In this every changing digital world, schools need to make sure their libraries stay up to date. For many schools the library is the place where you check out books, but you can also check out media and technology as well. Back when I was in elementary school, hearing that your teacher checked out a TV and VCR was pretty much made my week, but now that’s not so exciting. According to Educational Technology in U.S. Public Schools: Fall 2008 Report (p. 7), 97% of public schools in America are equipped with a projector hooked up to the computer, which would allow you to play any DVD or CD. This means probably none of the current students in the elementary schools have ever heard of a VCR let alone get excited for one. So the libraries need to evolve as the technology evolves and here’s some of my library technology must-haves:
I think it is important of schools to have at least one classroom set of iPads or Chromebooks (I personally prefer Chromebooks, but this post isn’t about arguing which one is better so I’ll let you decide). Desktop computers no longer interest students and a weekly trip to the computer lab isn’t enough to satisfying to these digital natives. Most of them are already pretty familiar with these devices and hearing they are getting to work with will probably make their week. There is so much that can be done with them. They can be used to supplement a lesson or to control the lesson. The options these devices have are endless. They can serve as the introduction or provide the meat of the lesson. They can also be a good alternative to an assessment or a new option for creating a project. Using the iPads or Chromebooks can really get students excited about and engaged with the material.
Also back when I was in elementary school, PowerPoint presentations were all the rage. However, I’m pretty sure students can create those in their sleep nowadays. The more technologically advanced version of the PowerPoint is video making, so having resources available in the library for check would be very advantageous for students. Creating a video is becoming a popular project choice. One way to make this accessible to students is through the iPads or Chromebooks. iMovie can be downloaded on iPads so all the students have to do is use the iPads’ built in camera and microphone to capture their video and then it can be edited directly on the iPad. Another option is to purchase some camcorders and microphones that can be rented by the students or teachers. The film and audio recording can be edited on Windows Movie Maker in the school’s computer lab or media center.
These video making resources might seem too advanced for the younger students, but they could be mostly teacher led. There are adorable videos that the teacher has made of her class and I’ve posted two below. The older students would need a lesson on how to use the programs, but if you go step-by-step they aren’t difficult.
One fun extra piece of technology would be a green screen. This could really enhance the students’ videos and make them a little more fun. These might be difficult for younger students to use but if it remained in the library then the media specialist could help them.