I have mentioned before, that I am a huge fan of Brandon Stanton’s blog, The Humans of New York. This year, as an activity in the images unit in our Library and Technology course, we had students head out with their digital cameras or cell phones and document the Humans of Harvard-Westlake. In our effort to embed digital citizenship instruction into our curriculum, some of our goals for the activity were to have students:
- Think explicitly about uses of technology that connect us with others rather than separates us.
- Better understand our school Responsible Use Policy (RUP) as it applied to the use of taking and sharing images of others from the community.
- Engage in some proactive discussions about the morals, ethics, and matters of etiquette that come into play when taking pictures people and using those pictures online.
I asked my students to find the outer edge of their comfort zones to go out and meet members of our community that they didn’t know well. Each person’s comfort zone would be different so I would not judge their choices, but I hoped that the project would be a way to push themselves to greet and chat with somebody that was “just a little bit scary” for them. Interestingly, many of my 7th graders came back with pictures and interview snippets from 9th graders. It had not occurred to me, but for many of them a 9th grader that they did not know was more scary than a faculty member that they did not know.
The activity was such a huge success that at our recent AISL Conference in Dallas, I decided that I needed to walk my talk and I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try to introduce myself to librarians the I had not previously known. It was, for me at least, a rousing success!
In my homage to Brandon Stanton’s HONY blog, here are, The Librarians of AISL …
Thank you to all of you who made the Dallas experience wonderful. It has made me look forward to meeting more of you next year in Tampa!
Apologies to the handful of you that I met and interviewed, then subsequently lost your images when I messed up the sync from my phone.