Tapscott recommends four principles for an Open World. How can these be applied to school libraries and librarians?
Collaboration: Teacher Librarians are in a great position to collaborate with fellow staff. They can plan units of work together and TL’s can get some feedback on how they can best support and reinforce the classroom learning. TL’s can also collaborate with the students in terms of responding to their reading interests and learning needs. Finally, they can collaborate with IT and the School Executive to pursue the school’s learning, reading and technology priorities.
Transparency – The school community needs to be open and transparent about what each member of the team is doing. This allows teaching staff to build on prior teaching and learning. It also stops any confusion about who is entitled to use selected resources. Furthermore, this transparency stops any repetition whilst allowing supporting teachers such as Teacher Librarians and IT staff to be supportive of the topics currently being taught.
Sharing – traditionally there has been a great sense of secrecy and ownership about resources, particularly between the private and public systems, but also between schools and even staff at the same school at times. Openly sharing with others helps them to feel more generous and makes them more inclined to share. It benefits students by giving them access to a range of great teaching ideas and practices and it also lessens the burden on individual teachers as they can utilize a range of ideas suggested by others rather than having to ‘reinvent the wheel’ each time, on their own. Prac-teachers also benefit tremendously by open access to shared resources, as it saves them a lot of stress.
Empowerment – School libraries and TL’s can empower others in their sphere. They can empower students by giving them the skills and confidence to research and report. They can empower colleagues by providing them with excellent resources and support. They can empower parents by ensuring they have access to information they need. Different situations may need different empowering techniques which would require situational leadership.
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