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What Teachers Need to Know to Support Information and Technology Literacy

Apr 26, 2013

 by Library Staff
 Category: (04) April 2013 | Tag:
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Think about what information students need to be technologically literate, and then consider what teachers need to know to support these efforts

By designing your Library Media Center Web site to include teacher-specific help on Information and Technology Literacy, you can entice administrators and teachers to visit the site often and guide their thinking in positive ways that enhance library advocacy initiatives. List on your library Web site new technologies that other educators are using, even if your district does not yet support them. Make the site as interactive as possible, including tutorials, pathfinders, surveys, and e-mail response forms, to engage teachers and administrators more fully.

There are countless ways for teachers to support Information and Technology Literacy in classrooms. Teachers can:

  • Encourage students to make PowerPoint presentations to share what they have learned. Sharing gained knowledge with one's community makes the learning more meaningful, and learning to use the technology will come about in the process.
  • Allow students to use a scanner to import information or pictures into their word processing documents or other software programs instead of always using clip art.
  • Know the ins and outs of word processing and desktop publishing programs to help students who are writing reports or creating other publications. Students want to know how to deliver their information in the format they envision and teachers can help them reach that point.
  • Teach students the proper citation of materials found online. Train them to recognize copyright restrictions and read the legal notices connected with Web resources. They will learn academic integrity as they learn the responsible use of technology.
  • Help students who want to study courses not offered by your school look into distance learning possibilities. Use technology to bring the world to them.
  • Find Webinars, Webcasts, and Podcasts on subjects that fit with the curriculum. Students will integrate technology into their learning as they use these resources. Let students make their own Podcasts or videocasts to share what they have learned. Schools must integrate emerging technologies or they will find increasingly larger gaps in the quality and quantity of learning that takes place.
  • Invite the school library media specialist to attend team or department planning meetings to discuss Information and Technology Literacy. Chat about the latest technology and ways to integrate it into lessons. Both teacher and librarian can assist students using the new technology to obtain the desired end product.
  • Make WebQuests to engage students in higher order thinking skills. Visit Bernie Dodge's The WebQuest Page for an introduction, templates, and access to other educators' WebQuests. Teachers unfamiliar with Web design and file uploading may visit Dodge's new portal to the QuestGarden, which allows a 30-day free trial.
  • Enlighten students about Wikis and how they operate. Encourage discussion about authoritative sites and the place of Wikis in educational settings. Help students find Wikis to which they may contribute knowledge.
  • Make technology integration student-centered by presenting technology as a means to achieve a goal. The interactivity of searching the Internet to explore questions, using WebQuests for guided interaction, utilizing PowerPoint games to add fun to learning, and having students make Web pages, Podcasts, and videocasts to share knowledge are just a few of the ways to encourage constructivist and constructionist learning while integrating technology into lessons.
  • At middle school grade levels, download and present to students the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) Online Technology Assessments, a collaborative effort of the International Society for Technology in Education and Microsoft Corporation. The assessments are designed to gauge student readiness to meet eighth grade technology literacy standards.

Many teachers will know how to use the technologies for the technology integration listed above or will learn how to use them in the process of helping students. It is not necessary for the teacher to be an expert in using a technology before introducing it to students. Constructivist learning will take place as students and teachers take the knowledge they have and build upon it to create an end product, integrating the use of the technology along the way.

After listing what you, the library media specialist, consider important points for classroom teachers to know to support Information and Technology Literacy, make plans to create Web resources to help teachers. The library's Web site is the ideal place to put technology tutorials and pathfinders, such as the ones found on the Chambersburg Area Middle School (CAMS) East Library's Tutorials and Pathfinders page, which will help guide teachers who feel a little uncertain about the use of some technologies. It is also a place where you can list emerging technologies, such as on the CAMS East Library's Tutorials: Technology Tools page, so teachers will be aware of them and consider incorporating them into lessons. Include a page with technology “how to's” and lesson plans, such as on the CAMS East Library's WebQuests and Other Technology Integration Lesson Plans page, so teachers know what technology skills you are prepared to teach with them. Then spread the word -- by e-mail, closed-circuit TV announcements, signs, or word of mouth -- indicating where teachers and administrators should look on the Library Media Center Web site to find the information. Make technology integration a part of your school by modeling it yourself, and encourage teachers to do the same. You and classroom teachers do not have to be experts in using a new technology. You will learn as you work toward your end product. If you are not comfortable with Web design, take a course in it or ask a more experienced colleague to help you. Sally Brewer and Peggy Milan, in their article “SLJ's Technology Survey 2006” (School Library Journal, June 2006) report that 65% of the respondents to their survey indicated the library where they work has its own Web site. If you are one of the remaining 35% that does not have a Web site to enhance your library services, consider designing one, and plan to include Information and Technology Literacy information on it. Spread the word, and teachers will respond!

by Joanne K. Hammond


Brewer, S., & Milam, P. (2006). SLJ's Technology Survey 2006. School Library Journal, 52(6), 46-50. [Online]. Available from the MasterFILE Premier database.

Dodge, Bernie. The WebQuest Page. [Online]. Available:

Grant, M. (2002). Getting a grip on project-based learning: Theory, cases, and recommendations. Meridian : Middle School Computer Technology Journal, 5 (1) [Online]. Available:

March, T. (1998). Why WebQuests? An introduction. [Online]. Available:

"NETS Online Technology Assessment Details." (2006) ISTE Educator Resources. International Society for Technology in Education. [Online]. Available:

Rieber, L. P. (2004). Homemade PowerPoint games: A constructionist alternative to WebQuests.
[Online.] Available:

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