Nov 16, 2017
A guest blog from Lynn Kleinmeyer, GWAEA Digital Learning Consultant
As with any conference you attend, you walk away teeming with information, inspired and rejuvenated. Last week’s American Association of School Librarian’s (AASL) conference in Phoenix was no different!
As I processed all my new learning and information, I tried to synthesize them into my big takeaways. It was a feat, but here they are:
After two long years of work, the new AASL standards were released during last week’s conference. And it was worth the wait.
The new standards are comprised of six Shared Foundations (Inquire, Include, Collaborate, Curate, Explore and Engage) which are each explained with a one sentence key commitment, or belief statement. Each Shared Foundation is then broken into Domains, or learning categories (Think, Create, Share or Grow). Each of the Domains has three to five Competencies for the librarians and Alignments for the school library. These Competencies and Alignments are actionable and “measurable statements describing the knowledge, skills, and dispositions essential for learners and school librarians” (AASL, 2018).
I know that sounds like quite a bit to process, but the good news is that there are a plethora of supports put into place to help support and guide Teacher Librarians, administrators, classroom teachers and even parents or guardians in understanding the new standards.
Resources can be found at standards.aasl.org. As you scroll to the bottom of the page, you can dig into resources based upon your user experience.
Once you’ve selected your user experience, you’ll have access to materials that include links to the standards, infographics and informational handouts and videos.
Additional resources can be found in “Resources” along the top navigation bar. Select “Materials” to find additional supports.
There are also upcoming webinars to further your understanding of the standards. To learn more, visit http://www.ala.org/aasl/ecollab/upcoming.
# 2. Information Literacy
It was evident by the sheer number of session offered around media and/or information literacy that this is a hot topic on everyone’s minds.
Although there are a variety of resources to support conversations and lessons around these topics, my new favorites now include: NewseumEd’s Media Literacy Resources and Common Sense Education’s News & Media Literacy Toolkit.
The Newseum, located in Washington, D.C., has created online educational resources and materials available to help support media literacy instruction.
On the Media Literacy Resources page, the navigation bar along the left-hand side of the screen offers options to make sorting through the resources more manageable. Especially helpful is the “EdTools” option.
The EdTool option allows you to filter resources by categories including type, grade and copyright.
The resources provided by NewseumEd include everything from lessons and activities to blogs and video blogs.
Common Sense Education’s News & Media Literacy Toolkit
Some of you may be aware of Common Sense Education’s Digital Citizenship Curriculum. While some of Common Sense Education’s News & Media Literacy Toolkit’s materials pull from this curriculum, what I found particularly helpful were the extra resources provided.
The toolkit is broken down into grade bands.
After selecting the grade band, downloadable lessons are available. The full lessons often include introductory videos, as well guides for lesson delivery.
Scrolling further down the page, teachers can access Classroom Essentials and Professional Development resources.
Both NewseumEd’s Media Literacy Resources and Common Sense Education’s News & Media Literacy Toolkit are user-friendly and comprehensive resources. But the best part? Both resources are free!
# 3. Connection
I have stated numerous times over the years (and in several blogs) that connectivity is essential for Teacher Librarians. It’s important for us to be amongst other professionals, to network and make professional connections, and, hopefully, to make some personal connections as well. The energy and passion you could feel amongst Teacher Librarians in attendance at the conference was a powerful thing. Just taking a scroll through the #aasl17 Twitter feed and you’ll see evidence of the powerful connections being made and Teacher Librarians connecting others to their learning.
Check out the new Grant Wood Librarian hashtag #gwaealibs to connect to our learning from the conference.
For my overall learning, be sure to check out my AASL Learning Padlet.
American Association of School Librarians. (2018). How do I read the standards? Retrieved from http://standards.aasl.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/AASL_ReadingtheStandards_OnePager_2017.pdf
~Lynn Kleinmeyer, GWAEA Digital Learning Consultant