#futurereadylibs: Which Wedge Gives You the Edge?

Shannon McClintock Miller, Teacher Librarian and blogger at The Library Voice, along with Mark Ray, Director of Innovation and Library Services at Vancouver (WA) Public Schools presented at the second round of Concurrent Sessions at #AASL17.


Shannon and Mark are Future Ready Schools Librarian Advisers. Their session centered around the questions: How does the Future Ready Framework overlap with the new AASL National Standards? and What can you differently in your library to become future ready/prepare to implement this framework?

“Future Ready Librarians is an expansion of the Future Ready initiative aimed at raising awareness among district and school leaders about the valuable role librarians can play in supporting the Future Ready goals of their school and district.” –Future Ready Librarians

The inputs for the Future Ready Library Framework includes: AASL StFuture Ready Wedgesandards, ISTE Standards, and a variety of school and district Future Ready plans. In a brainstorming session to prepare the Future Ready Library Frameworks, school superintendents and school librarians were more in agreement than disagreement about where we needed to go in a Future Ready Librarian/Library Program. The Future Ready Framework gears were reworked into the Future Ready Library Framework Wedges. At end of each wedge are beginning ideas of what school librarians can do to get started in the framework.

Shannon and Mark focused the audience toward Building Instructional Partnerships and Empowering Students as Creators.


Building Instructional Partnerships

  • Anything you can do to collaborate with teachers is key. Email them, chat in the hallway. Do whatever you can to build instructional partnerships. Make those Instructional Partnerships an important and lasting element for your library program and everything you’re doing in your building.
  • Shannon described an Instructional Partnership in which she turned a basic research project into a fantastic partnership. She was able to connect with an author (Seymour Simon) for a Skype visit to spark Kindergartners’ interest in their research. They were able to formulate questions and speak directly with an expert in the field. That one project resulted in multiple teachers seeing the amazing project and wanting to connect.
  • Think about this: do my instructional partners need to just be in my building? No! They can be other teachers, professionals, principals, different districts. Classes can be connected and combined virtually. Co-teach students via the web. Students are able to get great content and instruction from across the globe.

audience talk timeShannon Miller

Empowers Students as Creators

  • Empowering Students as Creators requires the teacher to facilitate students’ thoughts toward working as creators. To create this atmosphere and thought process, Mark gave teachers were given Legos, Makey-Makey kits, and hummingbird kits and allowed them to “play”. The process began by teaching the teachers to create. In turn, teachers empower the students to create.
  • Identify your connections with what is already happening in your district. Identify how you can bring the framework more into focus. What more do you need to know? Who will you partner with? What are your first steps?
  • What does a future ready learner look like? Really at the center of the framework is personalized student learning. If we truly look at what a learner looks like, we are able to focus more on what we can do.

Throughout the session, learners were encouraged to turn and talk with their neighbors about how the Future Ready Framework overlaps with the AASL Standards as a verbal crosswalk. In closing with the session, learners shared some of their experiences that already fall into the #futurereadylib Framework.

Audience member input: In a Colorado middle school 6-8 building, a Maker Space has been in place for few years. It was not until this year has it been accepted by teachers. The ability to collaborate with teachers for lessons was utilized and active, but not really the space. Now she is working with the students to give more voice and choice. To empower students as creators, she will say: ‘here is your project, what can you do to show that you are meeting this standards?’ In an effort to build instructional she has connected with the shop teacher by bringing him in to show off 3-D printing. He is now teaching kids the program to design 3-D models which has resulted with the math teacher wanting to connect integrate a lesson on 3-D models for tiny houses. And it all began with student and teacher interest.


Author: Ashley Cooksey

Library Media Specialist in Arkansas. Self-proclaimed geek. Lover of nature and music. Always learning.

Categories: AASL National Conference, Community, Community/Teacher Collaboration, Makerspaces/Learning Commons, Student Engagement/ Teaching Models

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