I am teaching a course at Georgia Southern University this fall that is a field experience in K-12 online learning. I have two school librarians who are taking the course, and they would like to be paired with mentors who are practicing librarians at virtual schools. If you or anyone you know might be interested, please have them contact me at kmkennedy-at-georgiasouthern-dot-edu
Thanks for your attention!
Where are the K12 teacher-librarians in the virtual schools?
Are there any other K12 librarians out there that are working in the K12 virtual schools. I am a librarian, but currently work as an online German teacher at the k12 level. We know that librarians make a difference in the learning in traditional schools – so why do we not have librarians in the K12 virtual schools? I understand that many students only take one or two courses and may have library support in their traditional setting, but we also have many full time online students at this level. Librarians traditionally collaborate with faculty to ensure the incorporation of information literacy (and even transliteracy) instruction within the classroom. If there are no librarians working with curriculum developers, are these skills being fully developed within the K12 online environment?
I was curious, as I know that this is not an area that has received a lot of interest in the past. In fact, when I look back through my own entries, I find very few relevant ones:
- Research Request: Virtual Schooling And School Libraries – a request from a teacher looking for school library media specialists who had used content management system to teach an online course in a K-12 setting (to the best of my knowledge these results have not been published anywhere)
- MASAL 2009: Library Services in an Online Learning Environment – the abstract and live blog transcript from a presentation one of my Master’s students did as a state conference here in Michigan
Beyond my own entries, I am aware of the following academic entries:
Lamb, A., & Callison, D. (2005). Key words in instruction. Online learning and virtual schools. School Library Media Activities Monthly, 21(9), 29-35.
Abstract: A brief narrative description of the journal article, document, or resource. Online learning and virtual schools allow students to take classes any time and anywhere. These emerging learning environments require school library media specialists to expand their thinking about their resources and services. Creation of a virtual library can provide access to remote materials that enhance the experience of online learners. This article defines the purposes and goals of online learning and virtual schools, and describes the information skills students and instructors must possess to be successful in this virtual learning environment. A list for further reading on this topic, as well as a list of related websites are also included.
Cavanaugh, T. & Cavanaugh, C. (2007). Virtual schools and the school library. In R. Carlsen, K. McFerrin, J. Price, R. Weber, & D. A. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2007 (pp. 251-256). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education.
Abstract: School libraries are an integral part of student achievement in the brick and mortar school and should play an equally important role in the online school. The school library should provide to students and faculty a collection of instructional, informational, and recreational resources for the school. For school accreditation, school libraries need to employ qualified personnel and have a collection that supports the school’s curriculum. Among the practices associated with quality distance education programs that support library services in virtual schools are: Student services; Appropriate learning materials; Student access to learning resources; Focus on content and students; and Program accreditation. Some school accrediting agencies have begun to accredit diploma-granting online high schools. For this study, librarians, teachers, administrators from online schools were surveyed and interviewed to gather information about their student library services and teacher/library collaboration.
There are probably others, these were just the ones I knew off the top of my head. I wonder what is missing though, as the learning resource center or school library was once the hub of a school – particularly rural schools. What are virtual schools and, in particular, cyber schools doing on this front? My guess and my unsystematic view of the landscape says not that much, but I could be wrong.