As the school librarian, I am in a wonderful position to be able to connect teachers and students through “global interdisciplinary units” and “research real-world problems” (International Society for Technology in Education, 2011). I am fortunate to be able to support learning, “develop students’ (and teachers’) 21st-century skills,” and help “lead the way as schools develop a new learning environment” (Schroeder, 2015, pg. 36). In addition to the traditional roles of a librarian, many school librarians are also working to incorporate:
- technology integration,
- curriculum leadership,
- professional development,
- support of multiple literacies,
- development of students’ 21st century skills, and
- Common Core State Standards (Schroeder, 2015, pg. 36).
While I have collaborated with teachers in several areas to flatten the walls of our school, two very memorable projects were an author Skype and a Mystery Skype. High school English teacher and Edutopia contributor, Michelle Lampinen states that “It’s no secret that students value an authentic audience” (Lampinen, 2013) and both of these projects provide students with a very authentic audience. An author Skype session allows students to connect with their favorite author and ask them questions about their books, learn about the writing process and hear about upcoming releases.
Skype in the Classroom, an educational division of Skype, has described Mystery Skype as “an educational game, invented by teachers, played by two classrooms on Skype. The aim of the game is to guess the location of the other classroom by asking each other questions. It’s suitable for all age groups and can be used to teach subjects like geography, history, languages, mathematics and science.” The various stages of my school’s Mystery Skype can be found here: planning, design, execution, and reflection.
International Society for Technology in Education. (2011). ISTE standards: coaches. Retrieved June 29, 2011, from http://www.iste.org/standards/ISTE-standards/standards-for-coaches
Lampinen, M. (2013, April 8). Blogging in the 21st-century classroom. Retrieved January 25, 2015, from Edutopia website: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/blogging-in-21st-century-classroom-michelle-lampinen
Schroder, E. E., & Fisher, S. (2015). Communicating the emerging roles of librarians to teachers through a collaborative k-12 and higher education partnership. Knowledge Quest, 44(2), 34-42. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.