School libraries in the 21st century


Today more information is stored digitally than in all the libraries in the world combined. We simply don’t need to ‘remember’ everything. The output of our digital mediums exceeds the wildest dreams of nineteenth century industrialists, and alters our view of memory; forgetfulness; creativity and originality.

Thats why schools need to extend their vision of learning beyond ‘memory-arts’. We are in a hyper-dynamic world of connections, relationships, and adaptive tools that help us make sense of the information flooding about us. We are standing at the entry of an age of infinite recall, where the lines between original works and derivatives are blurred because duplication is simple and storage cheap.

Our students need to  develop insights into how to navigate and select a pathway in their learning world, how to juxtapose text, sound, media, and social connections in real time,  and how to mix and match what they see, hear and experience to build personal knowledge and understandings.

For that they need help from 21st century teacher librarians – by managing better school-wide library services; by creating better learning resources; by using better tools; and by developing better information literacy frameworks.

Rethinking our structures and learning frameworks is central to meeting the demands of 21st century learning. Along with the information revolution, we have the social revolution of new media which has created new relationships and new forms of discourse.

This new media environment can be enormously disruptive to our current teaching methods and philosophies. As we increasingly move toward an environment of instant and infinite information, it becomes less important for students to know, memorize, or recall information, and more important for them to be able to find, sort, analyse, share, discuss, critique, and create information. They need to move from being simply knowledgeable to being knowledge-able (Wesch, 2009)

It is an exciting and challenging time for education.  Now students have the ability to search, work or publish at will using text, audio, and video, or any combination of these. They have unprecedented access to technologies and online tools that are instantly available and often free to use.  Learning and teaching has become a multimodal, multi-literacy conversation – where participation is an everyday reality for students, teachers, teacher librarians, and school administrators.

My thanks to Buffy Hamilton (the Unquiet Librarian)  for this fabulous presentation on information streams,  research and new media.

The 2008 Edublog Awards!

My Nominations for The 2008 Edublog Awards are:

1. Best individual blog : Teaching and Learning Design – Dean Groom

2. Best group blog: Information Literacy Meets Library 2.0

3. Best new blog: And Another Thing – Sue Tapp

4. Best resource sharing blog: CogDogBlog – Alan Levine

5. Most influential blog post: The future of online learning – 10 years on – Stephen Downes

6. Best teacher blog: Cool Cat Teacher – Vicki Davies

7. Best librarian / library blog: Tame the Web – Michael Stephens

8. Best educational tech support blog: Mobile Technology in TAFE – Sue Waters

9. Best elearning / corporate education blog: Jane’s E-learning Pick of the Day – Jane Hart

10. Best educational use of audio: Audio Recorder

11. Best educational use of video / visual: The New Media Literacies

12. Best educational wiki: Web 2.0 Cool Tools for Schools – Lenva Shearing

13. Best educational use of a social networking service: Horizon Project 2008

14. Best educational use of a virtual world: Skoolaborate

Presentation power online

Thanks to a post from Elizabeth Clark, I’m excited to say that I agree with her that 280 slides has wonderful potential for teachers and students alike. In fact, this will become a key teaching tool for me in 2009, as I get my students away from desktop applications and into collaborative online tools.

This is a great place to start. Kids are all too familiar with powerpoint, youtube, and …..uh,oh , google images. How do we make the use of these tools more organic?

For my own presentations, and theirs – this is the go! Why?

Because 280 Slides is a free web-based service where you can “[c]reate beautiful presentations, access them from anywhere, and share them with the world.” It allows you to

  • import existing PowerPoint presentations
  • access your presentations from any computer with an internet connection
  • use media from services like Flickr and YouTube
  • use built-in themes
  • automatically save and recover your presentations
  • download your presentation to PowerPoint
  • publish your presentation on SlideShare, e-mail it, or embed it in a website
  • create your presentations on the web in your browser without downloading any software

I totally love that it works basically the same way as blogs, wikis and nings – use a url or upload an image to put it into your presentation. You can search YouTube or Vimeo to add some multimedia, as well as uploading something.

So students can make their movies, store their images – all online – then embedd them into their presentation – and download, upload, share and …… so the online conversation continues with the power of cloud computing.

Good one!

The Business Impacts of Social Networking

Corporations are changing the way they communicate: In fact, the suggestion is that changing the way you undertake external and internal communication, marketing and advertising will shortly become inevitable, simply because the Internet and Web 2.0 have delivered new instruments and the audience – especially millennials – is expecting corporations to use them.

AT&T has produced at Trends White Paper on The Business Impacts of Social Networking.

Social networking fosters collective intelligence, collaborative work and support communities. Tools and behaviors from the consumer world are now making the transition to the corporate world, with diverse implications for changing the way businesses operate. This paper explores 10 opportunities presented by social networking, along with 10 associated challenges.

Download White Paper [PDF, 612KB]

I think that educators need to know what the changes are that are taking place in the corporate world as we’re educating the future inhabitants of that world. Looks to me like we had better make immersion into Web 2.0 an organic process within our learning frameworks.