Creating a Collaborative Space to Meet 21st Century Needs

(Media Center, 9-12)

Kaye McKinney

Media Specialist, R-S Central High School, Rutherford County


The underlying mission of every media center is to meet the needs of the user. In a technology-based environment, the needs of media center users have changed. Even small adjustments can have a significant impact on the services our media centers can provide. At R-S Central High School, the creation of a Learning Commons and green screen broadcast room were the products of an Action Research Project conducted as a member of the Governor's Teachers Network.

When R-S Central received the invaluable support of a 1:1 computer initiative, use of media center materials and services declined. This research project, supporting students in grades 9-12, proved to be a valuable endeavor designed to ensure library services were adjusted to meet the needs of a technology based school community. The primary focus was to improve the relevance and support of media center services. Data collection included student and teacher pre- and post-opinion surveys, needs assessments, and a collection of circulation statistics. Data analysis timeframes included circulation statistics prior to, during, and following the 1:1 initiative and surveys conducted prior to and following project implementation. Overall, the project was found to successfully impact media center use and relevance in a technology based environment.

About the Governor's Teacher Network

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The Governor's Teacher Network (GTN) was established by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, in partnership with the NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI). This initiative, funded by the state’s Race to the Top grant, provides a statewide platform for teachers to share their best work around instruction and professional development and help advance Race to the Top (RttT) funded educational remodeling efforts across the state.

Through the GTN, approximately 450 outstanding teachers from across North Carolina were selected to serve for one year as instructional and professional development experts and facilitators. Network teachers remained in their current roles but worked to gain a deeper understanding of the State's RttT-funded work in one of two "pathways," both related to the establishment of Home Base.

In Pathway 1, teachers created professional development sessions and materials (face-to-face, webinars and/or online content) to address classroom instructional needs and increase the PD offerings in the state-wide Professional Development system in Home Base. Projects were developed from action research performed in participating teachers' classrooms. This wiki represents the product of that action research and professional development.