I recently had the pleasure of working with teacher-librarians from the York Catholic District School Board. This is a resourceful group, and we were very successful in exploring strategies for kicking it up a notch with Together for Learning.
There is a new context for learning in our hyper-connected and technology-enabled age. “New communication tools, emerging technologies, and social and cultural forces are constantly redefining what we mean by ‘literacy’… This world provides learners with unprecedented and powerful opportunities to develop multiple literacies. In doing so, learners can develop deeper understandings in the global community.” (Together for Learning, p. 18)
So what do we mean by kicking it up a notch? New contexts don’t mean getting rid of existing instructional strategies that are meaningfully connected to the curriculum and that are grounded in sound pedagogy. But by considering these practices through the new filters of collaboration and technology, new opportunities arise to add value and meaning to student learning.
Some of the ideas that emerged in this session included:
- Building knowledge visibly and for collaborative inquiry learning using Google Drive
- Having students create book trailers using Voki, and sharing them on the school library website
- Extending a high school book club online with Goodreads, to connect to a broader community of readers
- Using curation tools such as ScoopIt, Pinterest, or Storify to gather resources for students to explore as they do their “pre-search” – improving prior knowledge as they engage in research in order to develop richer questions to guide their inquiry
The Implementation section of the Together for Learning website takes ideas from the vision document and suggests practical strategies for implementation – a valuable resource as we consider ways to kick it up a notch!
And of course, I could not resist the temptation of tinkering with Voki as I reflected on the great conversations I had with this amazing group of educators!