When I began this coursework, I considered myself to be relatively tech unsavvy. I have basic word processing skills, email and texting abilities, but I did not venture into unknown tech territory or explore and experiment with web tools. In short, I did not give myself a lot of credit in viewing myself with a digital identity that went farther than functional computer skills. Ten months into my teacher-librarian studies and I am amazed at what I have learned and increasingly feel more confident in discovering about my digital identity. By far the most significant area of growth is with regard to discovering and exploring digital tools.
A significant part of my learning and my confidence-building is the supportive environment of this course with which to take risks to try and explore new tools. Particularly through this course’s discussions, as the forums are rich with ideas, suggestions, and encouragement. It is also encouraging to see the people in this course who have such varied knowledge, backgrounds, experience, and expertise, yet everyone is willing to more their learning forward. Even the most tech savvy were taking away new ideas and tools! I believe this willingness and eagerness to develop one’s digital identity is a key ingredient in teacher-librarianship. No one needs to or can be an expert in everything, but the enthusiasm to bring new ideas to colleagues is an essential component for teacher-librarians to be digital leaders. I feel that my own growth will be a testament to colleagues who may be hesitant to try something new. I hope to provide support and leadership in moving our digital learning forward one web tool at a time!
Through the use of Symbaloo, I have created a webmix of digital tools and resources that I can use to support teachers and students in my efforts to be a digital leader. My selection of tools represents those which I feel I can use most effectively with others, and many of which support the B.C. Digital Literacy Framework. As suggested, I explored the Mediasmarts site quite extensively as a starting point, but I also explored the Common Sense Media website as well. A large portion of my webmix features tools from these websites in the form of games, video clips for students, and information that would be informative for teachers and even parents. I included two Ted Talks about digital and media literacy which, again, I thought would be informative for staff. I selected several resources that would support digital citizenship as it is not only an important focus for schools overall, but it is often an area where children are needing support to develop the skills that are necessary to be safe and responsible in the online world. I also wanted to include tools that I have discovered along the way such as Powtoon, Pearltrees, Recite This, and Penzu. Additionally, I have curated articles and sites from our coursework which I want to ensure I have in my toolkit for the future.
The process of using Symbaloo to curate digital tools has been invaluable, as are the many resources I have gathered to encourage risk taking, collaboration, and lifelong learning.