Pivot Points for Change Session

Connecting the dots of information literacy with social media.

Buffy Hamilton, Internet & Schools East, April 2010.

Presentation slides

Rethinking ways we can instruct our students with information literacy.

– How do we support and scaffold students’ ability to read and write an ever-growing world of information?

– How do we adapt our pracitce as librarians to effectively cultivate informationally fluent students who will thrive in today’s society? — help them learn to analyze/evaluate information.

-Seth Godin: “when industry norms start to die, people panic. it’s difficult to change when you think that you must change everything in order to succeed. Changing everything is too difficult.”

– strategic changes are much more helpful than changing everything.

Don’t reinvent the wheel; instead, find pivot points for change.

Pivot Point #1:

Keep your traditional sources of authoritative information in your research pathfinders, but let the research topic and mode of research guide the integration of social media information sources and tools for delivering that content to help students navigate the maze of today’s information world.

– days of trusting the printed reference book has come and gone. Teachers must get their heads around new authorities.

AASL 21st Century Standards

New Resources for Authorities

  1. podcasts — students much more engaged at times if they listen or watch resources. Lots of resources now provide podcast; lots of authoritative information being delivered through podcasts.
    1. PBS
    2. CNN
    3. students weren’t just reading about situations; they were able to experience the situations.
    4. Podcasts can be a free and dynamic way to capture student interests
  2. Blogs — lots of experts blogging about issues.
    1. Homefires Blog (veterans transitioning back into mainstream civilian life)
    2. Netvibes — RSS feeds from several blogs all on one page
    3. Students prefer to read the blogs over a textbook — they are much more organic and students are engaged. Plus blogs are free; textbooks are not.
  3. Twitter
    1. #iranelection
    2. way to get current information about current issues.
  4. Youtube/video
    1. YouTube blocked at schools, use Zamzar to download and convert YouTube videos.
    2. Treasure trove of videos that are free and online and full of information that students can use and explore.
    3. Video used as a teaser; then, students really got excited about learning and researching.
  5. Google Maps/mashups
    1. taking data and putting it into map form
    2. Embassies Accepting Injured People in Iran
    3. Swine Flu Google Map
  6. RSS Feeds
    1. Librarians’ best friends
    2. Database vendors (including Ebscohost & Gale) have RSS feeds
    3. Newspapers, Twitter, Podcasts all have RSS Feeds
    4. Streams of information to push the information out to students
    5. Google News
  7. RSS Feeds/Widgets
    1. Don’t have to be an html expert to create widgets; already created for you.
    2. News, Topics, possibilities are endless

Teaching research is much more fun today, because so many tools available to teach research. Traditional research pathfinders are no longer. So many ways now to display research information in ways students will use them, and they are free

Pivot Point #2:

Keep focusing on teacher collaboration, but focus on creating conversations…

Create conversations about collaboration, leadership, and social responsibility….

  1. research wiki (wetpaint)
    1. building living textbook
    2. continually being updated and created
    3. share with other classes involved with the same project. very rich and informative discussions in class
    4. cross-collaboration with students; no more lone-wolf learner in era of testing; how do we share information & replicate what we see in the real world
  2. literature circle wiki
    1. book trailers
    2. notes on the face-to-face meetings posted to the class wiki.
    3. have follow-up discussions online through the class wiki, through comments on the discussion notes.

Pivot Point #3:

keep assesing student learning using traditinoal tools, but use alternative modes of assessment like blog to engage students in metacognition and to activiely reflect on their research strategities.

create conversation about adaptability and research strategies using blogs.

  1. research student blogs
    1. students get excited about the research. “Life changing, these two words give a perfect summary of what this project has been for me….” –student blog comment
    2. Real world experts comment on student research blogs.
    3. Students engage, think about topics, and connect with real-life experts.
    4. Learning tool not just for one research project. Blogs are a way to have a voice and get ideas out there. Ideas have value and meaning

Pivot Point #4:

Keep teaching students how to access and consume information, but place….


  1. multi-genre artifacts — can differentiate instruction & open up students who have abilities in other areas. Can learn online safety skills through these projects. Presentation Zen ideas covered.
    1. Facebook Page
    2. Voicethread
    3. Glogster
    4. Two Voice Poem
    5. Skit
    6. Song
  2. Presentation Zen: Students had to think about the content, not just regurgitate. Had to learn to connect with the audience.

Pivot Point #5:

Keep creating research pathfinders for students, but teach students how to forge their own paths for learning and building their own information portals

Learning is the process of creating own network….

www.netvibes.com/alex7586#home (student created netvibes portal)

www.netvibes.com/samonte94#General (student created netvibes portal)

Students so excited about researching and learning about their topics.


  1. Baby steps are ok.
  2. anticipate some initial pushback, from both students & teachers. –for first time students were being asked, “What do you think?” Some students were ok, some not so much.

Embrace the messiness of social scholarship and questions of authority.

  1. Rules are hard & fast now; not firm. What is authoritative. If students can articulate this, they have mastered these skills.
How do you go about getting some of these tools unblocked? Check out Buffy’s Fighting the Filter Presentation.

Monday Keynote: Info Fluency & Imagining the Internet

Here’s my notes from the keynote. They are quite lengthy, and unformatted; will try to come back later and do so.

Technology is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts w one hand, and stabs you in the back with the other. -CP Snow.

Lew Rainie, PEW Internet. They are like Internet archaelogists – study it, but don’t make judgments.

@lrainie –


Tweckle: heckling a speaker on Twitter.

The Internet is the change agent: THEN and now


46% of adults use internet

5% w broadband at home

50% own a cell phone

0% connect to internet wirelessly

less than 10% use “cloud”

=Slow, stationary connection built around my computer


75% of adults use internet

62% w broadband at home

80% own a cell phone

53% connect to internet wirelessly

greater than two-thirds use “cloud”

= fast mobile connections built around outside servers and storage.

Librarians can teach & make pple more comfortable with these tools.

Those not using the Internet so far, they feel uncomfortable with the tools, with the devices, and uncomfortable with the risks that are out there. Librarians can handhold and show these people that there’s not much to be afraid of.

25% of American adults don’t use internet: say don’t want/need to, many uncomfortable w/tools & environment. Librarians can help. #cil2010 –@annehaines

Media ecology – now (information age)

48% of adults own laptops – up from 30% in 2006

43% of adults own MP3 players – up from 11 % in 05

37% of adults own game consoles

18% of adults own gaming devices.

All mobile devices.

All of these can be connected to the Internet and can reach the cloud.

Networked creator universe:

57% are social networking site users

Kids think adults have encroached on their space.

No exodus of the teenagers; continues to grow

37% share photos

life blogging

30% share personal creations

30% contribute rankings and ratings


28% create content tags

26% post comments on sites and blogs

19% use Twitter / other status update features

15 % have personal website

15 % are content remixers

14 % are bloggers

haven’t found compelling ways to talk to bloggers; some of the blogging has migrated to social networking sites. Pple don’t think of this as blogging. Talk about it as social networking experience.

Manuel Castells – The Internet Galaxy

Four cultures shaped the Internet

Creators of online culture


1.Scientific method enshrined;


2.peer review,



1.Stallman: “Free speech in the computer age”

1.Freedom to creat

2.to appropriate

3.to redistribute

3.Virtual communitarians: Early Usenet groups

1.Horizontal free communication

2.Primacy of self-directing networks

3.“Whole Earth ‘Lectronic link – well.com

4.Entrepreneurs – Netscape IPO

1.Tech know-how

2.can generate lots of money

Lee Rainie sees NEW One:

5.Networked creators

1.Democratized the voices in media

2.Challenged traditional media gatekeepers

3.Inserted themselves in “expert” affairs

4.Enhanced their civic and community roles – much more engaged.

1.37% of internet users contributed to the news

2.20% contributed to health content

3.19% contributed to civic and political activities

New community-building activities that online content creation enables

1.Produce content that helps them expand their social network and increase their social standing – audience

1.“Beyond Reality” –Janet and Maddie Video Channel – http://beyondreality.blip.tv/ & http://www.itsbeyondreality.com

2.Daughter wanted to be social commenter; she’s now achieved her dream.

Advantages to creators – conclusions of MacArthur Foundation team – www.macfound.org

negotiating friendship, status, identity (teenagers have been doing this, always)

creating spaces for building social networks among friends And those who share their interests

creating learning opportunities

gaining reputational capital – Maddie got into college in part because of this stuff

2.Produce content to create social posses to solve problems.

Acura TSX – Car thief posse – An epic thread yields rapid internet justice.

_____ book begins with a story like this.

Love the mob as long as we don’t become one mind and don’t think first before acting in regards to @lrainie keynote story #CIL2010 –#mlibrarianus

Advantages to creators in posse situations

1.fact checking and transparency

2.crowdsourcing wisdom, especially among “strangers” who share a common purpose

3.production and accumulation of evidence that is easily search-able

3.Produce content to construct “just-in-time-just-like-me” support groups

Karen Parles material; lung-onc listserv; www.caringbridge.org/visit/karenparles/mystory

Esther Schreurs comment: another cancner

Just-in-time-just-like-me communities

1.communities of just-in-time information and support – ad hoc and “on the fly”

2.communities of “rare species”

1.Homophily par excellence (“birds of a feather”)

3.communities of practice that are “space-less”

1.just-in-time-just-like-me communities: communities of practice that are “space-less”: #cil2010 teachers, librarians have greatly used this –@hbraum

2.@lrainie “Birds of a feather” Communities can form for support/understanding i.e. I need someone who is going through what I am. #cil2010 –@ma1ja

3.Cool new word “homophily”. Birds of a feather. Internet lets groups form for any specific interest imaginable. #cil2010.–@quinnrosie

4.Also, librarians have ALWAYS known that ppl/organizations are information resources. This is that – faster & on steroids! #cil2010 –@annehaines

4.Produce content unlike traditional news organizations

Social-media-sphere is the “5th estate”

Week of March 30-April 5, 2009:

1.Trad’l press focus on Obama and Economy

1.G20 Europe Trip

2.Economic Crisis

3.Auto industry

4.ny hostages


2.Blogosphere is filled w an eclectic mix of stories

1.guardian prank (Twitter)


3.Actress Comments

4.Earth Hour – gorgeous pics on Boston Globe website: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/03/earth_hour_2009.html

5.Online Security

Lee ramie @ #cil2010 traditional media vs blogosphere PEJ analysis http://www.journalism.org/ –@peacekaat

5th estate publishing tastes

1.technology developments, esp activites in the social media environment

1.bloggers as rocket boosters

2.links as social currency

2.off-beat stories, especially those with quirky humor

3.American exceptionalism stories

4.Cultural cleavages and social issues more than economic issues

#cil2010 Rainie: The social media realm is the fifth estate. –@julian2

Implications for libraries

1.“You can be a node in people’s social networks as they seek information to help them solve problems and meet their needs.” Libraries are pple’s smarter friends, the expert friends, we’re the master teachers – don’t know the answer, but know how to find the answer. Pple can’t keep up with info, need people in networks who can dig through the stream and find the right info quickly.

2.You can teach new literacies

1.screen literacy – graphics and symbols

2.navigation literacy

3.connections and context literacy


5.value of contemplative time

6.how to create content

7.ethical behavior in new world

3.need to re-vision your role in a world where much has changed

1.access to information

2.value of information

3.curating info means more than collections

4.creating media – networked creators should be your allies.

Rainie has no answers for this as to what the revision should look like.

Librarians have become more powerful in the past 6 months – Knight Foundation & Aspen Institue – communities’ information needs. Assessing needs of communities – libraries are central to this. As journalistic resources are shrinking, pple are bombarded with lots more info, libraries are an anchor institute that can respond to their communities’ better than anybody else.