Getting Tech Savvy in rural Texas – a few of the students will join me as we present how we turned a closed, defunct, dirty library into the happening spot on campus - now including a gaming club, open mic night, library club, blogs, podcasts and more. In just three years, we've quadrupled usage numbers, encouraged all-community relations, appeared on the local news and radio, and engaged more students with technology than ever before – all at almost a tenth of the budget of the lowest performing schools in Texas (less than $2/student/book verses $16+).
Specific grants, donors, community buy-in (Laura Bush Library Foundation, DonorsChoose.org, Project Hope, Fine Arts Department, Austin Lyric Opera) have pulled together and the students are more experienced, tech-savvy and ready to work for chances to go places and get things.
We will showcase how we did it, what we used, and provide specific ideas about student use of tech at the rural level – and how to increase it.
Library Media Teacher, Manor High School Library
In 1985, I received a BA in English and took a cut in pay from my bartending gig to accept a staff position at the Harvard Graduate School of Ed. On to the corporate world and within 8 years I was bored, so back to school for a Master’s in Teaching. Traveled, learned, worked temp jobs and contracts (including South Korea, labeling CIBO Pesto jars, and more bartending!). Taught a few years, loved it (after first year hell was over, that is), then took a Dot.com job – that dot.bombed after a year and half. It was here I gained my most valuable skills: marketing and project management! Travel and contracts again until I got a call from my old school: want to be our librarian?
So it was back to education, working full-time and taking two-graduate courses for a Masters in Library Information Science from San Jose State. It was tiring – but I loved it! I was blending my geek with my teaching – it couldn’t get any better!
After getting my degree – and a few years under my belt of experience running a library, I moved to Texas and took a job at Manor High School – it’s been a wild ride….and it got even wilder! Rule of Thumb: never accept the job before you see where you’re actually going to work! I’ve spent the last three and a half years making the library a learning-space, reading space and social space.
The blend of business, marketing, project management and education has served me –and the community I serve – well. See the movie version of this at http://youtu.be/by-c_5tMzPA
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