Indispensable Media Specialists

Yesterday I team presented an all day pre-conference workshop at MAME with Diane Nye, media specialist at E. P. Clarke Elementary, our local building who consistently uses videoconferencing most often every year. We did much of the content from my RUS grant training, with extra emphasis on the Voices project, and quite a bit of time on the role of the media specialist in supporting the videoconferencing.

We had great discussions on managing the equipment location / cart, supporting teachers, knowing how the connections work, etc.

I know a big part of the success of our implementation in our area is due to the building level coordinators who make it happen.

They are the ones who help take the edge of disappointment when a content provider cancels a program due to technical difficulties. (Happened to us yesterday.)

They are the ones who help a teacher adjust to the frustration caused by what their partner teacher did for their project. (Happened to us this week.) Calming the teacher & helping them model flexibility and resourcefulness, and respect for the other site.

Media specialists already have a relationship with their teachers and often have a good grasp of their curriculum as well. They are already well skilled in helping teachers find resources to meet their curriculum.

I realize that this is a position that is getting cut in many places, but from my point of view, media specialists are an indispensible piece of successful videoconferencing!

About Janine Lim

Janine Lim, PhD, currently serves as associate dean for online higher education in the School of Distance Education at Andrews University, in Berrien Springs, MI. She and her team support over 200 online courses, provide training for faculty teaching online, and work with the campus infrastructure support of online learning. Her department also provides educational technology and Moodle support for faculty and students. In addition, Janine is responsible for the faculty and courses of the Consortium of Adventist Colleges and Universities. Janine has taught over 15 unique graduate educational technology classes online numerous times over the past 15 years, with some classes attracting participants from all over the world. Her undergraduate teaching includes social media courses for communication and digital media majors. Janine has served on the board of the United States Distance Learning Association since April 2015. Prior to her work at Andrews University, Janine coordinated distance education for 22 K12 school districts in southwest Michigan for 14 years. In that position, as one of the co-founders of TWICE, Michigan’s K12 Videoconferencing Organization, Janine has spearheaded popular international K12 videoconference projects such as Read Around the Planet and MysteryQuest. While still serving on the board of TWICE, she was instrumental in designing and implementing the CAPspace website for collaborative videoconference projects. Janine also served on a team of Michigan educational technology trainers providing a workshop called ATA Technology Academy. Her current online learning research interests include successful teacher behaviors, quality online discussions, and student activity patterns in self-paced courses.
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1 Response to Indispensable Media Specialists

  1. Ben says:

    That’s funny Janine, beacuse David Warlick was just mentioning the same thing on his blog. Apparently he’s a MAME, or was at least, and experienced the same awareness as what you’re saying; media specialists (he actually used the term librarian) and a more valuable resource than even computers for every children. Keep preaching the good word 🙂

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