Tech/Library Flex Scheduling in Elementary School

I have a meeting next week with my administration about flex scheduling of tech lab time. So, I thought I would put my thoughts to y’all in the blogosphere to help me out and give me your thoughts on the following.

I work in an elementary school and we are trying to move to what they call a “Flex Schedule” for technology lab time and library time. This time is suppose to be flexible in that teachers can sign up for time in the computer lab or time in the library as they need it so that it fits or is integrated more within the curriculum and their teaching. The idea is a good one; the problem is we are facing two main problems in implementing it.

1. In order for true flex scheduling to work the lab or library and the IT and Librarian need to be accessible when the classes want to come in. The flex scheduling is only in 4th and 5th grade so we still teach 40 minute blocks to K-3 grades. So our time is not truly flexible. When teachers want to use the lab or our services we are busy, they get frustrated and quit using the flex time all together.

2. Trying to get teachers to move away from the traditional block prep time is difficult. The teachers like to schedule there 40 minute blocks and for good reason. They know when they have prep, the kids know when they have computers, and everything fits nicely into a schedule. How do we move teachers into an anytime information mind set?

What would be idea (and we are in the middle of building such a place) is to have the library and tech integrated into one big media center where information flows from books to digital format and back again where learning is about information and not ‘teaching technology’ and ‘teaching library skills’ but in teaching ‘Contemporary Literacy’ as David Warlick put it. (Currently the tech lab and library are set up in a very traditional 1990s way and a hallway apart from each other)

I believe creating the above space is a key component to moving to a flex schedule that allows for anytime information. But how do I/we work a schedule that allows for this? Do we go to a full flex time where even Kindergarteners have access when they need it? Can this even work? I’m I even asking the right questions? I’m calling on you librarians and tech teachers out there to give me some thoughts. How are you running your school’s program?

Looking for help

Jeff