With this blog reaching its first birthday (my first post was August 22, 2005!), I got to thinking about how the library and the classroom have changed for many of us in the last couple of years.
I got to thinking about how incredibly dramatic the change has been since I first got out of library school in 1976 and then when I had to do that masters over again for my educational credential in 1988. But the changes occurring between 1976 and 1988, when the PC and automation were just becoming ubiquitous in libraries, had nothing on the changes we were to see in the last five, no the last 2 years!
I see an urgent need for librarians to retool. We cannot expect to assume a leadership role in information technology and instruction, we cannot claim any credibility with students, faculty, or administrators if we do not recognize and thoughtfully exploit the paradigm shift of the past two years.
I started playing around with a chart to record the changes and help plan for the future. I invite you all to help me refine this chart. It is very rough! Here’s a slightly neater version.
Things that have changed
When left library school
Implications for Future? Learners, Educators, Schools?
|Most used reference sources
||Encyclopedias and almanacs, Readers’ Guide, CD-ROM Databases, books, magazines, newspapers
||Wikipedia, Google, Ask.com, MapQuest, subscription databases, ebooks
||Need to introduce a fuller information toolkit. Need to promote lesser known or used tools—subscription databases, alternate search tools, ebooks. Potential for an information underclass! Need to help students determine where to start. Need for high quality federated searching to cut through the noise? May need to promote the value of books for some projects.
|How we most often communicate
||Letters, phone calls, email through Pine and other text-based systems
||Cell phones, texting, email, IM, Skype (VOIP), social networking (MySpace, Friendster, FaceBook, Elgg), telecommunications, blogs, wikis, Web goes two ways
||Librarians need to communicate with users using emerging tools. Blended service and instruction. Two-way communications. Learner-centered/learner empowered environment
||Reference service at the desk, in-person reference interview, Mudge Guide to Reference Books
||Students expect immediate interaction and 24/7 information service. Students expect independence in information access—on home PCs at any hour of day. Some libraries and states offer IM and email reference
||Users expect information and services to be immediate. Need for blended service in the form of Web sites, blogs, pathfinders customized to meet students’ information and developmental needs. Need for extended just-in-time, just-for-me guidance/intervention. Libraries should aim to be a window on students’ home desktops. Virtual library as customized information landscape.
|Options for student projects, learning
||Student projects: term papers, Hypercard, dioramas, essays, speeches, debates, etc.
||Term papers, essays, speeches, debates, etc. PowerPoint, websites, learning objects, podcasts, video editing, Internet2, wikis, blogs, digital storytelling, WebQuests, I2 and teleconferencing bring authors, experts, performances in and connect teachers and learners with remote partners. Learning can be face-to-face, online synchronous, asynchronous. Growth of distance learning options
||Librarians must partner with classroom teachers to create projects relevant to 21st century learning using emerging tools for communication. What is the best communication tool for the project? How can we use these new tools for teaching, practicing, and reflecting on information fluency?
|Audience for student work / writing
||Teacher’s eyes only, class presentation, file cabinet
||Website, podcasts, wikis, blogs, digital portfolio–open potential global audience
||Student work can easily be public, global! How does shifted and expanded audience change approach, instruction, motivation?
(Need for caution/instruction about “stickyness” of student personal and other writing. Admissions officers and potential employers are watching.)
|What we know about how learners learn
||Move away from fact memorization, right answers, textbook reliance, and reporting to constructivism. Move away from “frontal” teaching, group projects, inquiry, essential questions
||Influence of brain research / cognitive science. Learning is: multidisciplinary, social, multi-intelligence (Gardner), potential for gaming/simulations, brain needs to “pattern”, every brain different, learning styles vary, importance of building on prior knowledge, application of knowledge, real world, growth of relevant service learning, learner-centered, community-centered, problem-based
||How do we use what we know about learning to partner with teachers to create effective learning activities? What role will collaboratively created e-books, new media, a.i., gaming play? How will we design learning environments that work?
|How we and our students find out about books and other new materials?
||Bestseller lists, recommendation lists from organizations, book review journals,
||Amazon & other online booksellers, push technology suggestions, mega-bookstores, book trailers, book review blogs
||Need to promote and solicit suggestions for materials in new ways. Interactive forms? Encourage student/teacher book blogging? Student-produced book trailers?
|Understandings about intellectual property
||Copyright laws, Multimedia Fair Use Guidelines, Tassini decision Creative Common Licence, Open Source, copyright-friendly portals for sharing content
||Need to teach new world of information ethics. Copyright options are expanding for creators. How do we guide learners to copyright-friendly options? How do we behave responsibly?
|Students and intellectual property / academic integrity
||MLA (and other) books and handouts, teachers and librarians check for plagiarism by searching through print sources
||Tools like turnitin, bibliographic format available on the Web, citation generators, Google as an originality check.
||Need for instruction and guidelines in respecting intellectual property in a cut-and-paste, mixed, mash-up world. Need to define appropriate levels of collaboration.
||Resources limited. Evaluation simplified by formal, vetted publishing process. Print sources—books, magazines, journals, newspapers—well-know to teachers and librarians. Relatively easy assessment of credibility, authority, relevance, scope.
||Resources vast—choices among formats explode. Multiple voices available. Anyone can author content. New challenges in assessing credibility and authority. Read/Write Web 2.0 facilitates immediate power of the citizen as author. No more black and white evaluation rules!
||Need to teach about how to evaluate for particular information task. Notions of authority are shifting. Need to annotate to explain some information choices. How do we learn to evaluate blogs, wikis, shared video, podcasts, etc?
|Understandings about cataloging
||Sears and LC Subject headings
||Sears and LC, and access to computer cataloging services. And: meta–tagging, tags, folksonomies. Emerging strategies for tagging non-print media—images, film, music
||Need to rethink ineffective cataloging schemes to recognize power of keywords and tags that make sense to users. Need to teach about tags, RSS, etc. as new ways to locate relevant information. Cookery—India no longer plays! Personalization of the OPAC?
|How we get news
||3 major news channels, newspapers, weekly news magazines
|24-hour news, 100s of channels on television, websites, blogs, RSS, push news, access to global news sources for multiple perspectives, news portals gather content in varying formats
||Need for pathfinders to lead learners to news sources they will need for particular projects
||Information Power released in 1988—new focus on information literacy
||IP2 released in 1998
ETS releases ICT Literacy Assessments, Partnership for 21st Century Skills, ISTE’s NETS for Students, Teachers, Administrators, release of state and national content area standards
|How do we use new tools to deliver both content and process standards?
||Books have been challenged and sometimes banned from collections
||Challenges of all sorts. DOPA threatens access to Web 2.0 tools, filters required for e-rate funding
||Increasing need to protect student access to information. Need more complicated in a political environment motivated by fear of new tools.
|What our collection looks like
||Books, magazines, filmstrips, cassette tapes, 16 mm movies, software on disk
||Books, ebooks, streaming audio, streaming video, blogs, Webcasts, podcasts, wikibooks, open source, software & Web-based apps
||Need to create signage, guides, pathfinders for new additions to “collection.” How will we lead students and teachers to them most effectively?
|What our space looks like
||Traditional shelves—books, magazines, videocassettes, reference workstations
|Much of reference is moving online, video and audio streaming, still need for fiction and nonfiction
||Increasing need for group, creative production space—iMovie, podcasting, blogging. Library as group planning/collaborating space. Library as performance, presentation space. Library as event-central, telecommunications, remote author/expert visit space. Library continues as study/reading/gathering/cultural space.
|What we loan
||Books, videocassettes, audiocassettes, magazines
||Traditional items & ebooks, digital audio, laptops, memory sticks, digital cameras, etc.
||Budgets and policies need to recognize students’ new needs for learning materials.
|Need for retooling / How we retool
||Every five years or so
Professional journals, conferences
|Frequent! Professional journals, conferences, virtual conferences, Webcasts, professional blogs, collaborating through professional wikis.
||Learning happens between annual conferences. Blogs publish professional news, new strategies before it can travel through traditional publishing process. (Essential strategies for keeping up!) Attend conferences without traveling—viewing keynotes online. Use tools like Hitchhikr, visit sources like EdTechTalk
||High stakes testing, beginning of project-based assessments
||High stakes testing + growing recognition of need for alternate, authentic performance-based assessment. High stakes backlash beginning
||Need to move schools beyond knowledge needed to pass one or two high stakes tests. Digital portfolios more practical option for performance-based assessment. Students need to solve problems, make decisions, collaborate, and communicate effectively with traditional and emerging tools.