EKU Faculty and Staff Scholarship

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Today’s teachers, a diverse body of individuals with a variety of technological backgrounds and skill sets, often find themselves working from a “digital immigrant” perspective. Even pre-service teachers, who may be classified as digital natives, report “strong positive beliefs in technology, yet moderate confidence and reserved attitude in using technology” (Lei, 2009); Lei reports that, though they are often viewed as “innovative users of available technology and eager adopters of new technology,” pre-service teachers are also not utilizing digital technology to its fullest advantage, self-report that they do not feel comfortable with or proficient at the use of higher level technology let alone with using it “critically, wisely, or meaningfully,” and are not aware of the scope of its capabilities, particularly those related to the field of education (2009). Similar studies show pre-service teachers struggle with information literacy topics such as locating, evaluating, effectively using, and attributing information, particularly for classroom use.

This chapter explores the ways in which an Eastern Kentucky University Education Librarian partnered with an elementary ducation faculty member to provide strategic instructional support of the digital storytelling service learning projects assigned to pre-service teachers in a children’s literature course, with the long-term goal of instilling competence and confidence in these students regarding their own digital and information literacy skills and allowing them to carry these skills forward into the field to impart to their own future K-12 students. The service learning projects required students to create digital stories that had an impact in the local community, and included “life story” projects for elderly nursing home residents, “horse story” projects about and for use by the Kentucky Horse Park and Central Kentucky Riding for Hope, and others.

The chapter discusses the ins and outs and challenges for academic librarians in partnering with and supporting faculty and students involved in carrying out similar service learning projects.

Lei, J. (2009). Digital natives as preservice teachers: What technology preparation is needed? Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, 25(3), 87-97.

Book Title

Library Service and Learning: Empowering Students, Inspiring Social Responsibility