Will Richardson on New Tools

More from the Librarians-better-get-it-before-our-users-pass-us-by Dept.

Will Richardson writes three things schools should do to get on the social tools bandwagon and he speaks volumes to librarians as well – if we choose to listen.

1. Schools need to start blogging and inviting the community into conversations about what’s going on. We need to tell parents and students and community members that we will entertain and respond to any comment or idea they contribute provided they do so in a way that respects the civil exchange of ideas and the people involved.

Libraries should too.. AADL anyone?

2. We need to in-service teachers, hold courses and community nights for parents, and teach every student the acceptable uses of these new technologies, and we need to model their appropriate use. I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but half the problem is that kids are making the rules up as they go along.

To those associations, groups, federstions, divisions, etc that have created an in service day on these topics and brought in folks to talk about new tools – my hat is off to you. It saddens me to hear of the “what’s a wiki” response at BlogJunction. We need to learn and teach others: staff and users. Tell me, when was the last time you updated your Internet/Web class content. Are you still just teaching the same tired stuff you were doing 2 years ago? It’s time to add blogs, RSS and more. We are doing our users a disservice if we are not offering information about new technologies.

3. Stop blocking, start teaching.

Will urges us to let go of worrying that some stray bit of content might slip through in the classroom. Instead of being afraid of it — whatever it might be: a racy picture on flickr, for example — let’s instead focus on teaching kids to understand what it all is and what it all means.

Wow. Take a look at that post…it’s great!