Digital age collaboration for administrators, librarians and teachers

Gale In Context: For Educators eliminates silos and fosters participation toward common goals

Q&A with Lemma Shomali,
Director of K-12 Product Development,
Gale, a Cengage Company

Why is it important for administrators, librarians and teachers to collaborate in the digital age?
When we talk with administrators, librarians and teachers, we find they’re working in silos. Improving student outcomes and preparing students for postsecondary careers takes considerable time and effort.

When working collaboratively, it is easier to form plans and create roles and responsibilities in order to build accountability and drive success. Collaboration spurred by technology can eliminate silos, preventing administrators, librarians and teachers from working in isolation, and helping them to progress toward the common goal of student achievement.

How can collaboration improve student engagement and ultimately ensure their success?
For students to succeed, educators have to succeed. When teachers and students use the same technology, teachers can better support one another and their students. Administrators can help teachers by providing technology that keeps up with changes in curriculum and other classroom demands. By leveraging librarian expertise, teachers can tap into the content and technologies that students will respond to, leading to better engagement.

“When working collaboratively, it is easier to form plans and create roles and responsibilities in order to build accountability and drive success.”

What common barriers impede such joint efforts in K-12?
When we think about barriers, it often comes down to questions such as: “What do we have time to do?”, “What do we have money to do?” and “Who can help?” ‚We already know that we can’t create more hours in the day, and money doesn’t grow on trees. Therefore, we should focus on bringing people together to promote collaboration and leverage sustainable solutions across the board.

How can districts overcome common barriers while fostering collaboration and bolstering academic achievement?
We need to break down the silos and create an atmosphere of collaboration. The driver behind our new product, Gale In Context: For Educators, is to provide a platform for educators across the district to continuously partner and communicate. By leveraging library resources, teachers can create personalized curriculum efficiently and effectively. Similarly, the content can be customized to foster better engagement and outcomes for learners at every level.

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