Dear Colleagues.

I was heartened by Monica's extensive and knawledgeable analysis of the
teacher-student relationship with respect to computer technology use. I
need a straight-jacket to control myself whenever I have a teacher reserve
the CHS library for a class assignment and not want (or provide) any
assistance or orientation for their students-- knowing that most of their
research will be online.  (We have 54 student workstations online with the
Web and various CD-ROMs.) "Oh, they're juniors and they know how to use
the Web." Dang!

I think that Monica has touched on the source of the problem, in that
teachers who lack techno-savvy tend to defer to anyone, even a child, who
gives the appearance of knowing more than they do about the technology.
As many of us know, even a small amount of extra or specialized knowledge
can give the appearance of far greater understanding

Due to our allegiance (I speak of secondary teachers here) to a subject
area mastery approach, there is a built-in deference to those who can
demonstrate superior knowledge in a given subject. Unfortunately, with the
wide variety of skills needed to master "technology", one tiny area of
expertise tends to be generalized. Personally speaking, I know a lot about
some areas of technology use in education, but that knowledge is limited
to certain areas. However, I often am introduced as or referred to as a
technology expert or techie. This is quite embarrassing, in addition to
being untrue.

We absolutely, for certain need to work together, all teachers,
counselors, librarians, and administrators to develop information literacy
skills, including ethical practices. Bringing the parents and community
into the dicscussion is also imperative. This is an area where we can all
come together to increase our knowledge of both technology and teaching
skills for technology use, not to mention skills for lifelong learning.

I am so, so glad that the American Memory Fellows Institute program has
included a strong emphasis on information literacy. However, it is oh so
easy to let it slide and focus on content ot technology.

I hope that Monica's analysis and suggestions will serve to re-dedicate
us to addressing these important issues.

I would love to hear from others on this topic.

Peter Milbury                          [log in to unmask]

Librarian-Mentor Teacher
American Memory Fellow:  Library Of Congress - National Digital Library
Chico High School, Chico, CA 95926
A National Blue Ribbon and California Distinguished School 530-891-3036