Today our district librarian (AR) introduced the SLL2.0 program to the rest of my fellow librarians to see if any of them might be interested in exploring it together as a group. I thought I'd say welcome to any of you that might be exploring my blog to see what it's all about. Look back over previous posts too. Leave me a comment on a post if you come by so I'll know you've been here!
Just about everything that you see on this blog along the right side is an element that I learned about through exploring a "Thing" in the SLL2.0 program. You can learn about all of these Things too--and do it a little more slowly during the school year than I did it this summer. AR said the district cohort would be doing the program in 9 months rather than 9 weeks--so the pace won't be so frantic. It is a self-paced program anyway, so the only pressure is what you put on yourself!
Why participate in SLL2.0?
Warlick states that, in a world where the future is not certain, the most valuable skill we can foster in our young people is that of lifelong learning. Today we may not be able to accurately predict what our students' future careers, environments or even social structures will be like, but if we have taught them to learn new things for themselves when they need to, then we have done our jobs!
The web 2.0 tools that are explored in the SLL2.0 course are the tools that our children use to connect--to information, to entertainment, to ideas, to each other. These are the tools that they are using today. I think I should at least know about them!
Additionally, these tools are showing up in numerous forms within traditional information channels too. Bloggers now get national coverage & audience at political events. They're quoted on the evening news! CNN's IReport seeks and uses viewers' videos of news events. Almost every news outlet on the Internet has a Comments function so their patrons can make their opinion known to the world. These are all web2.0 tools. They bring people together. They promote conversation and rethinking and debating.
Lastly, I must say that I found many of the tools, sites, applications and ideas explored in SLL2.0 just plain cool! Week 5 is just a blast--you'll learn about online photo sharing sites, creative sites like Scrapblog, art and design sites and lots more. Just fun stuff!
If you find that this program is just not your bag, that's ok too! I think you'll learn something useful if you give it a try though. It's a chance to practice/model that skill of lifelong learning.
Last Thought for Today...I Promise!
I believe that librarians and the school library really do help form the true heart of a school community. I also fear that our talents (librarians') will be marginalized as schools rush to do the popular, flashy thing with students where information technology is concerned. Librarians must be part of the conversation when it comes to accessing, evaluating and using information--it's what we know! We have a unique perspective that is vital to our students. We must remain at the heart of the school for tomorrow's kids.