Emerging Technology Plan

Emerging Technology: Interactive Library Blog

Students today are digital natives and use technology every day for entertainment and their information-seeking needs. In order for schools to be relevant to students today, schools must prepare them to be 21st Century learners and integrate technology into their learning. Many classrooms across the country are doing just that.

In order for the library to be relevant to students today, they must also embrace technology and integrate it into the mission and goals of the library. Literacy is the most important skill children need to be successful in school and life. The library plays an important role in literacy, especially in elementary school. An interactive that blog promotes reading is a great way to incorporate technology into the library while also encouraging students to read and improve their reading skills.

Description of Community you wish to engage:

The school library is an integral part of an elementary school. It is here that students are exposed to different genres of books and given opportunities to improve reading skills. The community this interactive blog will serve is an elementary school that houses grades K-6. The blog will be available to all students as well as faculty and staff.

Goals/Objectives for Technology or Service:

Creating an interactive blog allows for students to become familiar with different forms of technology from the digital media to create book reviews to the blog itself. Acquiring information, media, and technology skills supports the 21st Century Framework and prepares students for 21st Century learning. As students utilize the blog, the library will see an increase in student use.

Goal 1: Students will become familiar with different technology.


  • Students will use various multimedia tools to create book reviews and book trailers
  • Students will use the library blog to post media or questions

Goal 2: Students will have interactions with teachers and students across all grade levels.


  • Students will answer questions of other students or make book recommendations
  • Students can ask questions of teachers or other students on literacy topics

Action Brief Statement:

Convince elementary students that by participating in the interactive library blog they will be able to share book recommendations, get book recommendations, and ask or answer literacy questions which will broaden their options of books to learn about and read because they can ask students in the entire school community and teachers for recommendations.

Evidence and Resources to support Technology or Service:

With limited budgets for library resources, blogs are an easy and less expensive tool to use to promote reading and literacy. Most blogging software or websites are free and easy to use. They can even be secured by password to protect students. Most blogs have a feature that requires posts to be approved by the administrator, which can prevent students from posting unkind or inappropriate materials or remarks.

In the article “Why and How to Use a Blog to Promote Your Library Services”, Darlene Fitcher explains some of the benefits of a library blog and how easy they are to set up. They can be created by one or many people and updated as often as you want. She states “…blogs encourage interactivity between the writer and audience…” (infotoday.com).

Moyo and Abdullah (2013) discuss how using technology can enrich students library experiences and thus benefit their reading habits and skills. Kids today are already using technology and even social media in their lives. If libraries want to be relevant to them, then they need to use the tools they are familiar with. They say, “The social interaction learning principle indicates the effectiveness of human social models in influencing one another to change behaviours, beliefs or attitudes, as well as social and cognitive functioning” (p. 139). Through the use of the interactive blog students are able to interact with students of all ages in the school. Younger students can be influenced by the older ones, which can have a positive effect on their reading habits.

Great examples of school library blogs: https://www.theedublogger.com/2015/07/15/23-great-library-blogs/

Mission, Guidelines, and Policy related to Technology or Service:


The mission of the interactive blog is to promote reading among students, encourage social interaction across grade levels, and provide students the opportunity to learn and use various multimedia tools to create book reviews and trailers. This mission connects to the school library’s mission to promote reading and 21st Century learning.


  • Students can create 2 digital review or trailer a month
  • Students can post book recommendations weekly
  • Students can post in the “Question and Answer” section whenever
  • All posts by students must be approved by library staff before being visible on the blog

Funding Considerations for this Technology or Service: 

The blog itself will be set up through a free website such as WordPress. Digital book reviews and trailers will be created using software or apps on an iPads and computers. The librarian will first seek for funding for iPads through the school’s technology budget. If funding is not available, then funds will be requested through a grant or PTA fundraiser.

Action Steps & Timeline:

  • Discuss the blog with the school administrator and obtain approval. (1 day)
  • Find free blog site and set blog up (2-3 days)
  • Get initial content and examples up (1 week)
  • Create blog tutorial to show to classes (1 day)
  • Promote the library blog with teachers and students as they visit the library (1 week)
  • Create and print posters and flyers (2 day)

Staffing Considerations for this Technology or Service: 

The school librarian will be the main administrator of the blog and 1-2 other teachers or staff members to help when needed. The librarian will utilize upper grade student volunteers to help students create digital book reviews.

 Training for this Technology or Service:

Teachers or staff members that volunteer to help administer the blog will need to be trained on the functions and abilities of the blog as well as any digital technology, software, or apps that are used. Student volunteers will need to be trained on any digital technology, software, or apps that are used.

Promotion & Marketing for this Technology or Service:

The library blog will be promoted in a short tutorial video that will be shown to classes when they come to the library. A link to the blog will be placed on the school website for students to be able to access at home. Posters/flyers can be printed and placed in the library and halls to remind students and staff about the blog.


The goal of the blog is for more students to be reading and using the school library. The success of the library blog will be measured by the circulation numbers of books checked out. Another goal is to familiarize students with technology and social media. The number of posts and recommendations on the blog will also be used to evaluate the blog. If the blog is successful at this school, it could be proposed that other schools utilize an interactive blog.



Moyo, M. and Abdullah, H. A. (2013). Enhancing and enriching students’ reading experience by using social media technologies. Mousaion, 31(2), 135-153.



Hyperlinked School Library

The environment I chose to investigate farther is hyperlinked school libraries. As a teacher this is an area of interests to me. I also hope to continue to work in schools with children as a school library. Richardson (2016) discussed that schools and education in this country need to make some serious changes. I couldn’t agree more. I don’t feel that we properly prepare kids for life in the work force. He made the observation “that many kids don’t seem to have the dispositions, the self-determination, initiative, and networks to problem solve their way out of their dilemmas. They’re waiting for the answer, just like they did in school” (medium.com). I see this every day in my classroom. I have many students who cannot believe that I expect them to use their brains and think critically. Some will just sit there until they get the answer. Since I refuse to give it to them, they will either not do what is expected or look to a classmate for the answer. I am not sure how to solve this problem. If I did, then my students would be more prepared for junior high than many of them are. I do think that one thing that should be changed is the emphasis on school libraries. They should be valued and utilized more. With school funding continuously being decreased, school libraries are usually one of the first areas hit. My school does not even have a librarian. We have a part time aid who helps kids with check out. I don’t have a librarian I can ask for help on resources for my curriculum. I have to find that information myself. In order for kids to be prepared for college, careers, and just living in the world, they need to have technology, information literacy, and information-seeking skills. Teachers do not have the time nor resources to teach them these things. Librarians are a critical part of a school system and should be in every school. Loertscher (2008) describes one way school libraries can become more relevant today. He called his idea “school library learning commons”. This is not only a physical space, but a virtual one as well. He states “the main objective of the open commons is to showcase the school’s best teaching and learning practices” (slj.com). An experimental learning center is included which is “the center for professional development sessions and action research projects, where innovative ideas are presented and new technologies are tried out before being fanned out into the rest of the school” (slj.com). Through school libraries, students and educators can be hyperlinked to each other and outside their schools. I think once school libraries are valued among students, educators, communities, and legislators, kids today will be more prepared to be productive members of society.





Hyperlinked Communities

In the article “From Community to Technology… and Back Again, Andy Havens (2013) states, “Communities exist to further the common objectives of their members” (p.4). He goes on to discuss how many innovations have been developed to connect communities such as roads, highways, telephones, and the internet. All of these items have allowed communities to make connections with each other. Libraries have the opportunity to help communities connect and come together through programs and initiatives. Blyberg (2015) tells how the Darien Library has a Minecraft program. I think this is an ingenious idea. I am a teacher and my students are always talking about Minecraft. This is something so many kids are interested in and a program like this will help to get kids to the library. Not only will they come to the library, but they will make connections with other kids who share a similar interest. Baute (2013) shared how a library in Ghana is connecting pregnant women with health information. In a place where an estimated 1,400 to 3,900 females die yearly in childbirth, this is an invaluable service that saves lives. Finding out what users want and need from the library is the best way libraries can hyperlink communities. If communities do not feel the library is relevant to them, then they will not see a need for the library in their community. Schmidt (2016) discusses three things libraries should do to be user-centered. First, the users are important and should be kept in mind. Second services should be tailored to the needs and wants of the community. Finally, libraries should ask the community what they want so as to be able to accomplish meeting their needs and wants. Since the purpose of libraries is to serve communities through meeting their informational needs, it only makes sense to keep users in mind when creating programs and services.






Book Report

It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens
by: Danah Boyd

Teens use social media as a way to connect and socialize with friends and classmates the same way their parents hung out at the mall.

“Social media plays a crucial role in the lives of networked teens. Although the specific technologies change, they collectively provide teens with a space to hang out and connect with friends.” (p. 5)


As I stated in my reflection last week, “Being hyperlinked means being connected to other people or ideas.” Weinberger (2015) stated “Hyperlinks are the connections made by real individuals based on what they care about and what they know…” (cluetrain.com) Teens use social media to be hyperlinked. It is one way in which they connect and share ideas with friends.


Just like teens don’t want their parents or other adults snooping through their bedroom or listening to their conversations, they also want the same privacy online.

When teens…seek privacy, they do so in relation to those who hold power over them…the wish to avoid paternalistic adults who use safety and protection as an excuse to monitor their everyday sociality. (p. 56)

Social Network Etiquette

Even though it is posted on a public forum where anyone can read or see what they post, teens feel their parents or other adults in their life have no right to view it and when they do, they are snooping.

For example, even when two people happen to be sitting across from each other on the subway, social norms dictate that they should not stare at each other or insert themselves into the conversation…What is at stake is not whether someone can listen in but whether one should. (p. 58)


Teens seem to be addicted to social media. They are frequently on their social media sites posting or checking status update.

There is no doubt that some youth develop an unhealthy relationship with technology. For some, an obsession with gaming or social media can wreak havoc on their lives, affecting school performance and stunting emotional development. (p. 78)


Today’s teens aren’t spending hours on landlines, but they are still conversing-updating others on social network sites, posting pictures and videos, and sending text messages to friends. Both entertainment and sociality are key reasons why teens invest so much energy in their online activities. (p. 79)

Teens turn to and are obsessed with, whichever environment allows them to connect to friends. Most teens aren’t addicted to social media; if anything they’re addicted to each other. (p. 80)

Dangers of Social Media

Just because teens are hanging out online and in social media sites instead of at the mall, does not mean they are safe from predators or bullies.

  • More than 82% of online sex crimes originating from social networking sites that predators use to gain insight into their victim’s habits and likes.
  • 65% of 8-14 year olds have been involved in a cyber-bullying incident


Online Predators

With less teens hanging out in public places such as malls and parks, predators have taken to the internet to prey on unsuspecting, innocent, naïve teens.

A 2000 report by the Crimes Against Children Research Center (CCRC) found that 69% of solicitations involved no attempt at offline contact. In other words, although any sexual solicitation that a youth receive might be problematic, this statistic does not signal inherently dangerous encounters. (p.112)

More Recent Statistics of Online Predators

Approximately 95 percent of all Americans between 12 and 17 years old are online and three in four teens access the internet on cell phones, tablets, and other mobile devices (as of 2012)

One in five U.S. teenagers who regularly log on to the Internet says they have received an unwanted sexual solicitation via the Web. Solicitations were defined as requests to engage in sexual activities or sexual talk, or to give out personal sexual information. (only 25% of those told a parent)

About 30% of the victims of Internet sexual exploitation are boys.

Internet sexual predators tend to fall between the ages of 18 and 55, although some are older or younger. Their targets tend to be between the ages of 11 and 15

In 100% of the cases, teens that are the victims of sexual predators have gone willingly to meet with them.

There are 799,041 Registered Sex Offenders in the United States (2015).

Teens are willing to meet with strangers: 16 percent of teens considered meeting someone they’ve only talked to online and 8 percent have actually met someone they only knew online.

75% of children are willing to share personal information online about themselves and their family in exchange for goods and services.

33% of teens are Facebook friends with other people they have not met in person.



“Cyber bullying involves using technology, like cell phones and the Internet, to bully or harass another person.” (bullyingstatistics.org)

Bullying that use to happen in the school yard and halls has found its way to technology. Using technology as a way to bully someone allows bullies to hide behind a screen and potentially cause more pain to victims as more people are likely to view the bullying.

The visibility and persistence of networked publics may enable larger audiences to witness acts of bullying. (p. 133)

Cyberbullying Statistics

Over 80 percent of teens use a cell phone regularly, making it the most popular form of technology and a common medium for cyber bullying

About half of young people have experienced some form of cyber bullying, and 10 to 20 percent experience it regularly

Mean, hurtful comments and spreading rumors are the most common type of cyber bullying

Girls are at least as likely as boys to be cyber bullies or their victims

Boys are more likely to be threatened by cyber bullies than girls

Cyber bullying affects all races

Cyber bullying victims are more likely to have low self-esteem and to consider suicide

1 in 10 adolescents or teens have had embarrassing or damaging pictures taken of themselves without their permission, often using cell phone cameras

About 1 in 5 teens have posted or sent sexually suggestive or nude pictures of themselves to others


A Public of Their Own

Teens find social media appealing because it allows them access to their friends and provides an opportunity to be a part of a broader public world while still situated physically in their bedrooms. Through social media, they build networks of people and information. As a result, they both participate in and help create networked publics. (p. 201)


Free internet access away from the parents makes the library an enticing place for online socializing online with friends. Although libraries and librarians cannot prohibit the use of the computers for social media, they should be aware of why and how teens use social media as well as the dangers associated with it. Like the teens of their parents and grandparents generations they just want to socialize with their friends. The only difference is the manner in which they do it.


Boyd, D. (2014). It’s complicated: the social lives of networked teens. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.







The Hyperlinked Library

When I hear the word hyperlinked the first thing that comes to my mind is the internet. So naturally my first thoughts of the hyperlinked library is a library on the internet. After listening to this week’s lecture and going through the reading my thoughts have changed. The new definition of hyperlinked for me is connectedness. Being hyperlinked means being connected to other people or ideas. Weinberger (2001) says it best in The Cluetrain Manifesto, when he states “Hyperlinks are the connections made by real individuals based on what they care about and what they know…” (http://www.cluetrain.com/book/hyperorg.html). My thoughts immediately went back to the lecture slide that said “Hyperlinks are people too” (Stephens, 2016). The hyperlinked library is not the internet or Web. It is people making connections and sharing ideas. The library is a great place for this to happen, whether at the physical location or online. Stephen (2006) states “’The Library is human’ because it makes the library a social and emotionally engaging center for learning and experience” (p.8). In order for libraries to continue to be relevant they must keep up with the changes that are happening in the world around us, and most importantly they must keep the users in mind with any changes they make. The library is not about the librarians. It is about the users. Without them there would be no need for libraries. Denning (2015) discusses that libraries need to discover what they are doing that users like and what they are not doing that users want. They need to be user oriented in all they do (Forbes.com). For me the whole idea of the hyperlinked library is that it’s about people and making connections.


Denning, S. (2015, May 01). Do We Need Libraries? Retrieved February 11, 2017, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2015/04/28/do-we-need-libraries/#388de0566b91

Levine, R., Locke, C., Searls, D., and Weinberger, D. (2001). The cluetrain manifesto: The end of business as usual. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Stephens, M. (2006, Spring). Into a new world of librarianship. NextSpace, 8. Retreived from http://www.oclc.org/content/dam/oclc/publications/newsletters/nextspace/nextspace_002.pdf

Stephens, M. (2016). The hyperlinked library: Exploring the model [PowerPoint]. Retrieved from Lecture Notes Online Website: https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=2d0f28cc-2337-4aaf-ae88-4f133c509f67

All About Me

My name is Melanie Alexander. I am a southern girl at heart from Charleston, South Carolina. However, I currently live in Salt Lake City, UT where I have been for the last 10 years. I am single and have a hamster for a pet. I have a degree in Elementary Education and teach 6th grade. I decided several years ago to pursue a MLIS while helping my students in the library. This is my last semester providing I can tackle the very daunting task of my e-portfolio. I chose this class, because it sounded interesting and I am always looking for new forms of technology to use in my classroom with my students. In my free time (which I have not had any the last 2 years) I like to read, travel, and spend time with friends. I will be looking forward to this summer when I will not have work or homework. I am a lover of history, especially U.S. history, and love to travel to historical places. One of my favorites is Philadelphia. I hope to find a job as a teacher librarian in a public school after graduating. I love having my summers off as a teacher and really don’t want to give that up. By the end of the semester I hope most that I survive without too many break downs, and that I have discovered new things that will help me in my classroom as well as in my future endeavors as a librarian.

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