Who knew guest blogging could get the blood rushing so much? When I got Michael’s e-mail about a week ago I was, well, surprised but pumped. I’ve been chilling out over at my own blog, The Corkboard for a few months doing some random musings, reflections, and the occasional techy DIY posts that were typically non-library related. I’m a senior undergraduate at Elmhurst College studying English and secondary education and I’m currently student teaching at a west suburban school outside of Chicago. I’ll be attending Dominican University in the fall for my masters in library and information science.
In three short weeks I graduate. Wow. Time has flown by, my life has changed in different ways, and, more than halfway through my student teaching semester, I’ve discovered that I don’t want to teach high schoolers. Bless their little child hearts, I love ‘em, but they’re not for me. I’ve found that my passion is in the technology and, specifically, the ever emerging possibilities of this “small” little phenomenon we all call Web 2.0.
Over the past year I’ve had the opportunity to spread the good word about RSS feeds, blogs, wikis, and their brethren to a broad range of individuals: my peers, grad students, and the occasional adult who will sit long enough to let me tell them how RSS feeds will absolutely change their life. So it was in these teaching experiences, classrooms and conferences, where I found that teaching tech seems to be my calling (and a bit of a focus over at my blog).
Through my professional metamorphosis I’ve realized that the public education system has me a bit perplexed in many ways that I won’t bore you with – except for one. Specifically speaking, I’m frustrated with public education’s views of technology; to them technology is simply a tool. A program. A box with wires. A gadget. Good luck Will Richardson and David Warlick, but you’re climbing an iced over Everest that needs national reformation.
You’ve heard it hear at TTW and in many other formats and venues that the way information is disseminated is shifting; and if information is shifting than no other discipline is affected more than that of your own – librarianship. The cool thing is – you get it. You understand that if information shifts, you must shift. And, if you don’t, your patrons will go elsewhere. Sadly, public education and the needs of its “patrons” has shifted, but public education has failed and will continue to because it fears change. My students arrive at my classroom door with iPod earbuds in and minds turned off because they know that the engagement they seek won’t be found in the classroom.
So I’ve come to join the happy throng of librarians who, I believe, know it’s time to adjust to the new digital world that we all live in. To you, the shifting librarians of the world, there are no castles in the sky, just plots of land on which you’ve begun to make dreams and theory into reality. And I salute you for this.