Librarians’ roles are shifting to address the demand of 21st century skills, learning and resources. In addition to teaching students and teachers how to navigate information, libraries have now become a place where students go to create and produce products using Web 2.0 tools such as podcasts, videos, animoto, glogsters, wikis, blogs and more. Social media is collaborative, visual and creative; a new kind of online media that encompasses content and multimedia but adds interactivity. The Pew Internet and American Life Project has found that “64% of online teens ages 12-17 have participated in one or more among a wide range of content-creating activities on the Internet, up from 57% of online teens in a similar study at the end of 2004.” (Teens and Social Media, 2007. With the ever-lowering costs of computers, digital cameras and video cams (such as Flip cameras) along with the development of social media websites means that students, starting at elementary age can create and publish content on the Internet.
When students create their own media, they are active participants in their own learning; their interest and motivation increases because they are in control of their learning. When students are engaged, learning improves and products are created and made available to share, interact with, and students learn from each other. The projects created through these tools are easily edited, encouraging students to get feedback from others and revise their work so that his or her final, posted work is the best it can be.
At a time when school administrators are being forced to make tough decisions about budgets, awareness and advocacy of the school libraries’ potential impact on technology use and student achievement is essential. “Click, Create and Collaborate” is designed to place the School library media specialists (SLMS) in a leadership position – supporting teachers and students as they learn the new 21st century tools for information literacy. School library media specialists will learn how to integrate the best Web 2.0 tools into the curriculum to support the teaching and learning process by modeling effective use, developing strategies and collaborating with teachers and students.