Category Archives: INF506

Smartphones for education & BYOD

Two recent infographics have caught my attention regarding the changing nature of edtech in education. I’m really interested in the statistic quoted about students using a smartphone to support their study are spending more time on their studies per week. Although 40 minutes doesn’t sound like a lot. When I think about this in terms of the distance education students I teach at CSU, I would suggest that a number of my students who are mobile learners are actually investing more than 40 mins of study per week via their mobile devices. I am observing far more ‘learning on the run’ in 2012 compared to 2009 when I was involved in a study which explored DE students’ preferences for accessing DE learning materials online and via mobile devices. It’s amazing how quickly emerging tech becomes mainstream these days, which leads to the second infographic I recommend Going BYOD.

Connecting Apps & Education
Provided By: OnlineColleges.net

A Teacher’s Guide to Social Media [infographic]

This infographic provides a nice visual introduction on teachers’ use to social media in their classroom. The four coloured coded functions of Connect, Teach, Notify and Curate are useful in demonstrating the different functionalities of a range of social networking tools. This infographic could be used as a discussion starter with a group of school teachers, or university lecturers.
A Teacher’s Guide to Social Media
From: OnlineColleges.net

Turning Students into Good Digital Citizens

I just came across this excellent article published by THE Journal which explores a number of issues regarding students’ development of digital literacies and the need for curriculum reform that embeds more explicit teaching of digital citizenship. The article also provides some great leads to recent research in this area including the work of Michael Wesch. The three short video clips of this playlist captures key take-home message of the difference between knowledgeable and knowledge-able and the need for education to move beyond this, given that we live in such a mediated world where different technologies do actually ‘mediate’ how we interact with them and our capacity to engage with content and people, Wesch expands the meaning of being ‘savvy':

I particularly like his take on this:

“The newer, more interesting questions that are, I think, unique to the digital world revolve around things like algorithms… When my students are freshmen, I try to get them familiar with the digital space in a new way, to begin to give them a sense that what they’re seeing on the screen is encoded. By the time they’re seniors, my hope is that they not only see those structures, but start to manipulate them and put things together in new ways.”

“Understanding that what a person sees on a screen is a construct created by somebody–perhaps even oneself–is part of “building a scaffold toward digital citizenship,” Wesch says, and the next step beyond critical thinking, information literacy, and creative thinking.

“Our lives are so entwined with the digital–so incredibly enmeshed in the digital,” he concludes, “that, if you’re going to be a good citizen, period, you have to be a good digital citizen.”

A must read and essential viewing for teachers and teacher librarians.

Seth Godin’s Stop Stealing Dreams manifesto

It is absolutely pouring with rain here in Canberra. We have had about 18mm in the past hour and for a summer’s day, it’s cold! But I don’t mind, today I downloaded Seth Godin’s Stop Stealing Dreams, and over a couple of glasses of red wine this evening I am going to devour every word of his 30,000 manifesto.


I’ve already read the first few sections and I am hooked! Section 5 really grabbed my attention:

and from what I have scanned his argument about traditional schooling being based on obedience and control captures what what we have been struggling with for the past 2 decades (at least), especially now we are living in a digitally driven, socially networked world… the ways we live and work are constantly changing, however many schools have not even shifted beyond first gear in terms of technology provision and networked access to online information and services. Not to mention a school curriculum based on critical and creative inquiry, collaborative learning, transliteracy, digital citizenship, personal learning environments, mobile learning, 3D virtual worlds as authentic learning environments, just to name a few.

Sections of Godin’s manifesto can easily be used to support professional learning activities. I can’t wait to see some of Seth’s ideas being discussed in tweet streams of edu hashtags such as #edchat and #tlchat in the near future!

I’d be interested to hear from others how Seth’s manifesto is being used to support professional learning in their school, district or PLN.

Curating Information & Making Sense of Data Is a Key Skill for the Future [Research]

Via Scoop.itFuture Trends in Libraries

Excellent scoop on Scoop.it by Future Trends in Libraries curated by nickcarman. He states:

Extremely valuable skills for Information Professionals of the future… The Institute for the Future and the University of Phoenix have teamed up to produce, this past spring, an interesting report entitled Future Work Skills 2020.   By looking at the set of emerging skills that this research identifies as vital for future workers, I can’t avoid but recognize the very skillset needed by any professional curator or newsmaster.   It should only come as a limited surprise to realize that in an information economy, the most valuable skills are those that can harness that primary resource, “information”, in new, and immediately useful ways.   And being the nature of information like water, which can adapt and flow depending on context, the task of the curator is one of seeing beyond the water, to the unique rare fish swimming through it.  The curator’s key talent being the one of recognizing that depending on who you are fishing for, the kind of fish you and other curators could see within the same water pool, may be very different.     

Here the skills that information-fishermen of the future will need the most:   1) Sense-making: ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed;   2) Social intelligence: ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions;   3) Novel and adaptive thinking: proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based;   4) Cross-cultural competency: ability to operate in different cultural settings;   5) Computational thinking: ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning;   6) New media literacy: ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms, and to leverage these media for persuasive communication;   7) Transdisciplinarity: literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines;   8) Design mindset: ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes;   9) Cognitive load management: ability to discriminate and filter information for importance, and to understand how to maximize cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques;   10) Virtual collaboration: ability to work productively, drive engagement, and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team.

Executive Summary of the Report

Download a PDF copy of Future Work Skills 2020

Via apolloresearchinstitute.com

Content curation and the power of collective intelligence

I have been exploring this topic as part of the subject INF506 Social Networking for Information Professionals that I am teaching this summer (it’s an elective in our MEdTL amd MIS courses at CSU). A lot is being written about content creation within and beyond the information professions. Here are a few gems that I recommend TLs and librarians check out:

Beth Kanter’s blog post Content Curation Primer is a good starting point for information professionals.

Weisgerber clearly presents the difference between aggregation and curation, highlighting the importance of the ‘human touch’ in curation by contextualising the ‘found information’.  
I think her 8 steps in successful curation provide an excellent guide for information professionals who wish to become proactive curators of digital content, adding value to the content they curate.
Glenn Remoreras provides us with a nice historical snapshot of the shift from Web 1.0 – Web 2.0 – Web 3.0 in his post Forecast 2020: Web 3.0+ and Collective Intelligence. His diagram on collective intelligence is excellent!
Donna Pappacosta’s presentation Best practices for content curation provides some useful practices and strategies – advice on slides 45-53 is very practical.
Sophia B. Liu’s presentation on her PhD research at the University of Colorado about crisis and curation and how the world of social media is shaping a brave new world in curation of crisis information and how the history of crises is captured is Fascinating (with a capital ‘F’!). She looks at the role of curation and curators in society before exploring curation within the context of information on and about crises.
View more presentations from sophiabliu
Her presentation is a fabulous educational resource about curation with detailed speaker notes included for many of her slides. This is highly recommended viewing and reading.
Joyce Valenza’s blog post, ‘Curation – The Musical’ highlights the importance of building school students’ capacity as digital curators, while her ‘Guide for Teacher Librarians: Curating and remixing the tools that define current professional practice’ demonstrates Joyce’s own capacity as a content curator – this is such a comprehensive professional portal for teacher librarians. Thanks Joyce!
And finally, I recommend you follow the activity on the Curation Nation website. Also view some of the short videos on this site including Allen Weiner’s defining curation and the importance of credibility in curation, and interview with Clay Shirky about curation.
I’d love to hear from teacher librarians about your curation efforts. It would be great to start building a collection of curation practices by TLs in schools.

Do School Libraries Need Books?

This is a question that always fuels heated debate between stakeholders, and recently the NY Times decided to re-ignite the debate. This time we have a school principal, a school library media specialist,  an English professor, and two authors weighing in with their opinions.

Given recent concerns about cuts to US funding to school libraries, this debate could either support or crucify one’s argument.

It’s certainly gained much attention across teacher librarianship circles worldwide as well as the broader information and education communities – just do a Google search for starters! And after this latest tussle dies down, it will be re-fuelled again, so best you get your arguments for/against developed so you can be prepared for the next wave!

I think this argument is particularly pertinent for our new MEdTL and GradCertTL students at CSU who are studying ETL401 and ETL503. Please feel free to share your opinions on this debate here.

‘School Librarians’ and Libraries – Seeking Relevance & a Future?

As we are about to commence our first session of study for 2010, I thought I should get the ball rolling with some new posts. I look forward to sharing another year with my fellow blogger, Roy Crotty and our School of Information Studies students.

There’s been a lot of discussion among our US-based colleagues recently about AASL’s decision to use ‘school librarian’ as the official title for school library media specialists in all future correspondence, policy and advocacy activities of the association. This news was buzzing in January across a number of professional journals and websites, discussion lists and social networking sites – check out American Libraries magazine, School Library Journal’s Talkback, AASL’s blog, Cathy Nelson’s blog, Bookends blog, just to name a few, and clearly the debate continues.

It comes as no surprise that we struggle as a profession to come to consensus on this issue, whether here in Australia or in other countries, and the US is no exception. No matter what label an information specialist (my preferred generic label) adopts within a school, education system or state, the bottom line is that it is the daily practice and actions of the person holding this position that defines what the role is (and is not) to their school community!

A definite win for our US colleagues is this fabulous article published in Education Week yesterday which features a number of library media specialist movers & shakers. While David Loertscher’s ‘learning commons’ concept gets an airing, I was particularly struck by Joyce Valenza’s ‘take’ on libraries as “no longer [being] grocery stores where students can go to pick up ingredients, but kitchens, where they have the resources necessary to create a finished product.”

What are your thoughts on AASL’s decision to officially adopt the title ‘school librarian’ as the label for 21st century school library media specialists, and how might you use the ideas presented in the above article to inform the development of a vision for your school library and your role as a TL?

Remember: the future of our profession lies in the hands of those who currently practice.

All the best with your studies at CSU in 2010. :-)