My podcast on November Learning

I had a very intriguing chat with Brian Mull of November Learning last week. In a post on his blog, Brian responds to the chart I posted on change last week and he posts our conversation as a podcast. The conversation explores information literacy in a Web 2.0 landscape. I thought you might find it food for thought. As always, feel free to disagree and use it if you choose with colleagues and classes. As always, I welcome your feedback!


2006 Quill Awards announced!

On Monday, Reed Business and NBC announced the 2006 nominees for the Quills–a kinda “People’s Choice Award” for literature.  Among the 19 categories are: Fiction, Author of the Year, Debut Author, Graphic Novel, Illustrated Children’s Book, Children’s Chapter Book, Young Adult or Teen Book.

Between August 22 and September 30 folks can visit the site and cast votes for their favorite titles or authors.  The site offers a PDF poster and ad banners for websites to promote interest.  Winners will be announced and webcast on October 10 from the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Last year’s titles helped me decide exactly what to stack on my night table.  I’ve already read a couple of this years’ nominess and can’t wait to squeeze in several more, while I write that dissertation, of course! 




(Re)visiting November Learning

I’ve been to a number of conferences this year, but the one I will remember most, the one that offered me much of what I will bring into school next week was July’s November Learning event in Boston. 

If you weren’t able to be there, or if you were there and you’d like to refresh or relive a bit, the podcasts of the keynotes are now posted. 

Here’s what you’ll find on the site:

Alan November – Leadership: Managing the Transition

This session outlines essential skills for leadership, and offers practical guidelines and creative solutions of building accountability into the planning process. Articulating vision and mission, managing change, and aligning technology to primary goals are emphasized.  A shift in planning from technology to the quality and application of information and communication is a critical next step.
Attachments: Alan_November.mp3

Marco Torres – BLC 2006 Day 1 Keynote

Marco is a social studies teacher, media coach, and education technology director at San Fernando High School. He has received numerous honors and awards for his work helping students empower themselves through the mastery of multimedia. He serves as one of Apple’s Distinguished Educators and is an advisory board member of The George Lucas Educational Foundation.

Andy Hargreaves – BLC 2006 Day 2 Keynote

Andy Hargreaves is the Thomas More Brennan Chair in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. His work has been translated extensively into more than a dozen languages. Professor Hargreaves’ current research interests include the emotions of teaching and leading and the sustainability of educational change and leadership.

Chris Dede – BLC 2006 Day 3 Keynote

Chris Dede’s fundamental interest is the expanded human capabilities for knowledge creation, sharing, and mastery that emerging technologies enable. His teaching models the use of information technology to distribute and orchestrate learning across space, time, and multiple interactive media. His research spans emerging technologies for learning, infusing technology into large-scale educational improvement initiatives, policy formulation and analysis, and leadership in educational innovation.

Tim Tyson – The Blogging School

Historically, community dissatisfaction with school communication has remained unchanged despite Mabry’s best efforts. However, in one year, with the advent of blogging, that level of dissatisfaction has been cut in half. School and community communication is but part of this story. Blogging can also be leveraged to maximize student engagement and academic achievement as well as student collaboration with peers and professionals around the world.
Attachments: Tyson.mp3

Bob Pearlman – Getting and Assessing 21st Century Knowledge and Skills

Bob Pearlman, Director of Strategic Planning for the New Technology Foundation, will define the skills and knowledge that makes students successful in the 21st Century and show the new schools, new school learning environments, and new project-based and rich task learning approaches that foster these skills.
Attachments: pearlman.mp3

Brian Mull – From Crisis to Community

Click here for the Enhanced Podcast version
Brian Mull, who at the time was Director of Technology for an independent school in New Orleans, Louisiana, will describe his experiences during and after Hurricane Katrina.  Specifically, Brian will describe the challenges that his school and he faced due to the storm, and how he modified his school’s communication system in preparation for what was to come.
Attachments: Brian_Mull.mp3

Bette Manchester – Leadership and the Maine Story

Leadership in a one to one learning environment is about vision and using three lenses to support the transformation of a school for the 21st Century. This workshop is about leadership in a state-wide, district and school, one to one initiative – the Maine Learning Technology Initiative.
Attachments: Manchester.mp3

Alan November & Will Richardson

We’re at the dawn of a “new” Internet, one that lets us create content just as easily as we consume it, and educators around the world are finding great ways to use the “Read/Write Web” in exciting and effective ways.
Attachments: alan_will.mp3

Meme: “You’d better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone, For the times they are a changin'”

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.

How life has changed since I left library school.

How should practice respond

Things that have changed

When left library school

preservice  (1976/1988?)

2006/ 2007

 School Year

Implications for Future? Learners, Educators, Schools?

Library Profession?

Most used reference sources Encyclopedias and almanacs, Readers’ Guide, CD-ROM Databases, books, magazines, newspapers Wikipedia, Google,, 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 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 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.
Evaluation 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
Standards 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?
Intellectual freedom 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
Typical assessment 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. 


“Ask here PA” announced

Here in Pennsylvania, Governor Rendell’s Office just announced our state’s new virtual reference service, “Ask Here PA.”

The 24/7 service opens officially on September 6, with than 90 libraries, including 20 academic libraries, participating and receiving training using the OCLC QuestionPoint Survey. The service will be administered by HSLC/AccessPA.

Here’s the plan:

Students and the public will be able to reach public librarians while college
students and faculty will be helped by librarians from participating colleges
and universities.  Staff from the participating libraries will provide
reference assistance to patrons during the day. An international cooperative
of libraries will cover the overnight hours.

I look forward to creating a big link for my students, pointing to the service, and seeing how it is received. As you all know, I want “library” to be a screen on all my students’ home desktops, even if I cannot be there myself.

Interestingly, my students are a bit suspicious of the type of help that might be offered by librarians who don’t know their needs, our curricula and expectations, or their teachers’ requirements. I was incredibly flattered by these learners’ recognition of the customized help that we provide in school libraries. But convenience just might rule and I am bery grateful a librarian will be there when I cannot.

Back in May, our students participated in an IMLS focus group study conducted by colleague Marie Radford from Rutgers University and reported on in Library Garden blog:

A quote from a blog post describing the focus groups:

Many teens expressed the concern that the librarians in chat would not be interested in them or in their questions and might not have the right information for their school assignments. They clearly treasured the one-on-one personal relationships they had developed with their librarians and most were unwilling to give chat a try. When told that live chat reference was 24/7 in Maryland and NJ (PA is starting a statewide chat service in the near future) some eyebrows shot up as they liked this idea since some prefer to do homework late at night.

I’ll keep you posted as I observe.