Chico USD Librarians present to CSU Chico Students

8 Oct 2012 - When teachers identify student needs and then, are supported with sustained professional development to address those needs, students benefit. Chico Unified School District librarians, Liesl Jones, Gale Morgan and Linda Elliot along with former Chico librarian Michael Specchierla wondered if teaching media literacy skills to junior high and high school students would improve student learning. They sought and were awarded a Teachers’ PD INC professional development grant. The grant is providing funding for the librarians to attend technology, literacy and learning conferences. Back home the librarians are creating new ways for teachers and students to learn about media literacy and use new technology across subject areas.

In just the first year of their project the librarians have made numerous presentations to Chico teachers and students on using programs and services such as Symbaloo, Edmodo, Google Documents, WikiSpaces, PhotoStory, Prezi, Animoto and more. They have developed new ways for students to make book reports and evaluate web pages and online information. They have even presented to Dr. Cris Guenter’s educational technology graduate courses twice. 

To understand the impact of the changes that are happening, the librarians are collecting data and conducting action research. Even here they are using technology with services such as Google Surveys and Survey Monkey to get feedback from teacher and students that is helping them better understand technology use and how to improve the workshops they provide

As the Chico librarians move into year 2 of their project they are developing and promoting a transliterate environment where students and teachers make choices about the types of tools they use to acquire knowledge from a variety of information sources in a variety of formats, and they gain an understanding of the responsibilities, concerns, and rich possibilities of digital citizenship. In short, the librarians want educators and students to transition from learning to use tools to having a cohesive vision about the environment in which they are used.