My tech support person reminded me of the role of the media specialist as a person who should be teaching the “process.” I knew this but somehow the importance of the idea didn’t really hit home until now.
Classroom teachers are most concerned with the final product. Does the poster illustrate concise information? Do the sentences in a report make sense? Is the paper well organized?
Media specialists need to be most concerned with the PROCESS. What are the keywords a student is using? Those keywords can be the basis for a poster. Where does a student need to look in order to have correct information so the report makes sense? What are the questions the student was trying to answer? If the questions are well done, information will be easier to find and the paper will be better organized.
Of course, classroom teachers also teach process but it seems that they are overwhelmed with the content they are trying to get across and they don’t have time to think as much about the process. They don’t always know all the steps of the process. Media specialists have to help with this and the best way to do it is through some form of collaboration.
The media specialist doesn’t have to be involved every day, in every way. In the beginning it’s important to get students off on the right foot with good keywords, good questions, and a search plan. Where will they look 1st, 2nd, etc.? Once they start on the actual product the media specialist work is largely over unless they need help for a bibliography.
This idea of teaching process applies to technology as well. If a media specialist can help students to be comfortable and knowledgeable about the technology they are using they will be better able to grasp the content that classroom teachers are presenting. To that end, I’ve been thinking about what sorts of instruction I can integrate into my classroom to help students be more proficient on the computers.
Media specialists have to decide that a large part of any lesson needs to involve some form of process. I can let them turn on and log in to a computer every time they need to use it, using they’re name and password so that they know it well when they have to use them in the classroom. I can have them do screencasts explaining how to best use various options available on the catalog so they know how to efficiently search the catalog for a report. I can have them write book reviews in a blog or wiki so they know how to use these Web 2.0 tools when a classroom teacher is considering using them.
I’m sure I’ll think of more examples if I can only remember that my objective is to teach the process.