Collaboration in the Time of COVID (Podcast)

Name: Christensen, Kaeley

Topic: CO, Collaborative Teaching, Collaboration, Co-Teaching

APA Citation: Hermon, Amy, E. P. (2018-present). School Librarians United [Audio podcast].

Summary: This podcast, available from the link above, or in apple podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts, offers a current insight on how librarians can genuinely support classroom learning in a virtual setting. From being more available to attend staff meetings, PLCs with grade levels, and providing forward-thinking assistance, collaboration has never been easier or more appreciated.

Evaluation: This is a podcast I have been listening to for several months now, and I have yet to be disappointed. Along with the audio of this episode, great effort has been made to provide pdf links, slide decks, and applicable examples of how the guest speaker was able and successful at her collaboration with teachers in her multiple school sites simultaneously. There are several “gems”

This podcast has provided incredibly useful resources for me, as a new librarian, as someone relatively new to digital resources, virtual learning spaces, and all things library-related. I encourage you to follow this podcast, as well as School Librarians United on twitter. This is a community you will be grateful to join.

Learning Labs for Virtual Spaces

Name: Jacqueline Schwier

Topic: TE, Collaboration

APA Citation: Valdivia, C. and Subramaniam, M. (2014). Connected learning in the public library: an evaluative framework for developing virtual learning spaces for youth. Public Library Quarterly, 33, 163 – 185. doi: 10.1080/01616846.2014.910727

Summary: This article goes over virtual spaces in learning labs in the public library setting. It goes over how to create and make virtual spaces accessible to all youth to educate them on information literacy while gaining skills to use social media and online resources responsibly.

Evaluation: Libraries in schools can gain knowledge of how to incorporate virtual spaces for their students as our school system had to move to virtual learning earlier this year due to the pandemic. Virtual spaces can create new opportunities for students to learn, discover, and showcase their knowledge while utilizing new technologies such as Google Site, Prezi, and other online platforms. Classroom teachers and teacher librarians can also gain opportunities to collaborate with one another as they create new systems for students to learn and gain new skills.

COVID-19, the digital divide, distance learning: Strategies and policies to avert an education crisis

Name: Dunbar, Margaret

Main Topic: ET

APA Citation: Levine, L. (2020). COVID-19, the digital divide, distance learning: Strategies and policies to avert an education crisis. UCR SPP Working Paper Series. Retrieved from

Summary: In “COVID-19, the Digital Divide, Distance Learning: Strategies and Policies to Avert an Education Crisis,” Lloyd Levine, the Senior Policy Fellow at the UC Riverside School of Public Policy, lays out in stark terms the digital disparities that distance learning, forced by the pandemic, has revealed amongst public school students of all ages. Lloyd points out how students with more access to “technological sufficiency” are more likely to have access to multiple kinds of media and educational resources than less advantaged students, and that the many-faceted technological demands of distance learning will further exacerbate the divide between the haves and the have nots. This gulf can be further widened if schools themselves are not technologically prepared to help their students bridge the technology gap. Therefore Lloyd has offered a short list of five items that schools can immediately improve to prevent further disruption to education for disadvantaged students should schools have to continue or return to entirely online environments: 1) Household Technology Access, 2) Content Production and Delivery, 3) Household Non-technology Educational Capabilities, 4) Summer Educational Interventions, 5) Instructional Materials Design and Delivery.

Evaluation: While this article is relatively short, and seems to contain a lot of information which those in education might find obvious given we are now 7 months into the COVID-19 pandemic and distance learning, Levine nevertheless offers a concise and direct evaluation of the digital divide that could be a good reference for educators hoping to alleviate these problems in their own digital learning environments. There is also a great deal of literature cited by Levine dating from before the pandemic, which helps to support his argument in support of schools helping households to support the K-12 students in their lives regardless of economic status. I also appreciated how Levine is adamant in his assertion that this debacle can act as an opportunity to address these problems in a way that might not have been possible in “normal” times. This article could be useful to seasoned educators as well as novices learning to navigate this unprecedented situation.

Collaboration and the Value of Assessments

Name: Nicdao, Jocelyn

Topic: CO

Citation: Moreillon, J. (2019). Co-planning and co-implementing assessment and evaluation strategies for inquiry learning. Knowledge Quest, 47(3), 40-47. Retrieved from

Summary: Moreillon discusses the importance of school librarians to work in “comprehensive collaboration” with classroom teachers and/or learning specialists in order to be valuable in the academic partnership. In such collaborative efforts, both school librarians and classroom teachers and/or learning specialists actively work together in the planning, implementation, assessment, and evaluation of a unit. More specifically, Moreillon emphasizes the value and use of assessments especially from both the school librarian and classroom teacher and/or learning specialist. Assessments coming from the collaboration of two or more adults allow for reliability and for different perspectives in practice and in the learning process. Assessments guide in the co-planning of learning throughout the unit, focused on the “what?” and the “how?” students learn in the process and the quality of that learning. Further, assessments allow for the co-implementation of further academic supports such as small groups or one-on-one for students who may struggle or the co-implementation of lessons to reteach with examples or to  re-frame for the whole class. Moreover, assessments inform the evaluation of the unit itself, with both the school librarian and classroom teacher and/or learning specialists seeing its successes and needs for improvement and thereby, planning for the next unit.

Evaluation: I find that Moreillon is basically encouraging school librarians to be a valuable part of the collaboration process, using assessments as tools to collaborate successfully with the classroom teacher and/or learning specialist in the planning, implementation, assessment, and evaluation of a co-taught unit. With that, she includes in this article examples of forms that can be used in the collaboration process. As she points out the many benefits and examples of co-assessments from both librarian and classroom teacher and/or learning specialist, I realize how much rich input school librarians can provide in co-teaching a unit and thus, become a prolific part of the academic partnership.

Crowdfunding Online: Petitioning for a Better Future

Arevalo, Deisy

Topic: Technology

Bibliographic Citation:   Classroom Fundraising Tips. (n.d.). Retrieved September 2019, from

Summary:  Here are some tips and tricks to fundraising through GoFundMe, a top fundraising platform teachers primarily use to raise funds in order to pay for fieldtrips or fund other school activities.

Evaluation/Opinion:  I think this a great tool school librarians can use in order to bridge the gap between digital divide, by raising funds to buy new technology and resources to help students engage in learning.

Learning Environments

Guyer, Wendy

Topic: Collaboration (CO)

Bibliographic Citation:
Ritchhart, R. (2015). Environment: Using space to support learning and thinking. In Ritchhart, R., Creating cultures of thinking : The 8 forces we must master to truly transform our schools (pp. 227-260). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

While this book discusses transformational changes that schools can make in order to make thinking visible, this chapter (Chapter 9) specifically focuses on the school environment and how the spaces within a school can support learning and thinking through collaboration.

The chapter is a quick read with anecdotal stories. It shows many types of learning spaces and discusses the common threads within these spaces to promote collaboration and learning.

A Vision of What Collaboration Looks Like

Smith, Chloe


D’Orio, W. (2019). Powerful partnerships. School Library Journal 65(1), 24–27. Retrieved from:

Summary: This article from School Library Journal discusses collaboration strategies for teacher librarians/media specialists and classroom teachers. It acknowledges the challenges involved, particularly around scheduling and time commitments, but also emphasizes the value of collaboration. Librarians can build strong relationships with their colleagues and raise the library’s profile within the school and–even more importantly–students can benefit from the insights and creativity of multiple staff members working together. The article points out that library staff need to actively pursue these partnerships, reaching out to classroom teachers, making sure that projects are aligned with learning goals, and following through so that projects see completion.

Beyond these tips, the article spends most of its length discussing successful examples of long-term, collaborative learning projects in different school settings. Teacher librarians and classroom teachers worked together to create units for 7th graders to explore the the complex interrelations of systems in the human body or to support kindergartners working together to create a machine that can paint. These and other examples show that collaborations in the library setting enabled student inquiry and design thinking. These learning projects pushed students to explore, take ownership of their work, and use tech solutions to create new things.

Evaluation: I really appreciated the specific examples in this article. The strategies and tips for librarians and teachers weren’t anything I hadn’t seen addressed in more detail in other sources, but the descriptions of successful projects were really inspiring. It showed the breadth of possible successful projects that collaboration can make possible.

Collaboration and Co-teaching – Nicole Walker

Smith, N. (2017, August 16). Balancing Teacher Autonomy and Collaboration. Retrieved from

Summary: This relatively recent article published by Smith is all about how to balance co-teaching and collaboration in a teaching environment with teacher autonomy. It attempts to answer the question: how can we collaborate while also allowing teachers time to plan and reflect for themselves? It discusses the reasons why allowing teachers to work alone occasionally is also incredibly important, and is just as important as collaborating with other teachers and school staff members, such as librarians. It also provides feedback for administrators and those running professional learning communities on how to get the most effective collaboration among teachers without creating burn-out or diminishing their autonomy in their classrooms.

Evaluation: While a highly opinionated article, this article really resonated in the way it described reflection and independence as integral parts to the learning process. It discusses in a candid way how finding a balance between expertise and working together can be difficult, but it also provides ways to manifest healthy, collaborative relationships in schools for both teachers, staff, and administrators, and outlines the clear benefits for all involved – from teachers to students. It also links other articles that are relevant on the topic, making it an information rich piece of literature that can be a very valuable resource for anyone who is a teacher or is working and collaborating regularly with teachers. Overall, I found it very helpful for my own project and learning, and felt that despite its apparent biases, it was valuable and worthy of being shared.

The Impact of Collaborating

Ford, Jennifer


McNee, D., & Radmer, E. (2017). Librarians and Learning: The Impact of Collaboration. Retrieved from

Summary: This article highlights the advantages of working with the librarian as co-teacher. A teacher librarian outlines her experience of working with a classroom teacher to co-teach a unit in a middle school. She discusses the challenges presented, as well as the benefits to both teachers and students. The article also highlights some strategies to use when beginning a co-teacher partnership.

Evaluation: I found this article to be very useful, as I will be embarking upon my first teacher librarian position this fall in my elementary school. I have been a classroom teacher there for the past five years, and a teacher in other schools five years before that. I believe this experience has really helped me to understand the classroom teacher’s perspective well, but this article was very helpful in viewing the position of the teacher librarian.

Teachers’ Time: Collaborating for Teaching, Learning, and Leading

Fox, Marie


SCOPE Study–Teachers’ Time: Collaborating for Teaching, Learning, and Leading. (2018, May 02). Retrieved from

Summary: Description of study and video interview with administration and teachers at various public schools across the country which experienced successes as a result of their policies and procedures for teacher collaboration time. These schools exhibited shared values for teachers’ time, structured it and made sure it was used for collaboration with fellow teachers/admins/staff teams. This structure and commitment indicated it was integral to those members learning from one another, sharing best practices and gaining a fuller picture of their students across the school. Having this shared time structured into a master schedule and making sure it was included/respected assured it was truly a part of the culture of the school – collaboration was built in because its importance was recognized.

Evaluation: Wonderful to hear from professionals on the ground in a variety of public schools across the country finding success when their administration and school culture truly values their collaborative work and the true value of their time. Offers some great aspirational practices for school culture and optimal support for students.