As a high school librarian, I am constantly tasked incorporating multiple literacies into my instruction. However, it is easy to incorporate technology into instruction, but it is hard to use technology to enhance teaching, collaborating, creating and learning. Sometimes large sheets of butcher paper with colored markers aid collaboration more than a Google Doc.

Library staff have understood this concept for decades. Ever since the first public libraries housed the first publicly available computers, our profession has known how much potential technology holds when planning programming and literacy instruction and learning. When planning an author visit (virtual or in-person), program, maker space, it is important to identify how and why technology will increase teen engagement and experience. Don’t just ask yourself how the technology works and how to troubleshoot. Ask what the teen encounter will entail. What will teens take away? Will it just be a neat 3-D printer model, or will it be something more?

For more information on technology and programming and media literacies, please see the STEM Programming Toolkit,  Making in the Library Toolkit, and


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