This is the title of a commentary published June 21, 2011 in Education Week. I hope you will take the time to read it and share it and consider the implications for your school and your students. Frank Baker (www.frankwbaker.com)
I found this article to be on target with the skills needed by today's students. Primary grade students need to get the basics for learning how to read. But as they grow and mature, they will read to learn. They need to know how to locate, analyze, interpret, predict, validate the information found. Students need to learn how to cooperate and collaborate. Students need to learn how to determine which tool will help them accomplish the task assigned. Project based learning is one way educators can meet the needs of today's students. Media Literacy is one of the new classes needed at the middle and high school level. However, until major changes are made to education, those who view the topic as important will be the ones to make time in their busy day to cover the information.
Sal: thanks for this. Your reply implies that all LMS do teach it, and unfortunately that is not the case, because they rarely get the kind of training to understand what it is nor how it can be implemented throughout the curriculum.
(Media Literacy Clearinghouse, www.frankwbaker.com)
In districts where Media Specialists are part of every building staff, and those specialists are trained appropriately, this would be the ideal situation. It seems, however, that we are facing the elimination of those positions (I am one media specialist left for 5 buildings, and I know many others with one or no certified specialists, especially in small and rural districts). We, statistically, have an aging population of librarians, who might not have the requisite training, unless they have been very careful to build skills in this modern era.
As I interview candidates, even for library paraprofessional positions, I have to ensure that they are technologically savvy (at least as an end user). No longer is it appropriate to hire someone just to check in and out the books and read to students. But that brings me into asking for a set of job skills that isn't in the general requirements for paraprofessionals in the district. So, I'm caught in a Catch-22 situation, but I keep pushing.
You have linked us to a very pertinent article, but if only librarians, media specialists, and technology instructors bother to take note, we'll continue in the same situation. Our teaching staff and our administrators have to come to a clear understanding of the need for media literacy/information literacy, or here we'll wallow.
I find that I'm the only one pushing the adoption or utilization of the AASL standards; in fact, I'm the only one that knows about them. A few know of the 21st Century Skills and NETS standards from the technology side of things, but struggle to know how to integrate those. Teachers can't bear the thought of another set of standards to work with.
If those skills, dispositions, benchmarks and responsibilities were clearly embedded in Common Core Standards (and not just crosswalked to the Standards), we would have a much clearer path to collaboration and instruction (IMHO).
So, I think, we have to somehow make the case effectively to department heads, administrators, and teachers and their respective professional groups to truly create the Common Core Standards, and to make them truly Common.
(I'm making the effort to bring this article to the attention of the administrators in my district. We are all doing curriculum maps and standards alignment. This is ever so pertinent.)