Technology is constantly changing on a daily process. It is the responsibility of the teachers to prepare the children of the 21st Century for jobs that have not even been created yet. So, it is the responsibility of the schools both in the classroom and in the library to prepare and instruct the children on how to be global thinkers, presenters and doers. The American Association of School Librarians or the AASL have established the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. It is through these standards that provide a tool for school librarians as educational leaders to use the guide the direction of learning of students. Technology should be used to enhance teaching and learning in order to meet the needs of all students of a school.
According to the AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner (2007) state that are four areas that Learners use skills, resources and tools to:
1. Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge.
2. Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new
3. Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members or our democratic society.
4. Pursue personal and aesthetic growth.
Each of the four areas list target objectives that should be followed: Skills, Dispositions in Action, Responsibilities, and Self-Assessment Strategies. These target objectives identify ways on how teachers and librarians can utilize them in planning and instructing lessons. According to AASL (2007), the target objectives are the following:
1. Skills: Key abilities needed for understanding, learning, thinking, and mastering subjects.
2. Dispositions in Action: Ongoing beliefs and attitudes that guide thinking and intellectual behavior that can be measured through actions taken.
3. Responsibilities: Common behaviors used by independent learners in researching, investigating, and problem solving.
4. Self-Assessment Strategies: Reflections on one’s own learning to determine that they skills,
dispositions, and responsibilities are effective.
Technology in the schools and the role of the school librarian is crucial in the learning of the 21st Century student. The role of the school librarian is to instill the educational technology and to promote the effective use of technologies for education in their schools.
Today’s students are different from the students of yesterday, they are born in a world that surrounds them with the technology and they know how to use it. According to Smaldine, Lowther & Russell, 2012, they are known as Digital Students:
Digital students learn in classrooms where the technology is a seamless component of learning that
expands the educational environment beyond the classroom walls. Devices and digital connections
extend the existing capabilities of learners in many directions. (p.9)
The more technology resources that are offered to students then the more opportunities to learn are available for all students. Boles (2011) states that the most important use of technology in a classroom is the internet. Students are able to access the internet as needed and are able to access learning websites or other useful sites needed to complete assignments or projects. As a technology leader in the schools, it is the role of the librarian to support the use of technology in the school and help students learn how to be good digital citizens by modeling proper use and responsibility.
A school librarian needs to be a 21st Century Librarian since the library of today is constantly changing and moving forward. According to Smaldine, Lowther & Russell, 2012, they stated this about the 21st Century teachers:
The role of the teacher will always include the foundational responsibility of enabling students to learn. However, differences have been seen over time in how teachers accomplish this goal. The role of the 21st century teacher still is to improve student learning, but it requires the teacher to have broader
capabilities than content knowledge, the ability to use pedagogy in the classroom, and basic computer skills. They also need to be technologically competent and information-literate. (p. 284)
A 21st Century Librarian is one who has embraced technology as a tool and is ready to facilitate and inspire the learning for tomorrow by meeting the needs of all.
Abarbanel, E., Davis, S., Hand, D. & Wittmer, M. (2013, Summer). The new school library - the
human connection to digital resources and academic success. Independent School Magazine,
Retrieved from http://www.nais.org/Magazines-Newsletters/ISMagazines/Pages//The-New-
American Association of School Librarians, (2007). Standards for the 21st-Century LEARNER.
Boles, S. R. (2011). Using technology in the classroom. Science Scope , 34(9), 39-43. Retrieved from
http://testpg.wikispaces.com/file/view/Technology in Classroom.pdf
Smaldine, S. A., Lowther, D. L., & Russell , J. D. (2012). Instructional technology and media for
learning. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.