Successful edtech impacts more than just teachers and students

In this episode of Innovations in Education, hosted by Kevin Hogan:

  • 4 ways library media specialists lead digital transformations in districts
  • 6 back-to-school tips for virtual district leaders
  • Back office innovations: Devising a more dynamic workflow

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4 ways library media specialists lead digital transformations in districts

During the pandemic era of “emergency teaching,” school systems across my state and around the country made deep investments in edtech resources.  However, as we move into what some call the post-pandemic era, education stakeholders are searching for strategies to ensure that edtech investments continue to pay dividends.

In New Hampshire, library media specialists are playing a key role in driving edtech ROI. The state Department of Education has made excellent investments in edtech resources, and together with iLearn New Hampshire, has rolled out the Canvas LMS by Instructure, the Kaltura platform for media hosting, Zoom video conferencing, and Discovery Education’s digital K-12 platform to schools statewide.

Led by the NH Library Media Specialist Association, the state’s K-12 library professionals have engaged in dialogue around how they can ensure their school system can maximize the state’s edtech investment in their school system. Each participant approached this conversation assuming everyone else in the group had it all figured out or worked in a district that did. However, what we quickly discovered was that we were all grappling with the same issues. So, we worked to identify some common approaches to maximizing edtech ROI in our own district or school setting.…Read More

Going digital? 5 tips for a smooth start

As schools look to modernize teaching and personalize learning, technology is becoming an indispensable tool in the classroom. Though technology alone does not improve learning, it does offer a greater opportunity for students to improve skill proficiencies, test scores, spontaneous collaboration and productivity.

While it’s no longer a matter of if technology is right for the classroom, just which technology and how much, districts aren’t always sure about the best ways to get started on the digital journey.

Like any other important education initiative, going digital requires a hefty amount of planning and implementation. Districts that have been most successful in their digital transformations [Read: “12 districts honored for their innovative digital curriculum transition strategies.“] seem to share a commitment to a careful, multi-stage process involving the full range of stakeholders – administrators, teachers, students and parents.…Read More

This is how librarians can lead the digital transformation

Despite being pressed for time and resources, librarians can serve as change agents in their schools’ digital transformation

librarians-digitalRecently, as I was serving on a panel at the Texas Library Association’s 2015 Annual Conference, one attendee explained to us how she is trying to keep up with the new technologies coming into her school. How, she asked, could she implement them successfully while continuing to provide the same services for which her library is known?

It’s not an easy question to answer, but it’s one that the panelpart of Follett’s Project Connect, which is aimed at shedding light on how librarians can be a solution to the many challenges that arise from a digital transformationwas well-poised to answer. Based on my experiences as director of library media services for Nebraska’s Lincoln Public Schools, I was able to come up with two suggestions.

First, pace yourself and determine what is coming off your plate. We need to continually re-think why we are doing what we are doing. Yes, we feel we need superhuman powers because our jobs are getting busier, but in order to sustain ourselves, school librarians really do need to determine which pieces of our work can no longer be priorities, and then let them go.…Read More