Friday, February 5, 2010

TTFN used to be cute when Tigger said it, so how are we supposed to remember all the new tech. acronyms that aren't quite so cute

First of all, is anyone else as confused as me by all the technology terms new LIS students must grasp. If a shortcut is helpful, especially in schools, I'm all for it. But, too many tech. terms to me is a bit of a turn off. So here's a review of all the tech terms I've learned in my first 6 months in the LIS program:

HTML - hpyer text markup language = language used on the Web that incorporates texts, graphics, sound, video and other other multi-media tools
URL - uniform resource locator = address of resource on the Web
RSS - really simple syndication = web feed format used to publish updated works such as blogs or news feeds
IL - information literacy = being able to understand information, how it's needed, how its used, etc.
ICT - information and communication technology = it is a way for you to participate in communicating with the world using new forms or communication and technology
AT - assistive technology = tools used by educators to help students academically and physically
I even found a cool acronym guide for technology, electronics, & video games
and another one for information technology

My hope is not only to survive library school, but to remember all these acronyms. Why are they all so important? They all represent important concepts in our field. Just like we expect other educators to remember that SLMS is a school library media specialist, we should be able to identify an RSS. As information aficionados, we need to find ways for people to connect with these dynamic concepts. I think the role of the school librarian has really gone through a metamorphosis in the last ten years. Libraries are no longer store houses of information. We need to find ways to not only make our students book literate, but also information literate. Fifty years ago if you couldn't read road signs, you probably couldn't get a driver's license becasue you would fail your driver's test. Today, if you can't fill out a digital application for college on the computer, along with the necessary student aid and loan information, or visit the college's Online website, you probably will not be accepted or attend this school, especially if it's a competitive university. The idea is the same. Young people need to be able to navigate in the world whether its passing a driver's test and getting their license or graduating from college with the qualities desired by a good employer. What worked in schools fifty nifty years ago, needs an upgrade.

Students need ICT skills to navigate in the world. Teachers in all subject areas should help them to develop these skills beginning in kindergarten. Low tech and high tech talents can be taught gradually and easily. Collaberation, communication, and flexibility will definitely help this process and that includes teachers, students, AND the community. I think state's need to encourage schools to implement IT and ICT practice into the curriculum. Teacher's have professional development days, maybe we could do the same for the students. If I had my way, I would offer a distant learning class that is similar to our Computer Applications in the School Library class, but at an appropriate level for students from grades K - 12. Each year students could take the class Online, and it would be part of a grade for class such as tech., business, ELA, whatever works for the school. They would be encouraged to use technology to learn about technology within and among their global neighbors.
I would support this initiative at my school and in my state.

Technology acronyms aren't so cute if you don't understand what they mean. If you learn to use them and can make sense of them, then you're making progress. If you can make a joke about them, then kudos to you, because your ICT nerd-om has arrived. If you're eager to find what they mean and seek out answers to all these questions, you might just belong with me in library school.

1 comment:

  1. I had to laugh because I feel the same way. I started the program in summer of 2008 and made a running list of all the acronyms. What is even worse is that I was talking with a librarian who said something about an "MLS" and I said, "What's that?" She looked at me and said, "Master's of Library Science." I was so embarrassed!!! Of course I knew what an MLS was...but I was so overwhelmed by all the acronyms that I had momentarily drawn a blank when she said it!