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.