Are you leading the way with technology in your school? Today’s librarians are more important than ever as they set the tone for the way students use technology. According to School Library Journal’s 2012 School Technology Survey, 87% of librarians are in charge of decisions about their school’s learning technology; more than half said assisting with the school’s technology has made them more important in their administrator’s eyes. This is great news for school librarians, and is just another way for them to demonstrate how imperative their role is in the school community. Librarians, with their excellent research skills and technological know-how, are perfect for the role of a technology specialist. But what else can librarians do to keep abreast of new education technology and understand how to use this technology in the classroom?
Tablets in the classroom has soared in popularity over the past few years. Interestingly, the survey found a whopping 16% increase in tablet use over a one year period. Another growing trend in the education sphere–1:1 programs–increased 6%, to 27% from last year’s 21%. These statistics show that librarians are finding ways to incorporate technology into everyday visits to the library and understanding their students’ learning needs.
So how can you keep up in the digital age? Social media provides opportunities to interact with other professionals, but continuing education is an important factor, too. Today’s MLS and continuing education programs are reflecting these changes in their curriculum. For example, Rutgers University MLIS program offers courses that address the changing technologies librarians should embrace. Taught by award-winning faculty, such as Lilia Pavlovsky, who recently received the 2012 Library Journal teaching award, courses are also available on the Web through the fully online MLIS degree program.