I am currently attending an excellent conference on School Libraries and their various roles in leading learning. The conference is co-hosted by the Australian School Library Association (NSW) and the NSW Department of Education and Training. Congratulations to both organisations for an excellent two-day program.
This biennial event provides a ‘shot in the arm’ for teacher librarians wishing to keep abreast of the exciting developments in librarianship including Library 2.0.
Perhaps the Keynote speakers should be able to better model this type of engagement to teacher librarians? Ross Todd from CISSL at Rutgers University (exponent of Guided Enquiry) gave a brilliant keynote presentation – as he always does. Ross speaks well, and provides a superb approach to guided inquiry and evidence-based practice. Thank you Ross!
I was glad of his reference to social networking tools and sites, but not his demonstration of personal/professional use of Web 2.0 tools. The time has come for those who talk about Web 2.0 to BE Web 2.0 themselves in order to model Learning 2.0 or Library 2.0. I would like Ross to lead us in this journey too.
On the other hand, Jon Callow, from Sydney University, gave a lively and engaging presentation on Literacy through digital stories. Jon’s statistics on youth engagement online were current and he used some fun quizz techniques to make the point about the immersive nature of online environments. Underpinning his presentation was the vital message – that digital literacy is with us, here to stay, and therefore we must harness these learner generated contexts for higher order skills of problem solving, communication, team works and technology skills.
[Oh! I also noticed that Jon provided attributions for images used in his presentation! and music, explaining the use of Creative Commons through-out his presentation. Ross did not attribute his images! or provide a link to the source of Web 2.0 images he used.]
I was fortunate to take part in the end of day panel discussing the shape of Library 2.0 – but unfortunately the topic seems a little ahead for most attendees as we had no pertinent questions from the floor.My cameo comment focussed on the need for teacher librarians to embrace Web 2.0 and social networking in order to develop a strong professional learning community to help take school libraries forward. There are far to few Teacher Librarians active in this area in Australia – and there is certainly little scope for professional dialogue amongst them via Web 2.0 tools. The notion of collaboration and communication is still very much embedded in the era of email and listservs – very Library 1.0.
So the challenge is ahead for them as a professional group. An issue for me is the lack of a strong professional community to help each person develop their knowledge and skills. Even where I see people stepping into the Web 2.0 world (and lead by consultants in some instances) those doing the training are such ‘newbies’ that they haven’t understood which key steps to model, which tools to highlight, which techniques to adopt to streamline Web 2.0 use. So overall we have a big bit of learning still to do! quite a bit! – while our students stream ahead and leave us knocking on the doors of Facebook, Myspace and the like.
My minor keynote presentation focussed on my favourite topic of multi-modal learning – in the context of school libraries.
Learning is a global multi-modal conversation and it is [r]evolutionary. Choice, co-creation, and information access are changing what it means to be a net-savvy teacher. As we pour our own words, tags, sounds, images, and multimedia into the ever-increasing global knowledge and information pool, we have to become adept at patterns of connectivity in these learning environments. If students think of the internet as a virtual locker, backpack, notebook, diary, and communication tool, then we must create flexible learnign environments which are transfored by this multi-modal focus. More than ever flexibility and personalization are at the core of re-purposing our libraries and learning environments in a Web 2.0 world. Are you up for the challenge?