- As part of a teacher’s or librarian’s Professional Learning Network (PLN)
- To inform parents and the community about school-related events and information
- As an engaging technology tool for students in the classroom.
According to the American Association of School Librarians (a division of the American Library Association) and the new National School Library Standards, the School Librarian is tasked with teaching students the responsible use of social media, evident by these 5 references:
- III.B. School Librarians demonstrate the importance of personal, social, and intellectual networks by modeling the use of a variety of communication tools and resources.
- III.C.1. The school library provides opportunities for School Librarians to connect and work with the learning community by facilitating diverse social and intellectual learner networks.
- V.C.1. The school library [and School Librarian] prepares learners to engage with a larger learning community by modeling and promoting the use of personal and professional learning networks.
- VI.A. School Librarians promote ethical and legal guidelines for gathering and using information by directing learners to responsibly use information, technology, and media for learning and modeling responsible and ethical use of information, technology, and media.
- VI.C. The school library [and School Librarian] encourages participation in a diverse learning community to create and share information by providing both online and physical spaces for sharing and dissemination of ideas and information.
The Young Adult Library Services Association (another division of ALA), offers a 13-page downloadable PDF “Teens & Social Media Toolkit” for teaching students positive ways to use social media. The document suggests helping teens “learn about a variety of social media technologies,” which includes “photo-sharing technologies, …video creation technologies, …image editing. …connect with favorite authors, artists, musicians, and so on via Twitter, Facebook and personal blogs.”
The International Society for Technology in Education has 3 ISTE Standards for Students that directly relate to social media:
- Digital citizen – Students recognize the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world, and they act and model in ways that are safe, legal and ethical.
- Creative communicator – Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.
- Global collaborator – Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally.
Lessons and resources for teaching social media—the tools and their use—are abundant in print and online, but I’m not satisfied these help students truly conceptualize and understand “cloud computing”. Online tools are replacing “in-house” apps so we need to emphasize the concept of cloud computing with each and every online tool in order for students to understand the responsible use of ALL online tools.
Interestingly, many online tools now incorporate some form of social media, so the challenge is not teaching about social media, but rather HOW to teach cloud computing. Do I teach the scope of a tool—all its potential uses—or should I focus on the efficacy of a tool, that is, its best use? I make that decision based on the purpose of the library visit in my Library Lesson Matrix and then I create the lesson with my Library Lesson Planner.
“Cloud computing” focuses students on the type and purpose of tools, rather than brand names, so they learn how and when to use any digital tool regardless of who makes it. For my Library Lessons I group cloud computing tools into 3 types of services:
- Personal services: individual tools for organization, communication, and learning—email, drop box, digital documents, digital storage.
- Group services: tools for collaborating with others—chat rooms, discussion forums, wikis, social networks, video conferencing.
- Presentation services: tools to create and publish original multimedia products—blogs, audio podcasts, slide shows, videos, webinars, live broadcasts.
Within and across these 3 groups are specifics which differentiate the services and individual tools from each other:
- Form of interaction —
- 1-to-1 (personal individual tools)
- 1-to-many (presentation tools)
- many-to-many (group tools)
- Form of presentation —
- 1-way broadcast (drop box, digital storage, podcasts, blogs, slide shows, videos, live broadcasts)
- 2-way exchange (email, some digital documents, all group tools, webinars)
- Transmission interval —
- synchronous (chat rooms, some social networks, video conferencing, webinars, live broadcasts)
- asynchronous (email, discussion forums, wikis, some social networks, blogs, podcasts)
Consolidating all online tools under the umbrella of Cloud Computing allows me to introduce a variety of media for students to express themselves, add creativity and value to student assignments, and yet maintain a focus on responsible online behaviors. I can keep lessons short and simple, focused on the purpose of the library visit, with a classroom-related activity so students can practice what they learn. Often my Library Lessons help teachers understand Cloud Computing and see how to integrate it into their own lessons.
Cloud Computing is my first technology lesson of the school year with Spanish and Art classes, and I’ve also incorporated the concept into lessons with the Core subjects, ESL, and Special Ed. Using just a few slides, I introduce the concept, types of tools, their purpose, and form of audience interaction.
The best way to teach technology is to demonstrate how to use it, so I close the slide presentation and open the online service. I distribute a handout showing images of the tool to help students follow my demonstration. Then students use the rest of the period on a daily grade activity that guides them through 2 features chosen by the teacher which they will use throughout the school year to respond to assignments.
Often after the lesson students ask other teachers to give them assignments using the tool, so the teachers come to me for help, and I’m able to expand student use of the service through short lessons during library visits with other subject classes.
Other ISTE Resources:
- 5 social media sites to engage teens in learning, 3/30/2016
- 6 ways to help students learn with social media, 4/6/2015