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Archive for April, 2009

Some education 2.0 fun…

Education 2.0 Cartoon by Guhmshoo

 

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A press release about upcoming research on the evaluation of Learning 2.0 programs in Australian libraries:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

US LEARNING 2.0 RESEARCHER DR MICHAEL STEPHENS APPOINTED 2009 CAVAL VISITING SCHOLAR

Melbourne, 30 March 2009 – Internationally recognised US Web 2.0 commentator, writer and library academic, Dr Michael Stephens, has been appointed the 2009 CAVAL Visiting Scholar.

In a world first for CAVAL and its project partners CityLibraries Townsville and Dominican University Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Dr Stephens’ research project will seek to measure the value and effect of Learning 2.0 programs in Australian libraries.

“The intent of this study is to understand the impact on library staff and institutional culture and makeup after a Learning 2.0 program”, Dr Stephens says.

“The critical questions for libraries looking forward are to what extent has Learning 2.0 impacted institutional culture and staff confidence, and to what degree has it improved the ability of library staff to use emerging technologies?”

Dr Stephens notes that “More than 500 libraries in 15 countries have implemented Learning 2.0 programs in 2 years but we know very little about their effectiveness.”

“Nearly 10% of these Learning 2.0 programs are Australian, ranging from large State and University libraries through to public and special libraries and a small school library in New South Wales.”

First developed by the Public Library of Charlotte Mecklenburg County under a Creative Commons license in 2006, Learning 2.0 is an online learning program that encourages library staff to explore and learn about emerging Web 2.0 technologies.  Web 2.0, also called the Read/Write Web or Social Computing, enables users of all ages and walks of life to create, change and publish their own Web content.  Blogs and social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook are common examples.

Working with a co-researcher from CityLibraries Townsville, Dr Stephens’
research aims to develop a world first model for what he terms “an exemplary Learning 2.0 program for Australian libraries.”

For Dr Stephens’ acclaimed Tame the Web blog, visit http://tametheweb.com/

For more information about the original Learning 2.0 program, visit http://plcmcl2-about.blogspot.com/

ABOUT THE PROJECT PARTNERS:

CAVAL is an Australian not-for-profit company established in 1978 to support leading libraries in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.  CAVAL is owned jointly by 11 Australian universities and provides a range of specialised services to the library sector including storage and digital preservation, training and consulting.

Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science was founded in 1930 and has grown to become one of the United States’ largest Masters of Library and Information Science degree-granting programs.  More than 600 students attend classes in River Forest and the Greater Chicago area.

CityLibraries Townsville was formed by the merger of the Townsville City Council and Thuringowa City Council in March 2008.  Three library branches, mobile services plus a virtual branch serve the whole of Townsville – from the inner city to Magnetic Island, from the suburbs to the rural communities.  Each branch offers specialist services and facilities that provide for a diverse community.

CONTACT:

Richard Sayers
Director, Capability Development
CAVAL
+61 7 3491 7021
richard.sayers@caval.edu.au
www.caval.edu.au/

– END –

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First of all, thank you to everyone for taking the time to visit the blog and find out about the project – it’s great to see your comments on the librarian 2.0 page so keep them coming!

Now for some thoughts on skills for information literacy 2.0…

In his wiki Will Richardson (a proponent of the idea of connective learning in education) talks about the kinds of skills students now need in order to effectively engage with information as we enter the age of web 2.0.

Will Richardson writes:

The new world of learning requires us to teach students to be independent learners, ones that are not dependent on teachers but are:

Self-directing–we now have the ability to create our own, personal curriculum around the ideas or topics that we are most passionate about.  We no longer require curriculum to be delivered to us.  We need to help our students find their passions and pursue them in the context of online networks in ethical, effective, organized and safe ways.  And finding a balance between the online and offline life is also a “literacy” in this age.  There are so many ways to communicate these days (blogs, wikis, IM, text, etc.) that it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

Self-selecting–in this world, learning spaces are created, not provided.  And teachers are not assigned, they are selected.  The creation and nurturing of these highly collaborative spaces and communities is a new “literacy” that we need to help our students develop.  How do we find the best teachers?  How do we connect to them?  How do we build communities with others that are supportive and effective?

Self-editing–whereas most of us were educated in a world where the materials we worked with had been edited by someone else along the way, in today’s world, less and less of what we read now is “edited” in the traditional sense.  So, reading and writing is no longer enough; we need to develop people who are effective editors of information as well.

Self-organizing–the Dewey Decimal system doesn’t serve the online world well, so we have to organize our own stuff.  To do that, we use tags and social bookmarking systems, building folksonomies where we organize the Web together.

Self-reflecting–as we become more and more in charge of our own learning, we need to develop the ability to reflect upon and assess our own work.  This “metacognitive” work can involve a number of different genres and tools.

Self-publishing–our students will need to be literate at sharing out the work they produce because that increases the connections and conversations that can lead to further learning.  Blogs, wikis, podcasts and video are among the publishing skills they will need to have.

Self-connecting–in order to leverage the potentials of personal learning networks, our students must understand how to connect to others in safe, ethical and effective ways.

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To what extent do you think these skills can or should be applied to librarian 2.0?  Should we be aiming to develop these kinds of skills through library and information science education?  Let us know what you think on the “Librarian 2.0?” page!

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