacher Devon Christopher
Adams, explores the possibilities for the high school classroom through the use of Google tools.
Adams, who teaches an Advanced Placement Language Arts class, describes how he and fellow
teacher Shirley Crabtree implement Web 2.0 tools into their curriculum to make learning more
meaningful and efficient for students. First off, Adams explains the various tools available
through Google. These tools include Google Search (the powerful search engine many, if not all,
students are accustomed to), Gmail (Google’s free email provider), Google Groups (an online
discussion board hosted by Google), GTalk (an instantaneous chat service), Google Calendar (an
online calendar with multiple functions and capabilities), Google Docs (Google’s version of
Microsoft Word), and iGoogle (Google’s web portal). All of these tools are free for users and
were required in Adam’s and Crabtree’s AP English classes.
Adams gives a detailed description of the various capabilities and uses of each tool
provided by Google, but before doing so, he addresses the opposition he faced from students
when first attempting to implement Google in his classroom. Despite their internet literacy,
several students opposed online access and accounts for class. However, all students agreed to
the system, and their classes were more efficient and meaningful as a result of these
As mentioned above, Adams gives a detailed description of the capabilities available
through Google’s various tools. However, he not only describes the capabilities of the tools, but
he gives examples of how he implemented those tools in his classroom. For example, all
students created a free Gmail account, and he was able to send assignments and announcements.
This tool also provides excess storage so both he and his students have room to save important
documents and emails. He also explored the benefit of Gtalk, which is the chat system that is
built into Gmail. Through Gtalk, he is able to give instantaneous feedback to students who are
online, and students can chat amongst themselves regarding questions on assignments. He goes
on to list several ways he uses all of the Google tools.
And finally, he addresses the fact that the Google Web 2.0 tools are user-friendly for
everyone, despite a person’s age or technology know-how. His students (of the net-generation),
himself (of that “in between” generation), and his teaching partner, Ms. Crabtree (of the baby
boomer generation), were all able to use the tools and applications efficiently and effectively.
He provides insight into Google as a way of bridging the gap and closing the divide between
educators and their technology savvy students.
This article is extremely well-written, informative, and thoughtful. Adams does an
exceptional job of organizing the material in the article through the use of headings and different
sections. The article is easy for readers at any level to understand, regardless of their knowledge
of technology and Web 2.0 tools. And because the article is so easy to read and understand, it
holds the readers interest throughout. He also strengthens his argument for technology
integration by showing how Google tools became appropriate and meaningful to students and
teachers of all ages. Another strong point of Adams’ article is the personal approach he takes by
addressing the issues he faced with students, both those that were challenging and those that
were “easy.” By relaying what worked for him in the classroom, and also relaying what did not
work, he connects with the reader and it makes his advice more practical. I also like the way he
used the word “I” throughout the article. This again gave the article a more personal and
This article could prove to be very beneficial to me as an educator, whether I find myself
back in the English classroom after completing my master’s degree, or in the media center. The
suggestions given in the article for implementing Web 2.0 tools in my own classroom would be
beneficial to me as a classroom teacher. For example, the Google calendar that Adams uses and
can attach to multiple websites is a great way of keeping parents informed. This suggestion,
along with others made throughout the article, gives me ideas for better organizing my class and
equipping my students for success. Also, as a media specialist, it would be my job to help
teachers integrate technology into their classrooms. Therefore, the suggestions given in this
article could be passed on, and I could help teachers establish their own Web 2.0 classrooms!
And finally, I love how this article focused on high school level students. This is the age that I
wish to work with, and the age that I feel I have the most impact on. Therefore, the article was
more meaningful to me.
Kop, R., & Hill, A. (2008). Connectivism: learning theory of the future or vestige of the past?
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 9 (3), 1-13.
This in-depth article addresses a proposed new learning theory, connectivism. The
majority of the article deals with the components of connectivism, and addresses the debate that
exists among educational experts concerning whether it warrants being called a “learning
theory.” The authors of this article highlight the ideas of Siemens and Downes, the founders of
this connectivist theory, and explore the depths of this theory that seems to be founded around
the ideas of networks. In short, connectivism is the idea that knowledge is the forming of
networks for gaining new information, and then building upon that knowledge through creating
new networks. It is dependent on both the cognitive and affective domains, both of which have
importance when a person is learning. Siemens and Downes further stress that the growing
information base available to people today creates new issues for learners, and of primary
importance to these learners is the ability to find information and sort through it. Therefore,
knowledge isn’t so much what you know, but the act of knowing and forming that knowledge.
They argue that connectivism fits in as a fourth theory in the epistemological framework, after
objectivism/behaviorism, pragmatism/cognitivism, and intepretivism/constructivism. While
these first three are accepted worldwide, connectivism is facing criticism from some experts.
Educational specialists who are opposed to the theory argue that even though the Internet
and World Wide Web are changing education, they are not changing how we learn. Instead, they
are simply adjusting the methods we use to learn. Others also argue that connectivism is merely
a branch off of earlier theories, such as social constructivism, constructionism, embodied active
cognition, and “community of practice.” Sceptics argue that the introduction and vast use of the
Internet has simply gained connectivism more attention because of its use of networks.
Therefore, it highlights the connectivist theory that knowledge is the formation of these
networks. However, Siemens and Downes argue that connectivism is not based solely on
Internet networks to produce knowledge, but instead includes networks within the brain and
personal networks among people.
The article concludes by looking at connectivism in education, and analyzing what it
looks like in the classroom. There is no debate that the Internet has drastically changed
education, and once again, this Internet implementation is the strength of connectivism. Learners
have become the center of the educational experience, as they are able to network with people
online concerning information that is of importance and interest to them. The traditional teacher
and tutor model is fading fast, as teachers are beginning to take on more of a facilitator role.
Learners now have more control of their own learning, as they can develop online networks to
gain the information and knowledge that is desirable to them. Siemens and Downes remind
readers, though, that connectivist learning is not isolated to the Internet. Though the networks
we form online are an important part of the theory, the connections we make with our world as a
whole is all a part of connectivism. The authors of this article, Kop and Hill, also suggest that
the teacher should not be sidelined to just being that of a facilitator. Instead, it is important that
she become accustomed to the online learning environment, and embrace it, bringing to it her
expertise and vast knowledge base.
This article was extremely hard to read. The elevated vocabulary made it hard to
understand, and the abstract ideas associated with the learning theories were difficult for me.
And while I think it is important that background information be given on connectivism and
what it is, much of the information presented became redundant. Because so much was
repetitive, it made the information presented even more confusing. This article would have been
more beneficial if it went into more detail about connectivism in the classroom, with specific
examples of how to incorporate it. Instead, this section was simply tagged on to the end of the
article and was very vague. Concrete examples and ideas for implementing this learning strategy
in the classroom would have been much more beneficial.
I understand the point behind this article, that education is quickly changing and that the
Internet is becoming more important, but I don’t think it benefits its intended audience,
educators, as much as it could. Instead, more focus was put on the theory itself, instead of the
implementation of it.
Acha, J. (2009). The effectiveness of multimedia programmes in children’s vocabulary
learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 40 (1), 23-31.
This article examines the effects of multimedia presentations on elementary school
children who are learning a second language. With the expansion of technology in schools, the
author felt that an in depth analysis of multimedia presentations should be done to determine the
most effective way to expose students to new vocabulary. The author acknowledges the fact that
previous research has suggested that adding a picture to the word in a presentation may help the
child learn and store the new word. However, she explains that presenting both a picture and a
word at the same time requires the child to process more information, which leads to an
increased cognitive load. This can mean information overload, and it can hinder the child from
learning the word. She also acknowledged that previous studies have found that a person’s
initial learning ability can affect which method is best for them to learn, with or without a picture
accompanying the new vocabulary word. As a result, the author developed a study that would
analyze elementary aged students’ vocabulary retention rate when they were taught a new
foreign vocabulary word with only a word definition, only an accompanying picture, or a word
definition and an accompanying picture.
The author chose 135 Spanish speaking children to participate in her study. They were
all third or fourth grade students in a primary school in Spain. Every child chosen for the study
was labeled by his or her teacher as making “normal progress” in learning the English language.
During the study, students read stories on computers that consisted of twelve “marked” English
vocabulary words. As the students read the story, they used the mouse to select each marked
vocabulary word as they came to it. When they clicked on the word, they were taken to a
different screen with an annotated version of the word. The students were randomly split up into
three groups. The first group was given annotations that were strictly verbal. The Spanish
equivalent of the English word was presented. The second group was given annotations that
were strictly visual. A picture of the English word was presented for students to learn its
meaning. And the third group was given annotations that consisted of the verbal and visual
representation of the word. To evaluate which representation of the word best helped the
children learn the meaning of the English word, students were given a pre-test of sixty English
words, and they wrote out the Spanish word next to all of the English words that they knew.
After completing the story presentation on the computer, students took a twelve question
vocabulary test over just the vocabulary words that were included in the story. These twelve
vocabulary words were also included on the pre-test, but students did not yet have classroom
exposure to them. Students took the post-test right after completing the presentation, and then
took it again two weeks after completing the presentation. This was to determine if the students
remembered the word at a later date. Also, the students each took a spatial and verbal ability test
to determine their innate abilities coming into the experiment. This was done because previous
research showed that this could affect the way students learn best.
An analysis of the study results shows that students in the word-only group had a higher
percentage of recalled words than students in the picture-only group and the picture and word
group. These results were consistent in the immediate post-test and the post-test that students
took two weeks later. The author therefore suggests that elementary aged students learn best
with a lower cognitive load, and that designers of multimedia presentations should consider this
when designing new educational software.
This article is very easy to understand and well-written. The only portion that could be
difficult for an average reader is the section where results are presented, using research jargon.
However, the author does do a good job presenting the results in everyday vocabulary as well as
the research jargon. The author also does a good job of showing the need for her experiment and
acknowledging previous research findings related to her study. She acknowledges the fact that
some studies suggest the use of pictures increases student vocabulary retention and states that
further research should be done.
This paper would be extremely beneficial to designers of instructional and multimedia
programs for students. The findings of this study suggest that sometimes less is more, and that
students can be overloaded with unnecessary information in the learning process. Even though
the pictures are attractive, they may indeed hinder the students’ learning. The results of this
study are also important for media specialists because they are in charge of helping teachers with
technology at their respective schools. It is important that media specialists understand the rules
of cognitive load so that they can help their teachers create presentations and instruction that is
appropriate for their students. As a future media specialist, this article was extremely beneficial
to me for that purpose. Also, media specialists are often times in charge of purchasing
multimedia instructional programs. The information in this article will help media specialists
pick out programs that will help their students learn, not hinder student learning by
Yohe, P. (2007). Getting information literacy standards noticed: how promoting these standards
just might save your job. Library Media Connection, (Nov/Dec), 28-30.
Professional Practice Article
Paula Yohe, district technology director in Dillon, South Carolina, is the author of this
article. She addresses through her article the importance of information literacy standards in the
school system, and how it is the media specialist’s job to promote these standards. She notes in
the article that information literacy standards are increasingly important, with the increasing
sources of information through technology use. However, many educators do not realize these
standards even exist, much less know what they consist of. Therefore, it is necessary for media
specialists to come up with a clear definition of information literacy to present to their staff, and
then get busy promoting them within their own schools.
This article is written from the viewpoint of a fellow media specialist, as she often uses
the pronoun “we” when referring to members of the profession. And the article points out that
this emphasis on information literacy skills is not only to support student achievement and
technology use in school, but also to keep media centers open and thriving in schools. Yohe
creates a list of thirteen ways that a media specialist can promote information literacy standards
in her school, and it all begins with clearly defining information literacy, making sure the
standards are known and visible to educators in the school, and then promoting those standards
through collaboration with teachers on projects and technology enhanced assignments.
Therefore, media specialists are not simply seen as the lady who checks out books behind the
circulation desk. Instead, they make themselves known as technology experts who are ready,
willing, and able to help educators incorporate new technology into lessons and assist students in
finding reliable and accurate sources for their information queries.
And finally, Yohe suggests showing a clear connection between information literacy
skills and increased test scores. In an education system that seems to be increasingly driven by
standardized test scores, proving to parents, administrators, and teachers that information literacy
skills will help students increase test scores is a must. There is a vast array of research that deals
with this topic. Yohe suggests that making this connection known within your school system
helps make information literacy skills relevant and necessary to every child’s education.
This article is well-written and easy to understand. Paula Yohe does an excellent job of
appealing to her target audience of media specialists. She basically presents her ideas as a must
to ensure job security and future need for the media profession in schools. The fact that she uses
the pronoun “we” strengthens her argument because it helps readers feel connected to Yohe. It
gives the feeling of having a common goal. As a future media specialist, her article is extremely
beneficial to me because it suggests ways of becoming relevant and necessary in my school.
With recent budget cuts and downsizing, one never knows what will be the next position to go.
Therefore, her article helps me understand how to make my presence in the school irreplaceable.
And finally, her suggestions for promoting technology integration through information
literacy standards in the school are priceless. Something becomes much easier to do when we
are given explicit, concrete examples of how to do it, rather than general ideas. Her discussion
on information literacy and its effect on test scores seems priceless, and is one that strengthens
the argument for information literacy standards in schools. Yohe’s thirteen point list for
promoting information literacy standards serves as a checklist for media specialists hoping to
increase student learning and success at their schools. Ultimately, Yohe presents a compelling
argument for how information literacy standards, and the media specialist as the teacher of those,
are the key to higher student achievement.