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6/03/2008

Education: Learning to Change

Some interesting thoughts from this video, Learning to Change, Changing to Learn



2:26 “We’ve got a classroom system, when we could have a community system

4:06 “ So the coin of the realm is not memorizing the facts that they’re going to need to know for thr rest of their lives. The coin of the realm will be that you:

  • know how to find information,
  • know how to validate it,
  • know how to synthesize it,
  • know how to leverage it,
  • know how to communicate it,
  • know how to collaborate with it,
  • know to problem solve with it.
That’s the 21st century set of literacies.”

The second thought stream is the one that has really got me thinking. With libraries and our education system both so closely tied to literacy and new parameters of “literacies” unfolding, I wonder how comfortable either organization is in helping students work through the seven “know hows” listed above?

I know that many a reference desk prides itself on being able to help people “find information” and “validate it.” But in a information rich culture our competencies need to go beyond these first two items. It's got me thinking how can libraries, in addition to our education system, support these as well?

Anyone have thoughts?

6 comments:

Jo said...

Hi there. Have just finished a uni assignment in which I talked about this issue, looking in particular at ICT's and tweenagers/teenagers in public libraries. I loved the quote in the clip 'that's the 21st century set of literacies'. That would have just been perfect in my assignment. Oh well.

I think that the notion of literacy is changing, and that libraries and librarians must reflect these changes in the way they run programs and services, as well as in their outlooks.

Our library has taken away our 3 computers in our children's area, and there is none in the young adults section either. The above mentioned 'literacies' rely on ICT's, so what happens when they have no access to it anywhere else but school?

Matt said...

I would add, and maybe it seems obvious, but one will need to know how to create new information, stories or artifacts as well.

Matt said...

One other thought ... I wathced an interview with Colman McCarthy of the Center for Teaching Peace on C-SPAN's Q&A (http://inside.c-spanarchives.org:8080/cspan/cspan.csp?command=dprogram&record=563959223) Sunday evening. Within the context of teaching peace in the public schools he made some very interesting points about how our populace is educated. He pointed with great enthusiasm to Dr. Maria Montessori, MD (www.montessori.edu) and several others that encourage self-directed learning with professional educators as support.

That is the third time in the past month that I have heard of Montessori. The first was in the context of discussion about the CEO's of Amazon, Google and Maxis, i.e., Sims City creator/founder Will Wright all were Montessori school students. Will Wright also spoke of the Montessori methods with great affection in a talk at TED (http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/146) last year.

As libraries, we are so poised for such an insert into the learning of individuals. Although it may seem like a simplistic and naive thing to say, but I don't thing it really takes that much for us to move in that direction. Well, take that back, it doesn't take much in terms of resources. Really it is a shift in focus, vision and mission. We need to align ourselves with all organizations that focus on learning. We really do have what it takes to make this point and lead with it. I've said enough already.

Hopefully, this discussion will continue.

andrew said...

I really enjoyed this video, thanks for posting it. I liked the final thought that "this is the death of education and the birth of learning" which I think is very profound.

The exponential reach of the internet opens the door of information for even the least motivated within our society. This means that we can slowly pull back from the control inherent in teaching individuals what we believe they need to know, and all of the bias that comes along with that. Opening up our knowledge systems is very empowering. For an individual who hasn't had to argue with an educator, parent or employer about what information they need to learn an open system allows them to find their own path to the wealth of knowledge out there.

Without that specific structure individuals are able to look at information through their own set of eyes, with their own perspective and that is when cliché’s such as "thinking outside of the box" actually find a home. The rise of the creative class, etc, is all tied to opening up and allowing creativity to flourish.

As we continue to open doors to global knowledge individuals, and especially young people who are “native” lose more and more of their fears about crossing societal norms. In fact they learn instead to fear those norms as an affront to the world they are creating and living in.

I believe the library has the ability to develop this new literacy in patrons through transparency, community building and embracing greater technological opportunities. One of the speakers mentioned that the school should become just one facet of a students learning and I think the library fits this very well also. The library should be the premier resource for community knowledge while providing access to global knowledge. Being this resource helps to build an important niche for the library to allow it to remain a solid asset to the people who’s taxes pay for it to exist.

Some specific ideas that come to mind would be to have the library sponsorship of community building wiki’s where perhaps a specific topic is considered and posted up within the wiki with an aspect of your Learning 2.0 thrown at it as some initial incentive. Another idea might be a partnership to provide some level of electronic access at non-library sites such as festivals or other public buildings, etc. This would raise the profile of the library as not just a resource for physical media which is the view most people have of the library at this point. Obviously the sponsorship of technology workshops is helpful. What about partnering with public media (like WOSU) to provide outreach on these topics through a broadcast medium. In terms of content the library’s use of some sort of open knowledge management system that can grow through reference desk questions. Finally, something bigger would be the integration of local library resources into search engines (eg google or yahoo) where the search returns library resources the way it currently returns amazon.com ads, etc. Again, I’m just sort of spit-balling here.

Anyhow, thanks again for getting me thinking about this. I have a commentary on WOSU on Tuesday that I believe will be on the topic of the role of the library in the 21st century community.

Muggie said...

You have certainly began that process here at PLCMC! It's your legacy to us. As one of the speakers on the video said, she would start by "giving the (new community) tools to the teachers", you introduced the PLCMC staff to the tools and we ran with it. Learning 2.0 and 2.1 are still alive and well here.

I for one thank you everyday for that gift.

Lynette said...

I loved the video, and will be posting it to a eductional blog today. I'm currently taking 900 teachers through the Learning 2.0 program to enable them to better utilise Web 2.0 technology as professionals and in the classroom. The biggest hurdle is the amount of applications being blocked by the education department. They seem to have an attitude...if students use it, then it's bad!. The next hurdle is the attitude of teachers themselves, and their very outdated view of what education and literacy is. It is very hard to try to explain that literacy is communication and sharing and social networking and today's technology actually enhances this, it is not just books and the printed word and that students are developing these skills through Myspace, Facebook, YouTube, twitter, etc... When I was at school it was books like "The diary of Anne Frank" and "Go ask Alice" that were studied. No one said their diaries were worthless, so why are personal journals recorded on Myspace worth any less because they are not hand written. Students are, after all, still developing literacy skills to communicate with each other, and are doing this an a far more creative manner than we did when we were at school. Education and teaching methods have to catch up with the technology of the 21century in order for schools to remain relevant.