Tech Leaders

Koppenhaver, Chelsie

Topic: Technology

Summary: In this article, School Library Journal highlights the efforts of 6 library professionals who are using technology in innovative ways in their schools. These librarians are working with kids using technology like podcasts, 3-D printers, video cameras and more, but most importantly, they recognize that the tech itself is secondary to how students use it, emphasizing creation, problem-solving, communication, and collaboration in their schools.

Evaluation: While it is a short article, I believe it is important for us as library students to see that there are librarians out there who are putting the ideas we are studying into practice in innovative and effective ways. Each of the librarians highlighted here also shows a dedication to putting their students’s voices, opinions, and learning first in their library’s design and instruction.

Citation: Snelling, J. (2019, May 3). Tech leaders: Amplifying reading and research. School Library Journal. Retrieved from


Understanding Genius Hour

Smith, Chloe


Krebs, D. & Zvi G. (2016). The genius hour guidebook. New York: Routeledge.

Summary: This book is focused on Genius Hour, a program in which a teacher sets aside a set amount of time each week for students to pursue independent and self-directed projects. It is by two teachers, one an elementary school teacher in private and public settings and one a faculty member in a teacher training program, who met online and began collaborating and sharing resources as part of their Personal Learning Networks (PLN). It is very much a product of an online community, with lots of pointers for readers to check out resources like TED talks and to share experiences with each other via Twitter and other social media platforms. In essence, the book does just what is says on the cover–it explains what Genius Hour is, and it gives pointers and suggestions for how an educator can make it work in their classrooms. It includes guidelines for introducing the concept, scaffolding the development of students’ independent inquiry, and helping them reflect and self-assess. It also includes appendixes with FAQs, more resources and lesson plans, and a reading list.

Evaluation: I really liked the practical and detailed scaffolding that this book provided. I could definitely see depending on it if I was rolling out Genius Hour in my own classroom or library space. I wonder, however, if a print book was the best format for this document–there are so many online works cited that it seems like this would have worked better as a website other format where the references could be linked.

Here’s Why Teachers Adopt New Tech — And Why They Don’t

Gilpin, Julianna


Carlson, T. Here’s why teachers adopt new tech — and why they don’t. (2019, May 29). EdSurge Inc. Retrieved from

In this article, Teagan Carlson recounts her struggle to implement every new piece of technology presented to her during 14 years of teaching (not piece by piece, but rather a reflection on the experience). She explains that there are several reasons teachers choose to ignore new technology, including concerns about what they will get back from this technology, what it will cost them, and how seamlessly it will be implemented in the classroom.

Evaluation: This is a primary account from a teacher and so it is not considered a scholarly article, nor is it based on research. However, based on my experience as a teacher, it rings true and is important to be aware of as media specialists at our schools.

Digitally Inspired Thinking: Can social media lead to deep learning in higher education?

Macchio, Erica


Samuels-Peretz, D., Dvorkin Camiel, L., Teeley, K., and Banerjee, G. (2017). Digitally inspired thinking: can social media lead to deep learning in higher education? College Teaching, 65:1, 32-39.

Social media allows us to learn about many topics.  While perusing all these different topics on the many social media forums we get the yearning to learn more about items of interest.  Social media can lead to higher learning because it forces us to explore more about the little tidbits of information we come across.

Evaluation: I found this article useful because it made me think about how social media has become a big part of the way we learn.


How AR and VR Can Make Students Laugh and Cry Out Loud – and Embed Them in Their Learning

Michelle Furtado


McMahon, W. (2018). How AR and VR Can Make Students Laugh and Cry Out Loud-and Embed Them in Their Learning. EdSurge, 28.

This article discusses a teacher’s experience using Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) hardware and software to teach English lessons in a College class. The teacher purchased forty AR headsets and used them to create lessons in which students could experience literature in innovative ways. As an example, for a study of poetry and lyrics he had them visit a U2 site which demonstrated interaction with a worldwide community in song creation and performance. Students were then asked to share their experiences and reflect on them. Students reported a higher level of emotional engagement in their learning than they had without the technology. After the lessons, the students were challenged to create products that would be useful using the software and hardware. They had to write up their proposals and present them to a panel of venture capitalists.

The article is a useful one, given the movement toward AR and VR technology. Students are already interacting with the world through technology with such games as Minecraft and Fortnite. This article discusses the value of incorporating immersive technology into teaching. The problematic portion is, of course, the current cost of such technology. While this may not be a viable option today in most k-12 public schools, the cost will probably come down in the years to come. AR and VR will no doubt allow more lessons to achieve the Redefinition level of SAMR technology integration.

Technology Changing the Library

Hubert, Jacquelyn


Meredith, T.R. (2015). Using Augmented Reality Tools to Enhance Children’s Library Services. Technology, Knowledge and Learning, 20(1), 71-77. Retrieved May 13, 2018 from

“The potential uses of augmented reality (AR) as a supportive tool provides a promising system for browsing and locating information that lets a user navigate within both “reality” and the digital world, which is a natural fit for libraries of today. Mapping, way finding, reader’s advisory resources such as book trailers, links to additional digital content not visible in the physical library space—all of these are possible using augmented reality combined with mobile devices.” (Meredith 2015)

Library instruction will soon be available digitally, providing learners an introduction to library use, and quickly transitioning them to independent library users. Advanced technology may also improve library book browsing experience especially for young students. They may access books by using “interior positioning systems that allow mobile devices with wifi enabled to triangulate positions within a building using wireless local area networks to navigate the stacks.” Cool stuff.


Hubert, Jacquelyn

Topic CO

Winthrop, R., McGivney, E. and Barton, A. (2017). Can we leapfrog? The potential of education innovations to rapidly accelerate progress. Brookings Institution. Retrieved from

This article explores the path to help children, in all countries, “acquire a breadth of skills including not just literacy and numeracy but also competencies such as creative problem-solving, communication, and flexibility.” Third world countries need to bypass building whole educational systems from nothing and avoiding the infrastructure and institution-building that other countries had to go through. Building off of previous research,  the Leapfrog Initiatives at the University of Minnesota and in innovation theory, has collected and analyzed more than 800 education innovations. This resource offers possibilities to provide opportunities for all.

This research is pulling together technologies from a wide range of sources that may allow marginalized children to leapfrog into valuable skills sets, despite their lack of an actual school.