Why WebTools for School Library Media Specialists?

Check this out!

To Meet the Demands of a New Age from Steven H on Vimeo.

Would you like to
Flickr Photo by Paul Goyette

  • move students beyond 'searching for information' to using it and creating it?
  • get better results from student projects and research?
  • provide more equitable access to digital tools and resources?
  • integrate 21st-century skills into the curriculum?
  • foster more collaboration with teachers to benefit student achievement?
  • create a website in seconds and post information, images, video, hyperlinks, and sound?
    Flickr Photo by Circulating
  • share information (and labor) with your colleagues online?
  • showcase library media center activities and promote your program online?
  • do more in less time make your budget go much further than you - or anyone else - thought you could?

If you said 'Yes' to any or all of these questions, Web 2.0 tools may benefit you and your school community. [1]

Why WebTools?

Why should library media specialists care about these Web 2.0 tools? See " Vision of K-12 Students Today" video.

What can we do with these tools? What can our students do? Here's an article by Steve Hargadon from his blog that gives 10 trends that prove why Web.2.0 is so important to education. We wouldn't argue with any of them! We wholeheartedly agree with Hargadon that you must "Learn About Web 2.0. It's not going to go away, and it is pretty amazing. I know it may seem overwhelming, but it's worth taking the time to jump in somewhere and start the process."

Hargadon also hosted an important webinar on June 18, 2009: "Is There a Place for Media Specialists Who Don't Know Social Media?" A panel of school library media specialists--Joyce Valenza, Buffy Hamilton, Cathy Nelson and Carolyn Foote--presented ideas about the importance of Web 2.0 and social media skills for school library media specialists. Here's the archived webinar. The webinar was in response to a Tweet by Karl FIsch:

“Can a media specialist do their job now if they are not also a social media specialist?

I’m not sure."
and an article by Darren Draper. My favorite response to the topic was from Cathy Jo Nelson on Twitter:

Joyce Valenza's makes the case for knowing and using Web 2.0 tools in this presentation:

This teacher librarian makes the case for using these tools with students in her fairytale:


We hope you'll learn more about web tools for you to use in this WebTools4U2Use wiki, and that you'll share your success stories and favorite library media applications of these tools. Because WebTools4U2Use is a wiki, you can add information to any page. We encourage you to do so! Add or edit anything that you think will help other library media specialists learn more about Web 2.0 tools and use them creatively and productively in their programs. We've also created pages for each category of tool so you can share other tools or show others how you and your colleagues are using the tools in your programs, or you can use the "discussion" link at the top of any page.

  1. ^ D. Baumbach, "Web 2.0 and You" (Knowledge Quest, March/April 2009)

    Download the full article and other related articles from AASL's **Knowledge Quest** on Web 2.0 tools via PBS Teachers! "Web 2.-and You" is about the development of this wiki and the survey behind it! Briefly, the article emphasizes that with Web 2.0 school library media specialists can:

    • Remain educational leaders; become educational innovators.
    • Stretch the library budget; leverage existing technology investments.
    • Support equitable access now; teach life skills for the future.
    • Introduce them easily; provide tools that are versatile and flexible.
    • Encourage creative expression; gain authentic audiences and useful feedback.
    • Design collaborative learning; promote social scholarship.
    • Support goals in national and state standards.
    • Teach information literacy; participate in networked public culture