|We’re in the middle of an information
revolution and your school system
wants to remove all the information
specialists? What an odd choice.
I’m not a librarian, but I’m married to an awesome one. Last time we flew out for a Treasure Mountain conference in BC my son and I went for a long ride up the empty coast of Vancouver Island while the librarians gathered, but this time I was in the room as the paper Alanna and I co-authored was featured in the event.
Treasure Mountain attracts librarians who are working to put school library learning commons squarely in the role of digital literacy development. This event was full of energetic thinkers who were digitally literate and well aware of the ongoing digital skills crisis happening across Canada.
Our presentation was about how using industry standard project management tools and organizational strategies not only prepares students for life after graduation, but also provides them with the organizational tools they need to be both resilient and successful, even when our school systems stagger under the weight of multiple pandemic shut-downs.
Being able select the right tools and move between digital and real-world information allows students to attend class, stay organized and continue to author their own student-led projects no matter how much chaos surrounds their learning. Digital skills development and knowledge of a swiss-army knife of readily available digital tools could make our education systems pandemic-proof, if only we’d do it.
We shared examples of successes that demonstrated equity and inclusion as well as providing other examples of student-centred empowerment in learning through effective project management. The tool we used was Trello, based on the academic research Alanna was doing at Royal Roads University in the spring of 2020 when things fell apart. The project management theory her post-graduate class was studying was applied directly in my game-development class, saving both student-led projects from almost certain disaster; it’s a great example of a cross-pollination of ideas and shows how having a masters-TL in the room can help even a veteran teacher find effective learning tools.
|Another example of the many cracks in
Canada’s siloed education approach.
The morning keynote by Matthew Johnston, the educational director of MediaSmarts, an organization dedicated to improving media literacy in our students, focused on explaining how things had changed since pre-internet broadcast media. The multi-directional web of media we now find ourselves in implicitly demands digital fluency, yet we still fail to engage these digital literacies by systemically teaching them.
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