July 19th and I'm just starting my Library2Play2 class. The past few weeks have been filled with summer school and excessive heat, but now I and my amazing summer cherubs are ready to begin our official summer.
Task one - view and comment on "The Networked Student". I enjoyed the video and the instant ideas it sparked. A fellow teacher on my home campus organized a series of blogs for a joint project our classes participated in during this past spring. Between my students and hers, groups were formed with common research topics. Each group would perform their own search into their assigned topic, share this information on the blog, and post a variety of pictures, movies, music and links made available to their virtual classmates. While this was our first attempt with online networking, it was a huge success. The overachieving student ran with the assignment, searching and posting as much as they could find. The hesitant, unsure student was comforted in having a place to get started, a place to see what others had found and to get a nudge as to what to do or where to look next. The teachers, well....April and I had the best time. While we provided a lot of question and answer support, for the most part I would say this was the easiest teaching we've done in a long time. Personally, I found myself in the role of student as much as that of the teacher. I learned a lot about how to participate in a networking activity, as well as some new tech tricks the kids shared.
I think this role would suit our librarians on campus. In the traditional role, they are there to guide students to the right book for the right information or ideas for assignments. With a networking assignment, the student does much self-teaching as they research. They would benefit from the guidance of someone who can show them the ropes in this not so traditional classroom experience. A nudge in the right direction and some help finding resources is all our students need in an otherwise self-motivating activity.