Month: February 2014

Spades– Book Club readings

So this week we are going to be conducting our book clubs! I’m super excited and I ready to have a discussion on the reading. Heres my thoughts on each of the readings:

For Comfort and Posterity, Digital Archives Gather Crowds -By Jennifer Howard

This article details how Our Marathon( which is a digital archive of the Boston Marathon bombing) got started and the effect it has had. Its interesting because it allows anyone to add to the collection and share their account of the tragic event.

Questions I want to share during the book club about this article:

  1. Should there be more of these digital humanities/archival sites? If yes, what type of events could/should become archived?
  2.  Is there something the digital archive of an event like this one can offer that a physical archive can not?

Happy Endings – by Margaret Atwood

 This was a really interesting short story. It was an alternative plot  story about relationships. I’ve never read a story that allowed you to pick the plot so this was new and fun. However it was a bit pessimistic in the outcomes of each relationship.

Questions I want to share during the book club about this article:

  1. Would the story have a different feel if the female character role was switched with the males?
  2. Are these plots realistic?

The Syrian Opposition is Disappearing from Facebook – By Michael Pizzi

News article that narrates: the story of Ammar Hamidou and his involvement with they Syrian Revolution; Facebook’s role in this and other forms of activism; and Facebook’s removal of activism pages.

Questions I want to share during the book club about this article:

  1. What expectation do people have of the preservation of information posted to Facebook?
  2. How does the tone and vocabulary used throughout the story shape our understanding of this issue?

Bluebeard

This fairy tale is about a wife who found out a horrifying fact about her husband. She disobeyed his orders and entered a room her warned her not to go into.

Questions I want to share during the book club about this article:

  1. Would he have killed her regradless ofif she entered the room? Was this a test?
  2. Why was his beard blue-ish and what did that have to do with the story?
  3. Satisfy your curiosity or live in bliss–which would you choose if you were the wife in this story?

 

Til next time…shhh

 

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Completely digital?

I loved our book club conversation about the Marc Prensky article “ In the 21st- Century University, Let’s Ban (Paper) Books“. There were so many good points made and I really enjoy have academic debates . Two points the really stuck with me were :

1) There must have been a similar conversation to this one when society began libraries.

2) This must be a joke. What authority does Marc Prensky have on higher education?

My thoughts on topic number 1:

At first I completely agree with everyone, the idea of a completely digital university would require far to much effort and its an unrealistic idea. Until I recalled a conversation from my SI 500 course, in which we read quotes and discussed how several people were opposed to libraries and writing because they believed it wouldn’t work. In the past our society was completely oral. Stories, ideas and laws had to be passed along verbally and you would have to be present when it was said otherwise you risk getting some ad-lib version of what happened from some else. Scholars though that writing would lead to us having a terrible memory and thus destroy civilization as we know it. But that’s not what happened and I don’t think I was keeping an open mind while reading because this idea was so foreign. All of the argument (like: once you build the network the system will be outdated, where would you house the super computer that would keep all the book, how would this benefit the university) are all questions I’m sure people asked about libraries way back when.  With that said I still disagree with this article but not of those reasons anymore. I think people need the option between phyically and digital text; and that right now not all text is capable of being digital. So until those two things change having a completely digital school would be more trouble than its worth.

My thoughts on topic number 2:

While I can understand Mr. Prensky’s intention, it is clear that these are the thought from someone who is very removed from archives, librarianship and high education. Its easy to be on the outside and make suggestions that are not feasible and this why I think his background and  prior experiences are relevant. Had this article been written by someone how has spend years studying and working in preservation, librarianship, or information retrieval, I think it would have been a different article and conversation. Proposing to drastically change a system requires boldness and expertise, Mr. Prensky only have the boldness when it comes to this topic. He is not a major mover and shaker in the higher education world, or publishing for that matter. This is similar to politics, sure everyone’s got some brilliant idea on how to change or better manage an issue, but unless you are on the inside of that political issue, you have no idea how things really work, or why they are the way they are; so your 2 cents is worth just that.

I’m looking forward to reading everyone blog on our book club…

Til Next time…shhhh

Tell me all about it! (Book Clubs)

Who doesn’t love share the cool new book they read? I think thats the best part about reading..getting together to discuss how it the book made you feel. That the best part about doing anything come to think of it..which is why Facebook and Twitter are so popular.. people just love to share. Books have a wonderful way of taking people to a special place and can allow people to go through a new adventure.

“The joy and mystery of reading is that each of us reads a different book from everyone else…even when it’s the same book,”-  Nancy Pearl

This weeks reading were all about book clubs! There are tons of different type of book clubs and there are many reasons to join one. Book club are a great way to get to know other people and get to hear other perspectives on a book you are all reading. Sadly I haven’t been in a book club for about a year now and my Kindle sits unused on my desk day after day. This is why I’m really glad we are getting the chance to plan, moderate and participate in a book club for this assignment.   I love the idea of being in a book club and not all reading the same book, but rather something with the same theme or subject! That idea comes from  The Book Club Exploded and it must make for a very interesting discussion. Reading the same book is great but reading different books with the same theme allow you to compare different authors, writing styles and emotions.

I’m so use to scholarly reading that the idea of leisure reading seems foreign. But the act to discussing a reading with a group to get a better understanding of the text is common between both. The reading Socratic Seminars: Engaging Students in Intellectual Discourse by Lynda Tredway give a great explanation of how these types of active conversations benefits both the participants and the facilitator. The participants of course get to earn from each others perspectives and they get to express any uncertainty they may have. But it also allows the facilitator to hear other views and engage with the readings deeper.

I’m excited for this assignment and I’ll let you know how it goes.

Til next time..shhh

I will change the world!

The conversation during class last week got really interesting. Who knew something as simple as a t-shirt would cause one to the best conversations we’ve had all semester!

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The main topic was Jane McGonigal but it somehow shifted to the UMSI t-shirt that says “I will change the world” and the issues with saying it because it’s cliché and were preaching to the choir because everyone want to change the world. Some even felt like it was saying that we are privileged and declaring that we know what’s best, we know what issues others are facing and how to fix it.

There’s nothing wrong with realizing the fact that we are privileged to be at UMSI. I’m privileged because others have sacrificed to allow me the flourish. It doesn’t mean that we didn’t work hard to get here, its acknowledging that there are other factors than our own input that have resulted in us being at Uof M. And I will take my privilege, passion and knowledge gained to inspire people, produce content and implement ideas and developments that will have an effect on the world..even if it not ending poverty and hunger. It’s a mindset that you are not going to be selfish. But ethical and giving. That were not here solely for  personal gain but rather to build our community and pass along what we know. To me saying that I will change the world is understanding that I’m a small part of a larger community and always keeping in my contribution must be meaningful and positive to others and not just something to make my resume stand out.

I don’t at all think it’s some 1st world superiority declaration that we are the only ones who can implement changes. It’s a challenge the I welcome and pose to others. I wear the shirt proudly because I know my purpose is to leave the world a better place. And I want others to think about how they will change the world.  What the point of spending all this money and being stressed out if you aren’t going to do something meaningful even if its only going to make a difference to a small group of people? It’s not about making millions…although I would love to be wealthy one day… That’s not a priority for me. I love librarianship because it allows me to help others.. Whether it’s with a research question, in a maker space, or finding the bathroom. I love it. I help others find the information they need to do something that they find important.

Til next time….shhhh

Making it Meaningful

This weeks readings were ok. The first reading was another chapter from How People Learn and the second was from Put Understanding First. Both were good reads about teaching and ways in which you can make the teaching/learning experience more effective. Both articles really stressed the importance of emphasizing the meaning of content. I can remember several time throughout high school, that I assumed the information I was being taught would never be relevant to me. I remember feeling like once the basic reading skills were down and I could count money, nothing else matter. There was never a good answer to “why do I have to learn this” or “when am I going to use this in real life”. Other than getting a good grade so I could graduate and move on for high school, I never saw a point to advance math and science. Now I wish I had paid more attention and I wish that my teacher stressed the meaning of the content and examples of how it could be transferred into other fields.

The Put Understanding First  article did a really great job breaking down how a instructor can go about making the content more meaningful. Some of the step seem kind of obvious like: ‘provide direct instruction’ and ‘provide practice on the basics’. Those are things that should always be a priority when teaching. However step like: ‘revisit the original hook problem’ and ‘give student the opportunity to reflect’, are often skipped and can really take away from the overall learning process. Even though I don’t have any plans to teach after I graduate, I think these steps can and should apply in every learning situation. Whether its at work or at a workshop, it’s important to so through the 12 steps and ensure that milestone are being met. Otherwise there will always be hole in your understanding of things and the information won’t be truly meaningful.

Til nest time…shhh

How to save the world!— Or at least just your workshop…

So I’ll admit that for the better part of the lecture I was really confused. Sometimes I forget that it’s a professional development course and I haven’t had many of them..so I’m often very confused about what I’m suppose to be learning. But then I realized that reflecting is a very important element to the learning experience.

I really enjoyed watching my classmates screencast, it was interesting to see how different they all were and it was nice that we provided feedback for them. I would love to watch the 3 that were A+ quality! I’d really like to see what they did and how it differs from mine so that I can try it differently next time. ( If you were one of the 3 and you’re reading this comment please) Reflecting on my own screencast now that I have gotten a grade was pretty useful too. I can see some area like pronunciation that I will definitely work towards improving.

In class we also watch a Ted talk given by Jane McGonigal. I always enjoy listening to her because you can tell how passionate she is about her work and passing the joy to others. Afterward she took a quick survey and looked at how different elements can effect how workshop participants feel like the experience. Sometimes things are a little out of your control, like the time and the comfort level of the chairs. Even the temperature in the room can throw off a workshop. However those are things that presenters really can’t do much about. But there are a number of others thinks that a presenter can do that can improve how participants perceive to be the quality of the workshop.  Things like the pace and the visual aids can really impact a workshop. Its something most people think this common sense but its unappreciated important part to any presentation.

I also learnt that you shouldn’t ask for feedback if you don’t really want it. I think this is funny but I’m sure people do it all the time. There so much to making a workshop great and I really hope I can master them all!

Til next time….shhhh

Bonus Blog!

The Blogs

One of the blogger I follow is Venn Librarian which is operated by Laura Pearle. Laura is the Director of Library Services at Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut. Her blogs seem to focus on school media. Here’s a word cloud what terms  are most common on her blog.

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Another blogger I follow is Feral Librarian by Chris Bourg. Chris is the Assistant University for Public Services for the Stanford University Libraries.Librarian. Aside from librarianship Chris also blogs about sociology, gender and LGBT issues. Heres a word cloud of her blogs:

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Another academic librarian that I follow is Librarian Meg by Meggan Frost. Meggan is a UMSI alumna and is currently the Public Services Librarian at Paul Smith’s College in New York. Heres a word cloud n Meg:

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Last but not least, I follow RIPs Law Library which is published by the Research Instruction & Patron Services Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries. Here’s a word cloud:

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The connection

Each of these blogs as super interesting. But it was a little difficult to find a common theme among them until I did the word cloud. Each of these blogs are unique and focus on different topics, but one things they did have in common is the emphasis on service and catering to there users. Whether its public, academic or a special collection, each of these libraries a dedicated to providing a quality service to its users. Regardless of the topic of the blog, what the content, service or product will mean to the  users and the community appears in each blog. I think that’s really interesting and great to see. I think libraries should always keep there users in mind and always strive to provide the best service possible.

Til next time…shhh

Formative Assessment

This weeks reading had a lot to do with how people learn and how they make sense of information. The reading are very interesting because they are meant to teach instructors how to assess whether or not students are receiving the information. Formative assessment centers on how student receive, understand and later how they apply new information into their work. According to the Greenstien reading, formative assessment has more to do with the students reflections on their learning process rather than how the teacher delivers the information.

Some of the major points I pulled out of both of the reading is that the outcome of a lesson needs to be clear and that feedback and time to reflect is just as important to the lesson plan as the content. In fact content in the right context, with goals, relevant feedback and self assessment are key to improving learning.

I find this really interesting to read about because at the same time I should be using these steps to ensure I am retaining the information. Learning how to teach is a trick process. But it all came together nicely after anylizing the cycle of instruction with formative assessment.

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This image made the process much easier to understand.  Each step is important and throughout a lesson it’s important to assess how you understand and apply information.

I don’t think I’ve cognitively gone through each step and assessed my learning but I do think at some point many students get use to subconsciously doing it. However I think its important, especially when time with students in limited, to ensure that student are receiving information as effectively as possible.

I’m looking forward to discussing this in class.

Til next time…shhhh

 

Reflecting

Last weeks class was very unique. We spend a goo amount of time reflected on the week before and how we were taught transliteracy skills. I think reflecting is a key component to learning. Its easy to some assume we understand how we came to a conclusions but reflecting forces us to think back and find evidence for how we got to where we are now.

Like I said in my blog A stroll down memory lane, I didn’t have any formal digital fluency workshops until I was in high school and participated in Global Kids. Although I knew and had been using a computer and the internet for years, the idea of being taught this felt weird. I think for the most part many adults assumed that this was a skill that my generation came pre-installed with. And sometimes I feel the same way. I didn’t realize how many holes I had in my understanding of websites and digital information until I participated in Media Masters. And reflecting back on my experience now, I can still see areas where I could still use some improvement (which I’m gaining through course work and internship).

I think its very important for librarians to be very information fluent and to continue to learn a grow with technology.  I’m really looking forward to reading what some of my other classmates had to say about last weeks class.

Til next time…shhhh