Flying straight into…a window: A story about technology

Around six months ago, I submitted a few proposals looking for funding for a new piece of technology. Bird, by MUV Interactive, was something a colleague of mine had suggested. Essentially, it’s a piece of tech that perches on your finger and allows you to manipulate digital content collaboratively and at a distance. Some have called it a “fancy mouse” (but that’s your decision to decide).  

Read More

The good, the bad, and the mispelling: a reflection on a week of teaching

This past week, I taught eight instruction sessions and assisted in two more. In the grand scheme of things, this was the most I had taught in a week, but I know I’m not winning any award for most one-shot sessions in a week. Some reflections, thoughts, and stories from the week.

Read More

Summer digital literacy program...week four & five

So the center is finishing up week six and I'm finishing up week five of the digital literacy program. I had a week off for a family vacation but I'm now back at the center, ready to finish strong with as of today, about a week of programming left.

For week four and five, I've decided to introduce some coding (specifically block coding) to the kids at UNCC. I have mixed feelings about the whole "coding movement" that is prominent in schools and libraries across the United States and the world. We talk about it in library science classes (mainly ones that revolve around youth and digital literacy). I don't dispute the women (white women AND women of color) are outranked by men in tech fields and that the number of jobs in the tech sector are quickly rising, I'm just not sure if requiring every student to code will solve and cover the gap.

Read More

Summer digital literacy program...week two & three

Well I made it through another two weeks and I think I'm getting the hang of the flexibility and quick changes this digital literacy program requires. My biggest (and best) adjustment came in the fact that I focused more closely on each grade level, accepting the fact that my K-2nd group would not get as far as my 3-5th grade group. I kept the general theme in mind but catered each day for the age level. The middle schoolers continue to challenge me and I hope by the end of my time at UNCC, I've made some sort of progress with them.

Read More

Summer digital literacy program...week one

Even though it was a short week, I was exhausted by the time Thursday came around. Tuesday, May 31st marked day one of summer camp here at UNCC, the after-school center I've been working at for the past 21 some months. My final project in Urbana will be rolling out a digital literacy summer program for 50 plus K-8th graders. This program is a culmination of all the hard work, relationship building, and community engagement I've done at the center. I just don't want to teach digital literacy, I want to teach it in a way that really targets the kids I'm working with. A catered-just-for-them program. Essentially, wrapping basic digital literacy skills around with technology and projects that respects and appreciates all the wonderful students I've gotten to know. 

A little daunting, right?

Read More