Sunday, February 28, 2010

Week 7

While working on our collaborative document this week, I have witnessed some of the pitfalls relating to collaboration that I have heard about from slms in the field.
Many of the slms I have worked with and/or observed have made mention of the fact that although they and their teacher colleagues value collaboration in lesson planning and curriculum development, there are often barriers preventing them from doing so - or at least to the ideal degree.
Although my situation as primarily a student is different than that of a professional setting, it is now easier for me to see the potential deterrents to the collaboration process. The first of which is the matter of coordinating schedules. Whether actually meeting in person, or merely working together virtually, time must be set aside to not only complete the product (be it a lesson plan or report), but also a significant planning stage; determining a cohesive plan, including who will be responsible for what, and what will be the desired outcome.
The second deterrent is that, in the case of our collaborative report for class, personally, I felt that I would have worked more efficiently working independently, and I wonder if others share that sentiment. Conversely, had there been more specific planning, perhaps the collaborative effort would have been more efficient.
One of what I feel is the most important keys to successful and efficient collaboration, is that a group leader is established. I may be wrong about this, as I am still learning about the process, but in recounting my academic and professional experience, I have realized in almost every case that I have collaborated with other students or teachers, there has been a de facto leader.
I have many more thoughts on the subject, however this post appears to have become long-winded, so I will seek other opportunities during the semester to share my other sentiments.

Leia Mais…

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Week 6

Over the past few weeks, we have talked much about copyright and our role in that arena as librarians. It seems strange to me that the more that I have learned about the issue, the less I have to say about it.

I think I can attribute this to a lack of real-world experience on the subject. Much of what we, as a class, have been discussing is speculative. Now that I am almost overwhelmed with the potential conflicts, I am starting to believe that to properly formulate a position, I am going to have to wait to see with what I am presented during my career as a slms.

So much depends on the external influences of my future superiors, administration, and the school's culture, that I no longer think I can walk through the school's doors on my first day with a proper perspective.

I have previously wrote that I would like to be the change agent in a school's or district's culture, which is still true. However, whatever my ideals are, I am much more willing to compromise in a situation where I think, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." That is, in most cases there will be room for improvement, and even if I think I can foster improvement, as long as things are running smoothly, I do not feel as strongly about becoming a crusader for what I think is best. After all, I could be wrong, and my lack of experience might be detrimental, despite my knowledge on the subject.

Leia Mais…

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Week 5

In researching available Web 2.0 tools and new hardware for librarians and students, I believe our class has determined there is some really valuable stuff out there. These tools all seemingly boil down to performing many of the same functions students and educators have historically done in a low-tech fashion.

While there is increased efficiency in implementing these tools, I have noticed quite a few discussion and blog posts lamenting that using these new technologies, be they hardware or software based, creates a new set of problems. Many of the problems are related to "when technology fails." Of course, slms should have a low-tech back-up plan in every instance, as I have noted on our discussion board. However, the fear of a computer crash or connectivity issues, etc., should not deter us from using these technologies and relying on antiquated educational methods. Moreover, the more practice and familiarity we have with these technologies, the less likely they are to fail us, or at least we know how to fix them.

For those apprehensive about using and learning how to incorporate the latest technology, be aware that not only do students want to be using these tools, administrators and parents want them to as well. Speaking from experience, I do not know how well I would be able to master Web 2.0 tools had I not been using their predecessors for years. The longer one holds out, the steeper the learning curve will be. By at least attempting to use and practice using the latest technology, you will be better prepared for Web 3.0 tools - which are already arriving, and you will understand them better by witnessing the evolution of technology.

As the adage goes,"there's no sense in reinventing the wheel," but isn't a wheel much better with an all-weather run-flat tire on it?

Leia Mais…

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Week 4

I have previously researched the Creative Commons (CC) organization, but after digesting some of the materials for this week's theme in LIS 568, I have gained a new perspective in terms of using CC in an educational context. I sincerely hope that more and more educational companies/organizations (for, not for, and non-profit alike)take advantage of what CC has to offer.

In essence, what I think is most valuable, is that the producers of content can explicitly dictate what are appropriate uses for said content/material. This has a number of benefits. First, educators need not worry if their use of particular material is violating copyright laws or "fair-use" doctrines. Second, the content producers have a lucid record of their intended/approved uses of their content, so that any misuse would likely be interpreted as such by any court.

Should content producers' rights be self-imposed, the "gray area" that I've mentioned on our discussion board shrinks substantially, if not altogether.

Hopefully, with the adoption of more CC or Copyleft licensed material, educators can select materials for use more efficiently, and also have larger pool from which to choose.

On our discussion board, I posted a link to a post I wrote for another blog regrading copyright law, and here it is again, in case you missed it:

I do not think my idea for musicians recouping lost revenue would apply to producers of educational material, and I would like to hear if anyone has any suggestions for those types of organizations.

Leia Mais…

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Week 3

With all the fanfare regarding Apple's iPad, I've been wondering about its application in a library media center. If we overlook the price, could this be a valuable tool?
It seems to me although it is unlikely the iPad as we know it will find a home in classrooms and libraries, tablet devices should be the future flagship of academic tools. Much like laptops are ubiquitous on college campuses for their versatile academic and entertainment functions, I envision middle and high school students using school issued tablet devices in lieu of pens, notebooks, and textbooks.
In the coming years, as prices go down, I can not think of any realistic reason not to see tablet devices moving to the forefront of educational tools.
I imagine students downloading "textbooks," uploading homework, and real-time interaction between teachers and students in and out of school. Multimodal learning materials will literally be at students' and teachers' finger tips.
I hope this does not seem like a far-fetched idea. I expect this type of technology to be universal during my career as a slms. It was only 20 years ago that computers became prevalent in schools. I am excited to see what the technology of the next 20 years has in store for students and educators alike.

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Week 2

In many of my colleague's blogs and wiki discussion posts, one can see that there is some concern about students' use of technology and the various roles a slms can or should play in that regard.
I feel in most cases teaching information literacy and responsible, ethical and most importantly SAFE use of these technologies will consume our efforts.
With the exception of very low SES students, most students will be as technologically adept as we are, if not more so, due to the incorporation of these technologies in their everyday lives. What students are lacking however, is the ability to take seriously the risks they are apt to take or be tempted by. There are, of course, numerous opportunities and vehicles for what most educators would consider cheating. There are also opportunities for various types of copyright infringement, which as we all learned, could potentially land a slms in a precarious position if he or she is ultimately found to be proliferating such material inadvertently.
Lastly, we must focus an effort to encourage online safety. Even a student who is aware of the risks of publishing "private" information online will likely succumb to the invincibility fallacy, believing that none of the "horror stories" could happen to him or her. And though they likely will not be targeted by a sexual predator or someone of that ilk, what students do not realize is that some of these youthful indiscretions may be available to other unintended targets; parents, potential colleges, and/or potential employers.
Although I do not have the answers as how to best achieve these goals, I am interested in learning through this course especially how leaders in the field suggest we do so, as well as my classmates' views as well.

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Week 1

While I am no stranger to blogging, or sharing information and opinions via the web, this class marks my first foray into the world of wikis. By that I mean that I have not contributed significantly to a wiki in the past, although I use many Web 2.0 tools to perform many of the same functions.
I am interested in seeing how the interaction between the class members evolves throughout the semester, especially since I assume we all have varying levels of experience publishing and collaborating using Web 2.0 tools.
Although I have plenty of experience using Web 2.0 tools, I would also be the first to say there is always something new to learn, and I am excited to see how these tools can help me in a professionally, in ways I may not have envisioned.
On a somewhat related note, the timing of this class coincides with me exploring Google Wave. I will be using it for non-academic reasons, but from what I understand, it could likely be a valuable tool for collaborating in an academic sense. I will be sure to keep you all posted about my progress as the semester unfolds, should it be pertinent to our class.

Leia Mais…