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Build a manifesto with me (Part 3!)

And now the end of the manifesto! 

You know you are a 21st century teacher-librarian if you . . .

  • Know that one-to-one laptop classrooms will change your teaching logistics. You realize you will often have to teach in a partner teacher’s classroom. You will teach virtually. You will be available across the school via email and chat.
  • Use new tools for collaboration. Your students create together, They synthesize information, enhance their writing through peer review and negotiate content using GoogleDocs, Flickr, Jumpcut, VoiceThread.
  • Are concerned about what you can do that Google or Wikipedia cannot. What customized services and instruction will you offer that will not be outsourced to Bangalore?
  • Are concerned about how information fluency changes as the information landscape shifts. What skills will you teach that will not be outsourced to Bangalore? How will you share new understandings of searching, and evaluation, and analysis and synthesis, and digital citizenship, and communication.
  • Read both edtech journals and edtech blogs, not just the print literature of our own profession. You learn by visiting the webcast archives of conferences you cannot attend. You visit David’s Hitchhikr to discover new events. You visit sites like edtechtalk.  Your own feeds are rich with learning content, evidence of your learning network.
  • Consider your role as info-technology scout. You look to make “learning sense” of the authentic new information and communication tools used in business and academics. You figure out how to use them thoughtfully and you help classroom teachers use them with their classes.
  • Consider ways to bring experts, scholars, authors, events into your classroom using telecommunication tools like Skype and Internet2.
  • Grapple with issues of equity. You provide open source alternatives to students and teachers who need them. You lend flash sticks and laptops and cameras and . . .
  • Ensure your students can easily get to the stuff they most need by using kid-friendly terms and creating pathfinders. You ensure that all students have access to audio and ebooks and databases.
  • Consider new ways to promote reading. You are exploring downloadable audio books, or playaways. You (and your students) are creating digital booktalks or book trailers.
  • Model respect for intellectual property in a world of shift and change. You encourage and guide documentation for media in all formats and recognize the growing number of copyright-friendly or copy left portals. You understand Creative Commons licensing and you are spreading its gospel.
  • Know this is only the beginning of social networking. Students will get to their MySpace accounts through proxy servers despite any efforts to block them. You plan educationally meaningful ways to incorporate student excitement (and your own) for social networking.
  • Consider iPods as learning tools. You know that when you interrupt a student she might be in the middle of a chapter, recording a podcast, transferring data, taking audio notes.
  • Seek professional development that will help you grow even if you cannot get professional development for that growth. You can’t "clock" these hours.
  • Understand that learning can be playful.
  • Don’t stop at “no.” You ask later. You fight for the rights of students to have and use the tools they need. This is an equity issue. This is an intellectual freedom issue.
  • Unpack the good stuff you carried from your 20th century trunk. Rigor, and inquiry, and high expectations, and information and media fluency matter no matter what the medium. So do excitement, engagement, and enthusiasm.

Please help me edit this manifesto with your blog comments and wiki edits!  

Let’s build a document that helps describe how our roles continue to evolve.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Jeri Hurd says:

    Joyce, I swear, you (and Will Richardson) are my heroes! This is brilliant. I’ve been immersing myself in Web 2.0 this summer, both in terms of teaching it to staff and thinking about how to incorporate it into the library. I’m teaching a 2 hour workshop on it (if you can imagine!) for some of my classmates. Do you mind if I use this to introduce the topic?

    You know what I find especially distressing? I’m at a supposedly top ranked library program, yet we haven’t had a class–or even workshops–on using these technologies. These are essential not only to create more user-friendly, interactive library websites, but also because many librarians act as tech leaders. In fact, you’ve got me so wound up, I think I’ll post on this on my own blog. With a link to you, of course!

  2. Marcia (boisebooks) says:

    Joyce, when you read this in Atlanta I had one of those “finally” moments. You have prepared the articulate groundwork here for a true “manifesto”. This is what we are about. I am excited to see what the conversations and “edits” contribute to our mind meld here.

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