School Library Journal: Practicum Exposes Student to World of Tools

By Purnell T. Cropper | January 14, 2011

A Jan. 1 article on the School Library Journal website by Joyce Kasman Valenza features the world of knowledge that Arcadia University graduate student Nora Neumann put to use during her practicum last semester at Springfield Township High School.

The article on “Fully Loaded: Outfitting a teacher librarian for the 21st century. Here’s what it takes” describes the things a librarian needs to know that aren’t necessarily on the practicum “checklist,” but which are some of the essential tools that Neumann put to use—and watched her students use—during her Master of Education practicum toward teacher-librarian credential.

Emerging technologies are “critical for contemporary practice,” writes Valenza. “So I have an addendum to Nora’s list, apps I’d like to load onto every student teacher-librarian’s ‘screen,’ if he or she is to have true credibility in leading a school through an information and communication landscape that’s continually in flux. For starters, any teacher librarian worth his or her salt in 2011 must be on top of the latest strategies and tools for searching, not to mention organizing information and telling digital stories.”

Neumann tells of her own discoveries during her time at Springfield. “Over the past few weeks I’ve helped Joyce build pathfinders using tools like wikis, LibGuides, and Only2Clicks. But I was skeptical as to whether students would really use them. Then I saw how often they used our guides, whether it was ninth graders looking for lit crit for Catcher in the Rye or our U.S. history class seeking recommendations for nonfiction.”

Read more about the myriad tools that Valenza recommends and how Neumann helped seniors create a simulated Peace Corps experience using Animoto, Mixbook, and more.