Friday, March 12, 2010

The happy life of teacher librarians: do not assume

At the end of a lesson when I'd helped this teacher find some visual resources for her science class, shown with our data projector and screen, she said to me, after the kids had gone, "Thank you.  That YouTube site looks useful.  I hadn't heard of it.  I'll have to take a look at it."

So we talked about YouTube (blocked for kids but not teachers) and TeacherTube, and finding animations/videos of science-y things, and she went off happy.

I had assumed that YouTube had soaked into popular culture enough for everyone to have heard of it, but this was a salutary reminder of the old saying about assuming.  It was good to know she'd added another source to her knowledge bank. 

I know I can be left behind by those who have greater knowledge than me (I've barely looked at Second Life, for example, so those worlds are a mystery to me, I don't (yet) have an iPhone so I'm app-iggerant and I've never really mastered spreadsheets) and I know my technoliteracy is selective rather than comprehensive.  Teachers have been expected to make great techno-leaps in knowledge in the last ten and five years, and there are new things to learn about all the time.  In teacher librarianship, over the twentysomething years of my career, we've gone from the nineteenth century (eg. card catalogues) to the twentyfirst - lots to be learned, long after finishing my teacher librarianship qualifications.

Memo to self: don't assume.  Bring them along for the ride, and hitch one yourself when you need to.  Just this week I learned from two different people that the secret to not going over your iPhone's megabyte limit for internet use is to make smart use of your home wireless (if you have it) and free wifi (eg. at McDonalds), because you can connect through them with your iPhone (and thus you don't have to pay for the extra).  I'm not dumb; I'm a lifelong learner!



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