Librarians and Teachers Working to Incorporate 21st Century Skills

This week I explore the first and sixth ISTE Coaching Standards through the Digital Education Leadership program at Seattle Pacific University. Through my studies, the terms “21st century skills” and “21st century learners” continue to pop up. These phrases have been used in abundance over the last decade, but what do they really mean? And how do I, as a school librarian, help incorporate them into the classroom? In an effort to succinctly articulate my musings, my question this week is as follows:

What are 21st century skills and how can they be incorporated into the classroom in a meaningful way that enhances the curriculum?

Before I can explore the implementation of 21st century skills, I needed to pause and illustrate what a 21st century learner might look like:

21st Century Learners

The National Council of Teachers of English define a 21st century learner as someone who is able to:

  • Develop proficiency and fluency with the tools of technology,
  • Build intentional cross-cultural connections and relationships with others so to pose and solve problems collaboratively and strengthen independent thought,
  • Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes,
  • Manage, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information,
  • Create, critique,
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ISTE Teacher Standard 4: Roll Out a Successful 1:1 Program Through Phases

This week I explore the fourth ISTE Teacher Standard: Promote and Model Digital Citizenship and Responsibility through the Digital Education Leadership program at Seattle Pacific University and I examine how I can implement the following question into my own practice: “How can teachers understand local and global societal issues and responsibilities in an evolving digital culture and exhibit legal and ethical behavior in their professional practices?”

My school recently revisited our Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) after not having revised it in over two years. We found several discrepancies and have noted that several parents, while they signed the document, still had an array of questions about the one-to-one laptop program and what the laptops should (and shouldn’t) be used for both on and off campus. With this in mind, the school’s Tech Task Force debated the idea of requiring students and parents to attend an orientation in addition to just signing the AUP. I reviewed the policies and procedures of several other schools in an effort to find what works best for the majority. It seems, there is no majority. All schools approach this issue differently, with varying levels of success. What works for one school, doesn’t work for the … Read More

ISTE Teacher Standard 2: Digital Badge Learning

This week I am diving into the second ISTE Teacher Standard: Design and Develop Digital Age Learning Experiences and Assessments through the Digital Education Leadership program at Seattle Pacific University and I am attempting to answer the following question: “How can teachers design, develop, and evaluate authentic learning experiences and assessments incorporating contemporary tools and resources to maximize content learning in context and to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes identified in the ISTE Standards for Students?”

My school is in the midst of redesigning our middle school enrichment program. Currently, students participate in classes where all the students are learning about the same topic (graphic design, robotics, coding). While this is a great program and some of the students are very interested and engaged, a large handful of students have no interest in the topic and, therefore, are very reluctant to participate. Several discussions have revealed that the enrichment program needs to be revamped for next year, where students have more choice in determining what their area of focus will be. One idea, suggested by an outside consultant, would be to use digital badge learning to allow students to have individual choice and ownership in their learning.

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The … Read More

ISTE Teacher Standard 1: Connecting Students to Outside Professionals

Last semester I examined the ISTE Student Standards through the Digital Education Leadership program at Seattle Pacific University, this semester I will start my exploration of the ISTE Teacher Standards. In an effort to learn the difference between the various sets of ISTE Standards (student, teacher, coach, administrator and computer science educator), I scoured the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) website to find the following description: “The family of ISTE Standards works in concert to support students, educators and leaders with clear guidelines for the skills, knowledge and approaches they need to succeed in the digital age” (“ISTE Standards,” 2015). I was excited to find this short video produced by ISTE that gives a short overview of the purpose behind the standards and why they are important to successfully implementing technology into education.

While I am still processing the difference between the many sets of standards, I am approaching my exploration this semester from the perspective of a librarian who is there to serve both students and teachers in order to take their learning and teaching to the next level. This week, I was given the following question and asked to explore it in a way … Read More

Using Student-Created Book Trailers to Increase Library Circulation

I shared in a recent post that this quarter in the Digital Education Leadership program through Seattle Pacific University, I have been exploring the ASSURE Model, an instructional model used to design lessons that effectively incorporate the use of technology to enhance student learning. This model identifies six steps in the planning process and those steps form the acronym, ASSURE:

Image created by Becky Todd, Librarian/Media Specialist, www.beckytoddlibrarian.org
Image created by Becky Todd, Librarian/Media Specialist, www.beckytoddlibrarian.org

How Was This Model Used?

Using the ASSURE Model, I designed a student-created book trailer project, where students share their excitement of a favorite book in an effort to increase circulation rates and encourage reading for pleasure. Here you will find my plans for the project, following the ASSURE Model:

Download (PDF, 417KB)


Reflection on the Process

I have started this project with my third grade class and it has been a huge success. The students are coming to library excited, ready to work and eager to move through the steps of the process. The students are still in the initial planning phases, but based on their work thus far, I anticipate the success will continue. One of the most exciting, unforeseen benefits of the introduction of this project has … Read More

ISTE 6: Are Basic Computer Skills Still Important?

Photo Credit: OpenClips via Pixabay
Photo Credit: OpenClips via Pixabay

The end of the quarter at Seattle Pacific University is quickly coming to a close, as is my adventure diving into the ISTE Student Standards. If this is your first time visiting my blog, I encourage you to check out my explorations of standards 1, 2, 3, and 4. This week, I will be digging into ISTE Student Standard 6, attempting to answer the question, “How can students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations?” You might notice that I have failed to include standard 5, this standard addresses Digital Citizenship issues. The students in the Digital Education Leadership program have examined this standard at length through our Group and Individual Projects, I invite you to check those out!

I recently attended an EdCamp (if you’re unfamiliar with the term, this video is a must) where I met with several librarians who were talking about the need for basic computer skill instruction. After much discussion and reflecting on the standard for this week, I was left asking myself the following question:

How can the library play a central role in facilitating a scope and sequence of computer Read More

Exploring the ASSURE Model Through Teacher Education

This quarter in the Digital Education Leadership program through Seattle Pacific University, I have been working together with my classmates to explore the ASSURE Model, an instructional model used to design lessons that effectively incorporate the use of technology to enhance student learning. This model identifies six steps in the planning process and those steps form the acronym, ASSURE:

Image created by Becky Todd, Librarian/Media Specialist, www.beckytoddlibrarian.org
Image created by Becky Todd, Librarian/Media Specialist, www.beckytoddlibrarian.org

What Does This Look Like?

My classmates and I created a face-to-face session for educators who are interested in incorporating technology into their classroom but are looking for basic management techniques to help them be comfortable and successful. The design of this lesson took place over an entire quarter, working on one of four phases and then seeking feedback from the professors before moving forward. This format allowed us to gain outside perspective, make revisions to the lesson plan and then use that feedback as we transitioned into the following steps of the ASSURE Model.

Here you will find our plans for the project, including the handouts that will be provided to session participants:

Download (PDF, 694KB)


Reflection on the Process

What worked well?

I really enjoyed being able to meet … Read More

ISTE 4: Using Mind-Maps to Help Conduct Effective Research

Photo Credit: Wesley Fryer
Photo Credit: Wesley Fryer

This week I am diving into the fourth ISTE Student Standard: Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making through the Digital Education Leadership program at Seattle Pacific University and am attempting to answer the following question: “What are ways in which students can use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources?”

I recently started teaching sixth and seventh grade students the research process using the Big6™ Research Model, you can read more about that experience in my last blog post. During that lesson, I found that the students’ biggest challenges were some of the skills I thought would be the most simple. The most notable being, the ability to identify keywords that would help them conduct their research. The students were able to formulate several questions related to their science fair topic but when asked to select three to five keywords based on those questions, they struggled. My intended goal for the students was for them to review their questions, determine how those questions were related, and extract a number of succinct terms that will allow them to conduct … Read More

ISTE 3: Teaching Research Using the Big6 Model

Photo Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers via Carol E. Davis
Photo Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers via Carol E. Davis

This week I am looking at the third ISTE Student Standard: Research and Information Fluency through the Digital Education Leadership program at Seattle Pacific University and am attempting to answer the following question: “What are ways in which students can apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information?”

Coincidentally, our middle school science teacher approached me recently, asking if I could guide her students through the research process as they prepare their science fair projects. While I have taught several stand-alone lessons on conducting research, I have never taught those skills as a thoughtful, comprehensive unit. I took to the Web to discover how other educators teach various information literacy skills and through my research, I have discovered that I am not alone; it is not uncommon for librarians to lack confidence in their implementation of research skills in their program. Dr. Michael B. Eisenberg, founder of the Big6™Skills and Janet Murray, well-published and respected school librarian, have indicated that a surprisingly few number of schools have a comprehensive information literacy program. They found that many programs are “irregular, partial, and arbitrary” (Eisenberg, 2011, pg. 10). … Read More