Today’s Libraries- A Hub of Learning with New Technologies

Tablets such as Nooks and iPads, desktop computers, and Playaway’s, which are preloaded digital media players, are all part of the digital experience in our school libraries.
Tablets such as Nooks and iPads, desktop computers, and Playaway’s, which are preloaded digital media players, are all part of the digital experience in our school libraries.
Working in small teams, students collaborate and take turns researching various parts of their project.
Working in small teams, students collaborate and take turns researching various parts of their project.
Left to right: Hillary, Allan, Dean, and Miranda found all they needed on the Internet and all just a finger-touch away.
Left to right: Hillary, Allan, Dean, and Miranda found all they needed on the Internet and all just a finger-touch away.
Left to right: Nayeli, Juliana and Tatiana are researching information about Nicaragua.
Left to right: Nayeli, Juliana and Tatiana are researching information about Nicaragua.
Students discuss a video clip about the agricultural importance of their country to the worlds coffee supply.
Students discuss a video clip about the agricultural importance of their country to the worlds coffee supply.
Izabella and Belkin, on regular desktop computer, admitted they like touch-screen technology over a regular keyboard.
Izabella and Belkin, on regular desktop computer, admitted they like touch-screen technology over a regular keyboard.
Left to right: Kevin, Annosha, and Kelyi love their Maplewood library.
Left to right: Kevin, Annosha, and Kelyi love their Maplewood library.

If you haven’t been to your local library lately, you could be in for a surprise. The age of new technology is changing the way people access information and changing the way students are both learning and being taught. For school librarians, it’s more crucial than ever to keep up with what’s new on the educational technology front. “The world is changing with technology, and if we didn’t offer it to our students, we would be doing a disservice to their education,” said Maplewood Intermediate Schools librarian and BOCES liaison Ms. Susan Teeter. “We start with basic research in the third grade, and what they learn about technology by the time they are in the fifth grade will stay with them throughout their lives. Libraries are evolving with new technologies faster than ever, and many students may not be able to get to their public library, so being able to offer this at their school is very important to their education.” 

Whether it’s a reinforcement skill or extension activity, new touch screen technologies offer so many applications and outlets for education. Maplewood’s fifth-grade dual-language teacher, Ms. Jessica Sellare, found the new technology helpful because it automatically translates information into any language. Her class was working on a newscast-Latin America project that requires students to research and write a newscast about a country of their choice. “Technology for my students is part of their everyday lives,” said Ms. Sellare. “Having this technology available in school allows my students to make a connection with the content in a different and exciting way. They are comfortable with new technology, and that encourages them to explore more deeply than they might have with a book or newspaper article.”

The students confirmed much of what their librarian and teacher had said. One group had chosen Colombia for their newscast, and all agreed there were not many books on the shelf about this South American country. With the guidance of Ms. Teeter, one of the study groups, comprising Hillary, Allan, Dean, and Miranda, was using touch-screen technology and found all they needed on the Internet, and it was all just a finger-touch away.