Project Connect, formed by Follett to advocate for librarians to serve as leaders in their district and schools, will be debuting a set of professional development online courses this month. Designed for school and district librarians, these courses give librarians tangible skills needed in a future-ready world and help promote innovative models of school libraries.
According to Nader Qaimari, President of Follett School Solutions, the courses are an example of Project Connect continuing to “advocate for strong, empowered librarians and educators in their quest to become more future ready and recognized as respected leaders in their libraries, classrooms, and schools. These courses, coupled with our exclusive sponsorship of the Future Ready Librarians’ initiative, illustrate our commitment to transforming the role of the librarian.”
The first two PD courses have been announced – Educational Leadership and Digital Citizenship – and will be taught by Mark Ray, nationally recognized for transforming the role of the school librarian into a technological innovator in schools. A closer look:
• Educational Leadership: The course explores the challenges and opportunities of how to lead beyond the library, and how to develop future-ready learners. Participants will discover new concepts and techniques to stretch their professional skills in unique ways. Through individualized inquiry and work, they will develop strategies and insights to help them lead in their library and beyond. The course, inspired by the Future Ready Framework, is free for all participants.
• Digital Citizenship: Librarians must ensure schools are cultivating productive, safe and responsible members of a digital world. Aimed at educators who currently teach or plan to teach digital citizenship, the course will assess what librarians, their students and peers currently think about digital citizenship, evaluate current practices and create a plan for success in the digital age. The course is $125 per participant, with an opportunity to earn a micro-credential badge.
“As someone who went from teaching in a library to leading a district-wide digital implementation as Chief Digital Officer, I have learned many lessons about leadership,” says course instructor Ray, 2012 Washington State Teacher of the Year. “The Educational Leadership course will explore how to work and think differently so that librarians can effectively lead beyond the library. The Digital Citizenship course is a great opportunity for librarians to apply their leadership to a shared strategic challenge – how can librarians help ensure schools are cultivating productive, safe, and responsible members of our digital world?”