Monday, May 25, 2009

21st Century Classroom Add On

After reading Karen's post about the Kindle, I've been kicking around the idea of adding on, because there was one more piece to the story that involved me and the library. Since we are in the last two weeks of school and the kids can no longer check out books I asked that they come to the library with a book to read every time. I know, crazy, reading, books, in the library, what am I thinking!? Anyway, last week as Karen dropped her kids in the library she brought Jay to me with his Kindle. She asked if it was OK if Jay used the Kindle instead of a book in the library. She thought it would be OK, but wanted Jay to make sure before he assumed anything. My response was something along the lines of, "of course it's OK, it's a book isn't it?"

I've thought a lot about that conversation over the last week, and have read some of Franki's posts on 21st century classrooms and I have to say, I'm a bit nervous about all of this change. When I moved into the library last year I stated plainly that my focus is THE BOOKS! I'm really not very good at technology, truthfully it frustrates the heck out of me, so I decided that in our library computers would be used to search for books and that's about it. Oh sure I've done the obligatory internet searching and basic introductions to various programs, but honestly, the students generally know more than I do and they ended up teaching me things. I'm OK with my kids teaching me things, in fact, I love when they teach me things, but I was way out of my comfort level with this.

Fast forward back to the present and I'm being hit with all sorts of new technology that I have to figure out how to bring it into the library appropriately. For example, we now have Smart Boards which I love and have found several awesome uses for and want more. The introduction of the Kindle by a student, something that I'm not sure about, I'm kind of old school about books, I like turning pages and watching my book mark move from front to back. And a Flip camera that I purchased with the encouragement of Franki, it's a fun toy and I know I want to use it, I just wish I had more training with it. All of these are exciting new technologies that I know are going to really draw kids in, but my job just got harder. My challenge next year is to use the technology and still keep the kids loving books. Summer can't come soon enough so I can start thinking about next year!


  1. You have come along way since using laptops in our classrooms with the fan on the rooftop that used to take our internet/server provider away ;)
    I hope to grow in my knowledge base also since next year since I am getting the projector in my classroom. Agreed summer can't come soon enough.

  2. Amended to read (my version, that is):

    Summer can't come soon enough. (period)


  3. This is the challenge I think--books as key but how to fit in the rest in an authentic way. I am with you on having a ton to think about this summer. Hadn't even thought about Kindles--what role do they play in libraries. I love mine but I'll count on you to figure out what we should be doing with those....

    We just got a district grant for a lot of stuff that I need to figure out in terms of what that means for the library....

  4. Bill - I appreciate you publicly expressing your reservations about technology. Sometimes when you read blogs, professional journals, and attend conferences, you can start feeling like you're the ONLY one who is not using every web 2.0 thing out there with students. Time and financial constraints make me feel forever out of the loop. For example, at my small private school we are having a huge fundraising event for a new Fine Arts building. Within that, there are plans to equip every room with a smartboard. This won't start until fall 2010, though. Why do I feel like smartboards will be old news by the time I get one? It's nice to hear from someone else who is not an uber-techno librarian.

    T Hager