Teacher-Librarian 2.0

Several years ago I wrote an article titled Becoming Teacher-Librarian 2.0. The article was published just as web interactivity  – what we came to call Web 2.0 – was emerging as not only a technological but also as a social force. I pointed out the reasons for teacher-librarians to engage in and educate themselves in these emerging technologies.

Here it is about eight years later, and it’s time to revisit the article. By now we should no longer be “becoming” teacher-librarian 2.0, we really should be there. I’ve revisited the theme in this video, Teacher-Librarian 2.0: The Teacher-Librarian as Technology Leader.

Making This Video: Learning Through Tinkering

In the video I talk about being a constant learner, particularly when it comes to technology. Being curious, open and adaptable are key competencies for continuing to learn. Making this video is a case in point.

I teach additional qualifications courses for teachers in librarianship. For the past year or more, I’ve taken to introducing each module of the course with a video. My goal is to start the module by focusing on the major themes, and to make some kind of personal connection with my students in the online format of the course. This venture has been quite successful, I think. So this video serves as my introduction to the technology module in Librarianship Parts 2 and 3, Transforming Learning Through Technology. I mix my approach with these videos. Some of them are very specific to the course, and others, like this one, I create with the intention of making them publicly available, too.

I have been making videos for many years, and have coached many other educators about video editing. I tried a few new things with this video – some of them successful, and some being great examples of learning through failure!

For one thing, I used studio lighting for the first time. For several of these “talking head” videos that I’ve made in the past, I’ve had the good fortune to be able to shoot outdoors, or in evenly-lit interior spaces. My last venture earlier in the fall term I had to shoot inside, and no matter how hard I tried, I could not find a place in the house with decent lighting, and half my face was in shadow. This time around, I used an inexpensive LED light display. I have still to learn the knack of matching different shots, diffusing for a more natural look, and avoiding shadows, but I’m not unhappy with my first attempt.

The other thing I tried was not quite as successful. I had viewed several videos created by Seneca College teaching and learning technologies librarian extraordinaire, Jennifer Peters, where she created animations in PowerPoint to incorporate into videos. I decided to try out this technique. My slides and audio narration worked splendidly as a PPT recording, but for some reason my export to Quicktime was a dismal failure, resulting in a recording of a static slide with no sound. Hmmmm… All of my tinkering was to no avail, and I ended up creating individual slides for each part of the animation, saving the show as jpeg files, adding them into iMovie and adding narration there. I had used this technique many times in the past, thank goodness! I’m still investigating what I did wrong with the PPT export as I would love to be able to use that method.

My students are teachers, and it is important for me to practice what I preach. Making these videos is one way that I can model the use of technology for learning. I’ve chosen to explain the learning process that I went through in creating this particular video as a testament to the need to be in constant beta as a learner, always willing to try new things, not getting discouraged by failure, and taking the opportunity for some creative problem-solving. It’s no masterpiece, but I’m pleased with the result, and the message.

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