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21st Century Storytelling: Before W.A.R…

basically I blogged about librarians and technologists who were ‘moving and shaking’ at their respective schools. Not literally. But you know what I mean.  So as I sit here with a hot laptop on my lap, combing through my 2005 ‘ar-CH-ives’ (as pronounced by one of my darling students), I’m wondering “WHERE ARE THEY NOW?” 

For example, Dianne Kimball, a librarian from Wallingford Public School, is no where on the web!  She was just one of the attendees I met at the first SLJ Summit, and one of my first interviewees. Dianne, holla at your girl, please!

A.B. What did you take away from the Summit and how has it impacted your own goals at your school?
“I came back from the Summit knowing that I was part of a much larger community with common goals and concerns. I also felt a burden lifted from my shoulders, in some way. I always struggle here in my school to do and be so much, but have never felt there was any bigger power or influence that can truly impact my daily endeavors. I know that here in our own schools we can do those daily little things that impact students and parents and change attitudes slowly, person by person.

Then there was Doug Johnson, who I also met at the first Summit.  What I remembered about Doug, besides his candor, was that he was one of few librarians (who I saw) using a laptop at the time. Now, every conference I attend, laptops abound! Doug is over at the Blue Skunk blog, still churning out great material! Doug, HOLLA at your girl, please?!

A.B. Just what are your thoughts regarding the role of a technologist and the role of a librarian? Are they two in the same? Or are they two separate fields of interest?
D.J. “As strange as it may sound, the role of the “technologist” may be changing more than that of the librarian. As technology came into the schools, the technologist was a combination technology integration specialist (teacher) and technician – often a classroom teacher on special assignment. But with the growth in both scope and importance of technologies in schools, these roles are becoming increasingly discrete – with technicians doing the screwdriver and management stuff and librarians picking up the integration specialist duties. And of course, sometimes it is the integration specialist picking up the library duties – especially in cases where librarians do not see themselves as having a technology role. Hence “turf” battles.

We should focus on what kids need to know and do with technology and be less fussy about who does it. But that only settles turf issues in MY district, not in entire educational community.”

Will Richardson was also one of  my early interviewees (who ignited the blog spark in me in 2004).  I’ve seen Will at conferences he continues to ‘preach’, over at Weblogg-ed

A.B. Could you offer any insights on alternative assessments in an age when technological and digital
information are steering many of the tasks in classes?
W.R. “I think that in the next ten years we’re going to move away from an assessment paradigm that focuses on testing to one that measures performance and contribution. What can a student do with what she has learned? And where is the evidence that her original thinking and construction of that knowledge has been shared with others? Being able to publish to the Web in many different forms gives students and teachers a wealth of opportunities they have not had before to contribute to the knowledge base in meaningful ways. And that’s the key difference with audience, I think, not so much that they will participate directly but that they can learn from what we’ve learned.”


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