Learning happens in many different contexts and environments: Home, work, school. Certainly school and academic libraries seem to fit naturally with ideas about where classrooms “live.” Now, we can’t boil this article down to a how-to, since certainly school libraries (public and academic) will require different needs, have different resources, and will involve the library and library staff in different ways.
However, we can start to evaluate how libraries can best support the needs of staff and students engaged with e-learning methodologies in a broad and critical way.
Public - school and academic - libraries can support e-learning approaches by:
- Developing meaningful digital literacy programs.
- Digital literacy is the ability to effectively use and communicate information with digital technologies. This means understanding how digital technologies work, using it to find and evaluate information, create something new, and communicate clearly. From understanding how to use the messaging app on your phone to coding a messaging app for a phone, digital literacy covers a wide range of topics related to information and communication technologies. Libraries are actively tailoring programs to meet these needs at all ages and literacy levels.
- Becoming involved and embedded in e-learning programs and classrooms.
- Being embedded and involved can be achieved by adopting blended learning approaches by teaching both face-to-face sessions and following up with announcements to students through our learning management system (LMS), working closely with classes on specific assignments delivered online or digitally to provide meaningful reference services, or participating in learning technology/e-learning committees to better understand trends at your school .
- Actively looking to support e-learning initiatives within our schools in relevant ways.
- Reaching out to classes and teachers who are delivering content online and seeking ways to support these initiatives, such as increasing library content through the LMS or online forum for that assignment
- by having standard “plug-ins” such as a link to our provincial virtual chat program in individual courses for academic libraries