librarian, I loved being able to engage
learners with the right tools for
inquiry, workflow, creativity, communication, and participation. But more
than that I wanted them to develop the
chops to independently and creatively
choose and use available digital tools.
As so many of us are discovering,
folks need help understanding their
choices—they need to see quality
dashboards that organize the new
options into genres. They need to consider colors available for blending on
their digital palettes. We want to model for students and for
parents and teachers what it means to manage your information
life—for accessing content, yes, but also for facilitating creative, effective, ethical workflow.
That’s where the practice of digital or social media curation
comes in; that’s the importance of app smashing, or understanding that the power of these new tools used in concert is far
greater than the use of one individual tool. In the same way so
many of us find it anathema to tell students go to page 351 in
your text and answer the even-numbered questions, I’d find it
ridiculous to suggest students open Voicethread and respond
to a prompt in a prescribed way. I’d want students working
independently or collaboratively to begin to make those
choices themselves, to understand that digital tools have both
affordances and constraints, and to understand the buckets or
categories or genres of tools, just as I want them to understand
the realms of their information choices.
So we begin to curate or build collections of digital tools and
resources for our users to select to meet their different needs.
Those needs might be different for different learners—consider
all of the apps that now support autistic and dyslexic learners—
MODERATED BY SHANNON MAUGHAN