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Understanding Children's Perspectives on Computing: School Libraries Empower Students Through Technology Infused CurriculumPDF


Title:Understanding Children’s Perspectives on Computing: How School Libraries Empower Students Through Technology Infused Curriculum
Author(s):Brokaw, Amy C.
Subject(s):Student perspectives, computing, elementary school, elementary library, rural school, technology integration, curriculum map, standards, action research project
Abstract:In the 21st century, libraries are often under scrutiny to determine their value and worth. By aligning the school library curriculum with the goals of the school district through the integration of technology instruction, school libraries will be able to impact student learning and demonstrate the validity of school libraries. Establishing the library as a participatory space for implementing, designing, and creating new ideas and conversations will empower and engage student learners. Blue Ridge CUSD 18 has situated itself as a leader to make these opportunities possible, and it is important to actively research and collaborate to identify the best way to move forward to continue providing students with the skills necessary to use and engage with technology. For many rural districts, being able to provide students with access and resources to engage in a digital world are also vital for providing access and addressing the digital divide. Often rural students are left out of being able to participate online because they lack the resources to connect at home or the district cannot afford the tools necessary to make online engagement possible. As Melissa P. Johnston states, “despite the increase in digital technologies for teaching and learning, scholars still indicated very little inclination to conduct research in this area” (Johnston, “Still Polishing” 27). Therefore, this action research project is part of the larger agenda to highlight how integrating technology into the school library curriculum can impact students. The research adds to the growing area of focus and highlights the library as a jewel of the educational system as school libraries empower learners. At Ruth M. Schneider elementary school, this research was best accomplished by assessing the integration of technology into the library curriculum as the faculty and staff collaborate with the district librarian to develop a technology curriculum map. This effort was supported by the district superintendent, elementary principal, and district curriculum coordinator. The fundamental research question “How does technology integration in rural, elementary school library curriculum impact second grade students?” sought to understand the library as a participatory space for implementing, designing, and creating new ideas and conversations, and to understand the impacts of empowering students as creators. Twenty-seven second grade students self-assessed their engagement and feelings about the library using a pre and post-test model. The research investigated how integrating technology into the school library impacted students. The pre-self-assessment survey was given early in the second semester to second grade students and provided a gauge for how students felt about using technology prior to their experiences during computer instructional time. The second survey, the post-self-assessment, was given during the end of the second semester after the second grade students had engaged with various online tools. The two surveys were compared and analyzed to develop an understanding of children’s perspectives related to students’ computing experiences with computers in the elementary school library. The results determine the impact of computing experiences on student learning, assist rural elementary school librarians in understanding the strengths and weakness of integrating computer instruction into library curriculum, and aid in the development of a standards-based curriculum map.
Issue Date:2020-05-28
Citation Info:Brokaw, Amy C. Understanding Children’s Perspectives on Computing: How School Libraries Empower Students Through Technology Infused Curriculum. University of Illinois, 28 May 2020.
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-05-28

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