Do we need more Ed Tech Librarians?

In preparation for the nano-presentation I may or may not end up delivering on Friday at TMBETT, I’ve been thinking about some of the things I’ve experienced in the last few months in my role as a Digital Leader on the Hwb project. In particular, about the kind of things that can make the difference between a school that is starting to make the most of the opportunities offered technology, and those where noting much seems to happen, perhaps beyond one or two classroom walls.

Versions of this bell curve graph have been around for a while, and while I think the details and the shape (and perhaps even the terminology) are up for discussion, I’m going to use it as a rough approximation of the situation of technology adoption within and between schools.

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

While pondering this the other day, I also came upon this quote which I notice every few months

“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” – Neil Gaiman

(I went to Uni to be a librarian, only to end up a teacher a few years later. That’s another story, but may account for why I tend to notice references to librarians in things!)

It struck me that much of the front of the curve is relatively well catered for in terms of ideas, discussions and support through digital means, not least from the community of educators that have developed on Twitter in the last few years. Yet those further to the right are often not engaged with this for a myriad of reasons, not least that they are not interested in (or actively put off by) the ‘try it out, put it down, move on’ approach that can typify early-adopters use of technology.

I’m left wondering therefore if we shouldn’t be looking to redefine some of those at the front of the curve as edtech librarians (although I feel a better name is needed- suggestions below please). People who talk to other teachers about what they want (something we often seem to forget to do in our haste to show off the latest bit of kit) and help them to identify one thing that may help them with that.

Any takers? Anyone doing this already? Or am I barking up the wrong tree here? Comments are open…


Header image credit: Friends of the Aurora Public Library

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