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Empowering School Librarians as Advocates for AI in Education

Computer generated thinking face.
AI within education

The #DisruptED unconference on the 12th October had an enormous impact on me, and I've spent time digesting what I learned before I could share it. Now, I'm convinced it's time to take action, especially when it comes to empowering school librarians advocating for AI in education.

First and foremost, it was a privilege to be a part of such an extraordinary day. The venue at Battersea Power Station was not just convenient but an eye-opening experience. I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Melissa McBride and Sophie Harris for creating this exceptional opportunity for a day of learning.

At #DisruptED, the main focus was not just about gaining knowledge; it was about connections and networking. This unconference showed me that advocating for AI in education can be incredibly impactful, even for those of us who might not consider ourselves experts in this field. It was heartwarming to see that every time I found myself on my own, someone came over, greeted me warmly, and was eager to discuss how school librarians can play a pivotal role in the AI journey. Yes, even when they found out I was a librarian 😂. The willingness to engage in conversations about my training business, school libraries, and the librarian's role in the AI revolution was inspiring. This was a far cry from my typical experience at teacher conferences, where mentioning school libraries often leads to blank expressions.

One recurring theme at the conference was the critical importance of reading in the age of AI. As a librarian, I wholeheartedly concur. Without strong reading and writing skills, our students will be ill-prepared for life beyond school, regardless of the assistance AI provides. It's a stark reminder: AI can't truly enhance our students' lives if reading doesn't occupy a central role.

Another resounding theme was the significance of critical thinking in education. This is where school librarians can step up, providing the support and resources necessary to nurture this essential skill. Advocating for critical thinking and teaching teachers how to incorporate AI tools into their classrooms effectively is a call to action we must embrace.

AI is more accessible than ever, but it's not just about access; it's about ethical and effective utilisation. Too often, we've seen resources poured into technology without the proper training to accompany it. This is a costly mistake, and it's time for school librarians to demonstrate the support they can bring through their information and inquiry skills especially using AI technology. We need to be prepared to assist teachers and students in using AI ethically and effectively in education, preparing them for a future where AI is everywhere.

In my interactions at #DisruptED, I couldn't help but draw clear links between what I do as a librarian and the vision these educators and business owners shared. It's an exciting time, and I'm ready to continue these conversations. School librarians have the skill set and the passion to help lead this transformative journey. It's our time to advocate for the presence of school librarians within AI in education, and together, we can be the driving force behind a brighter future for our students.

The time for advocacy is now. Let's join the conversation about AI in education and help lead the way to a more digitally literate, critically thinking, and ethically responsible generation of students. Our call to action begins today.

Join my membership today where we have open discussions about the importance of school librarians being part of the AI conversation.

Disclosure: This blog post was created with the support of ChatGPT from my original post you can find here on LinkedIn.

Picture credit: dansdesign - Canva

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