Today’s Contributor: Erica Reyna
Hello, my name is Erica Reyna. This is my second year as librarian and CIC at Walnut Creek E.S. I graduated with my masters in library science this past August. I have been an educator for ten years.
Last year when I was hired, I was told that I would also be serving as CIC. I was both excited and cautious. I have always worked at Title I schools and believe that these students should have the same opportunities as all other students including access to and instruction in technology. On the other hand, I was in my final year of graduate school and felt that I would not be able to dedicate the time necessary to provide our students with opportunities to utilize technology for learning. Furthermore, as I became more familiar with our school’s culture, it became evident that the overall use of technology integration was in the developing stage. I was not sure what I could do to encourage technology integration in academics.
Fortunately, my TDC Laura Browder, reminded me of the CIC 101 training – focus on staff who are who demonstrate an open-minded mentality. This is exactly what I did. I began by introducing the digital resources available through the library catalog symbaloo to students during their library class time. As I continued doing this, teachers began to show interest and ask about the resources. Soon, there were a group of about five teachers using the various digital resources, including myON, MackinVIA, TumbleBooks, Capstone Interactive, the atlasas, and the encyclopedias. The number of teachers using the resources and interested in technology integration continued to grow throughout the year.
I was also fortunate to have the support of my administrative team to form a technology committee with a representative from each grade level. The amazing teachers in this group were willing to try integrating technology into their lessons. Apart from the digital resources offered through the library site, these teachers began using Kahoot, Google apps, and SeeSaw. They also worked diligently to organize Walnut Creek’s first-ever family math and technology night. During this family event, students and their families had the opportunity to explore the various digital resources available to them.
This school year, more teachers have expressed interest in helping develop opportunities to expose our students to technology. We have now started a gifted and talented after-school club where students are learning coding with robots, journalism, and using BLEND.
If you are a CIC who is finding it difficult to get your campus on board with technology education, start with the students you have access to and showcase their work. Sooner or later, teachers who are interested in technology integration will approach you. You just need to be patient.