Monthly Archives: June 2011

Twitter Daily Digest for 2011-06-17

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The Future of Education (inspiration from RWW)

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The question becomes: is the future of the news industry tied to the technology or is technology an enabler to creating human networks that spread information?

This quote comes from a ReadWriteWeb article about Andy Carvin’s work these past six months, as he has built an incredible network on Twitter to tell the story of the Middle East protests and revolution.

It’s an excellent article to read and if you haven’t heard of Andy Carvin’s ground-breaking and important work, check out one profile piece on him.

With that said, I read the quote above, and thought in light of yesterday’s Summer Institute sessions (notes Part 1,  Part 2, and Part 3), that the quote could be reworked to say

The question becomes: is the future of [education] tied to the technology or is technology an enabler to creating human networks that spread information?

OR

The question becomes: is the future of [libraries] tied to the technology or is technology an enabler to creating human networks that spread information?

(Emphasis and edits in bold are mine)

I find that quote even more powerful with my edits to both, especially in light of Milton Chen’s comments from yesterday. Three quotes from him:

“Imagine an ‘education nation,’ a learning society where education of children and adults is the highest national priority, on par with a strong economy, high employment, and national security. A nation is only good as its educational system.” –Milton Chen

An educational system is only as good as its informational system. 21st Century school librarians are the managers of that system. And school leaders for “deeper, authentic learning.” –Milton Chen

A “ladder of learning” from pre-K thru “gray” blending formal and informal learning thru schools, universities, media, museums, libraries, companies, churches, youth groups, parks, and more. Schools and universities are only part of this model. –Milton Chen

Educators and librarians make up a human network, and technology has definitely enabled many of us to build networks and spread information quickly, learn and share with one another.

What about our professions? What could be the impact of utilizing technology to build human networks to spread information and learn from one another, across the globe? I know this happens already on a somewhat small scale, in pockets.

But, right now, education and learning traditionally, formally stops at the end of high school, college, or a degree. Learning should NEVER stop.

People who visit public libraries get this.

People who visit museums get this.

People who attend book clubs get this.

People who attend civic events get this.

People who attend public lectures or presentations get this.

People who visit public parks get this.

People who lead continuing education or professional development get this.

People who take continuing education or professional development get this.

And the list could continue on.

How can we make Milton Chen’s dream of a ladder of learning real?

How can librarians, libraries, educators, schools, universities, professors, journalists, news networks, businesses, business owners, policymakers, churches, pastors, civic leaders, civic organizations, park services, arts groups, musicians, and so on, come together to recreate learning? I don’t have an answer, necessarily, how this could happen or what it could look like. But I think it should.

I do think instead of fighting the same battles over school funding, tuition hikes, staff cuts, loss of innovators, only offering the basics, testing to death, and killing creativity (yeah, you can tell where i stand), we need to blow up the models and rethink learning models and the places and times and ages where it happens.

And the library, especially the public library, is the perfect place for this to start. It is present in most towns already, even some of the tiniest in America (this is at least the case in Kansas). It is open year round, although the hours vary. It serves all members of the community. Of all ages, backgrounds, and interests. And it already is educating your community.

Through summer reading.

Through storytime.

Through craftime.

Through programming.

Through meeting your reading, listening, watching, gaming needs.

Through discussions in the library.

Through book clubs.

Through museum passes.

Through book recommendations.

Through computer classes.

Through computer access.

Through wifi access.

Through eBooks.

Through information access.

Through gaming nights.

Through literacy support.

Through tutoring.

Education is already happening there. How can we take our public libraries, school libraries, academic libraries, and place them at the center of learning?

Some have done it, and as I wrote this post, I ran across a new post from In the Library with the Lead Pipe, Understanding Library Impacts on Student Learning. It’s from an academic library perspective, but definitely fits in with this post.

The Ending

Finally, why is even thinking about all of this so important? Why does it matter?

I’ll simply repost this quote from Milton Chen.

“Imagine an ‘education nation,’ a learning society where education of children and adults is the highest national priority, on par with a strong economy, high employment, and national security. A nation is only good as its educational system.” –Milton Chen

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Twitter Daily Digest for 2011-06-16

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Librarians Know How to Find Stuff

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Using Innovative Techniques to Promote Information Literacy and Student Buy-in

Matt Upson (formerly of Miller Library, McPherson College) and C. Michael Hall (who couldn’t be present)

Creators of Library of the Living Dead

http://blogs.mcpherson.edu/library/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Library-of-the-Living-Dead-Online-Edition.pdf

Guide can be printed from here

Downloaded 1.3 million times. Cited in LJ, SLJ, ALA journals.

This isn’t how to make a comic. It’s more to inspire the audience to do what works for their libraries & inspire creativity. The comic book worked for McPherson College.

Developing the relationships.

Quotes from Education Nation; one by George Lucas in the foreword & George Leonard quote on p21.

“We want students to know how to find information, how to assess the quality of information, and how tto creativiely and effectively use information to accomplish a goal.” –George Lucas, foreword to Education Nation

“We must consider the possibility that students are justified in being bored, that we have been too cautious and unimaginiative….Perhaps the moment has come to show our young people that school [or a library] is where the action is” p21 of Education Nation

 

Before Matt came to McPherson, the library was pretty deserted; didn’t come into study; didn’t even know the library existed. Handouts in in-class instruction were about as useful as a seatbelt in trying to reach students.


How to get the students in the building?

They published a comic book.

Mike was an illustrator, non-conventional student.

Introduction to the book explains the purpose of the comic book/guide.

Made it attention-grabbing, yet informative. Followed the ACRL standards.

It was a small college–they saw a need and tried to meet it.

In creating a unique guide, break stereotypes, poke fun at yourself.

12 page introduction to the library. Their attention was grabbed. Then the instructional handouts are then incorporated into the comic book.

Goals to do so…

  • Provide an excellent intro to library services
  • Be creative and a little irreverent
  • Save time
  • Encourage familiarity with the library
  • get students involved in the process
  • let the students know that the library cares about their academic success and is actively involved in their education
  • quality product
  • took the talents they had in-house to develop it

Unintended Results

  • Well over 1 million hits — provided great marketing for McPherson College
  • McPherson wants to hand these out at college fairs
  • Unique artifact that no other school has.
  • Advocacy tool. Unique resource that grabs the attention of your school board or board or leaders.
  • Other libraries are now using this tool; didn’t plan for it to be utilitarian.
  • It looks fantastic as a digital version on mobile devices and tablets.
  • Quickly got around library community, as a digital resource, thanks to social media.

Milton Chen comment: This is proving: A lot of the best curriculum can be taught through story.

Back to the comic.

They took cues from the real library, photographs, photos of people to build it. The characters are never named. It’s just a story in a familiar place. Students were transferred over into comic form.

Get your community involved

  • teaser poster of the cover
  • Facebook
  • Signing Party: 40 students showed up
  • QR Codes

He contacted LJ, American Libraries, pestered them to look at his resource. People finally did and wrote about it, and it took off.

He’s connected with many people all over the library community in the US and the world.

Anyone can use it and has, in their libraries.

What can you do?

  • Fun: The OH COOL Factor
  • Different: Make them (students, faculty, parents, admin) see the library in new ways
  • Quality: do something that can be done well
  • Involvement and Buy-in: include reps from all areas of your school. Who are the stakeholders? Can you find a sponsor or collaborator?

Can share your ideas and resources with the entire world, even unexpectedly.

They are working on comic guides for several other libraires.

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The Technology Edge: Leading Innovation in Our School from the Olathe East HS Library

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Note: Her slides will be posted to slideshare. I’ll embed them here when they’re uploaded.

Lori Franklin, Olathe East HS Library, Olathe KS [Also Ph.D. student, working on dissertation on 21st Century Learning, I believe]

Library Website

Uncharted

  • We know what is availble to us in terms of hw, sw, and experiences
  • What we actually do not know is where we could actually end up on our journey…

The questions…

  • Whose job is it to determine the journey’s end point and success level?
  • The Teacher?
  • The Student?
  • The Team?

Talking to students. Filters are insulting to the students. If they’re filtered on the school computers, they won’t use them. They have their smartphones, that have no filters and are private.

The Box

  • Educators and those who rule education like to say they are thinking outside of the box
  • Most of the time, they are in the box

Carol Kuhlthau’s Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st century, discusses third space, where school & home come together and make learning meaningful.

It’s easier to think inside the box, be in your comfort zone. Change disrupts that.

What’s good about the Box?

  • knowns
  • tangibles
  • baselines
  • comforatble

What’s not so good about the box?

  • Missed opportunities
  • Growth
  • 24/7 ed experiences
  • 21st century student-centered learning
  • Affects desire for lifelong learning
  • if you always do things in the same way you’ve always done them, you’re missing out connecting with the way kids are doing things today: want info instantly, without boundaries, teacher is no longer expert. they want to be the expert. they know experts are out there and want to reach them.

Did you know?

  • In many schools, we still ask students to sit for several hours a day at desks, listening (or not) to a teacher as he or she lectures? Pump and dump, without any meaningful connections to the real world.

Boys physical activity and learning research.

Participatory Learning

  • Chen’s many to many model
  • Leaves the “sage on the stage” model
  • requires group collaboration
  • needs new assessment tools
  • should be frequently evoloving to meet needs
  • Henry Jenkins

Olathe East HS, Lost Boys of Sudan, student Peter, documentary.

2200 students in her building now.

One-to-one Palm initiative: usage varies from word processing to using temp probes attached to the Palms.

Current scenario

  • 500 PCs
  • 250 laptops stored in mobile carts
  • Minimum of one PC in each classroom; some rooms have more; labs typically have 25 PCs
  • Average class size is approaching 30.
  • Gets a little hairy.

Budget effects

  • time/personnel constraints
  • purchasing power
  • reduced spending per student

NCLB effects

  • teaching to test
  • less personal investment in subject matter
  • lack of context across subjects
  • focus on end point, not the learning process

Used Aniomoto to build a video overview of her library. PR piece for teachers who can’t make it to the library and since Lori can’t make it to the whole building.

Teacher/Librarian Immersion Levels

  • Isolation
  • Semi-isolation
  • Semi-immersion (PC lab)
  • Immersion: wants full collaboration; you’ll both cover your standards. Real-world; group collaboration; peer review; evaluation.

Can’t do that with everyone.

Immersion looks like

collaborative planning

multi-standard driven

real-world problem solving…

Example: the “country report”

  • put the focus on building a knowledge base
  • no PowerPoint allowed — used Animoto; images had to be copyright free/Creative Commons-licensed
  • Student collaboration and peer review
  • Made the student the expert
  • Constructive comments expected
  • This project provided frustration, exhilaration, and student learning beyond note memorization of facts
  • Had to stand up and talk about the project and his peers reviewed it.

Thinking outside The Box:

  • College Prep English IV — blogging about the novel Frankenstein with a partner school; wiki creation, meting in person to share results; effects
  • Algebra III, pre-Calculus — all classes podcasted; use of cell phones as “clickers” (Teacher at OEHS who wrote on Numb3rs loves to do this)
  • Edmodo

Some don’t..

  • Used assignments from 5 years ago
  • Isolated teaching
  • Not reaching out with online resources (eBooks, databases, Skype with experts, Edmodo, wikis, pod/vodcasting, Moodle)

Special learners lose out

  • Boys better served by breaking up instruction with physical activity each hour
  • ELL learners left behind
  • SPED students receive modifications, but not necessarily modified teaching, which should include a continual assessment/modification cycle to determine if learning is occurring.

Horizon Report: K-12 Edition

  • The New Media Consorium
  • Updated annually
  • ?

Horizon Report Findings

  1. Technology is: means for empowering students; method for communication & socializing; ubiquitous transparent part of student lives.
  2. Technology has a profound affect on the way we work, collaborate, communicate and succeed. (In her research, she’s seen lots of kids leaning together, socialization)
  3. Increasing interest, in just-in-time, alternative, or non-formal avenues of education: online learning, mentoring, independent study [Topic where you're immersed, forming opinions, reflective pieces developed, creating interactive product others can learn from]
  4. The way we think of learning environments is changing

Challenges

  • The Horizon Report outlines several challenges. Especially telling is this statement
  • Stuents are different, but ed practice and the materials that supportit are changing very slowly

Thinking outside the box

  • The horizon report describes how today’s learning and education must happen outside of physical walls and time/distance constraints
  • Students expect to seek out expert opinions other than the teacher who is in the room with them!

Speak Up Study — 2 million informants

  • Students identified as “free agent learners”
  • School buidling, teacher, and textbook no longer have a monopoly on knowledge, content or  the educational process
  • Students seek personalized learning

More from Speak Up

  • Social-based learning
  • untethered learning
  • digitally rich learning

Digital disconnect

  1. Haves/have nots — no connectivity
  2. Proficient to the point they think they know everything, when they don’t. Don’t have searching skills.
  3. Want to mess around with the goodies and then not allowed to go to these sites or take tools home. Turns off students, disengages them.

http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2011-Horizon-Report-K12.pdf

http://wp.nmc.org/horizon-k12-2010

Speak Up report: www.tomorrow.org

How to be there 24/7

  • LibGuides
  • Databases
  • eBooks
  • eMail
  • Web presence

LibGuides

  • Helps you reach out to everyone, even those who never come into your library
  • always available
  • includes collaborative ability for teamwork
  • multi-functional
  • VERY easy to use

Databases

  • Have functionality that meets the needs of lots of students

eBooks

  • Available 24/7 for varied amounts of check out time
  • Personal assistant example
  • Flexibility for assignments (requirement print and electronic sources)
  • ABC-CLIO eBook Collection
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library
  • Not allowed to loan out Kindles to students yet

Email

  • You can help students outside of school hours
  • Gmail student accounts
  • Google Docs and other GOogle tools
  • File transfer from home

Web Presence

  • up to date info available immediately
  • links to other items just discussed — integration
  • Library Thing
  • Podcasts

Questions in [Lori's] my head (after reading Chen’s book)

  • What do we need to learn about students in order to best meet their needs?
  • How can tap into students’ love of their cell phones in order to help them learn more?
  • Can we mesh cell phones use with classroom instruction?
  • How can I make my own library program into a better fit with student learning processes?
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