Saturday, November 08, 2014

#NYLA2014 : Hyperlinked Learning Experiences at Public Libraries: MOOCs and Beyond

Brian Kenney (White Plains Public Library) and Michael Stephens (SJSU)

Slides will be available on the "Tame the Web" blog.

Both libraries and libraries technologies are evolving. 

"There is much greater opportunity to bring service to wherever potential users of service happen to be."  - Michael Buckland 

Clay Shirky - "Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age" (book)
  • As much chaos as we can stand
  • Traditionalist approval
  • Negotiated transaction 
Shirky advocates for chaos. We can decide for ourselves how much chaos we can stand.

Learning is evolving. Transformative learning.  There is a new landscape of learning and experience in the library.  Formal. Informal.  Unexpected.  Curiosity.

BTOP - better technology on-site and personal

Learning in the warehouse.  Libraries are often called book warehouses.

Valerie Gross - "Transforming Our Image, Building Our Brand" (book)

David Swartz - "Serendipity in the Stacks: The Case Against the Bookless Library" (book)

Readers look for opportunities to share their reading experiences.  Although the learning is private and self-directed, there is power in the sharing.  Part of our learning is done collaboratively.

The core things that we do are not going away.  

New ways to learn, which include using games for learning.

A new generation of learners.  Think about what it will be like when current elementary school children head to college.  What will learning be Like then?

People  have the world of information in their hands.  Their cell phones are an extension of themselves.

Casey Ceb - "The Pointlessness of Unplugging" (The New Yorker) - unplugging suggests that the selves that we are online are not authentic.  

Dana Boyd - "It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens". (Book).  She also did a good TED talk.  Technology is a means to an end.

The learner's experience - people are expect to be able to work, learn and study wherever and whenever they want.  We do not have the right to dictate how people learn.

Thomas & Brown - "The New Culture of Learning" (book) 

"Play is the basis for cultivating imagination and innovation." - Thomas & Brown

Hyperlinks can be people, too.  

The mobile device is the nearly the primary connection to the Internet for many people.  

Seven primary motivations for mobile device use.  HBR article, 2013. 
Me time. Self expression. Discovery. Preparation. Accomplishing....

The coolest thing in your library is what you want to put into the hands of your community members.

Some people do not have good Internet access on their mobile devices, due to cost. And they may not know what to do on the device.  They need training,which libraries can help with.  Some libraries are circulating access points (wifi). 

People (learners) need to learn how to be fully engrossed in one thing at a time.  

Two types of MOOCs: 
xMOOC - taking traditional learning into a MOOC environment.
cMOOC - connectivist.

We can make sense of things through experimentation and reflection.

Michael's MOOC:
  • Shared purpose.
  • Production centered.
  • Openly networked.  Open and live on the web.
  • Gave badges.  Check point.  Master.  
  • Had homeroom leaders (MSLIS students)
  • Tribes. Some moved over to Goodreads to share info.
  • 363 officially join and start the MOOC. 15% completed the requirements for the certificate (53).  They also did a pre and post survey.  76% said that they felt successful.
  • Takeaways: ideas, networking, self, renewed outlook.
  • They formed an alumni group.  
How do we start all of this?
Library learning has evolved from face-to-face, conference sessions, computer training, and eventually library 2.0.  

Michael Stephens - "Exemplary practice for learning 2.0" (article)
One library has did a physical version of library 2.0.
23 mobile things - Jan Holmquist.

Personal learning networks
What are you doing -> what are your learning

We can now have continuous learning and a reflective practice.
We need to take control of our own professional development.
Professional development should be written into job descriptions.

We're moving toward the time of infinite learning.  

The library as a classroom.

Learning by creating, exploring, playing, and peer to peer collaboration.

How do we manage the new stuff in our libraries?

White Plains teen library is called "The Edge". 3000 square feet.  The visited You Media in Chicago for inspiration.  It has three zones: the living room, computer/book area and service point, and new media lab.  Things are on wheels and easy to rearrange.  Programming is both high tech and low tech.  Instructor and peer led.  They provide social opportunities for teens.  Used a staff vacancy to hire an additional teen librarian (3 total).

Most teens are not compelled by gadgetry, but by friendship.

The menu of opportunities is attracting kids that weren't previously interested in the library.

How do they translate the lessons learned from the teen space to the adult space?

(Side conversation that mentioned that libraries may have archives that don't reflect the current demographics of the community.)

Libraries...we are guides, access providers, creators (of learning opportunities), instructors, and connectors.  And libraries will be learners.

The key is the human element.  We must engage the hear, mind and spirit.

"We must never forget that the human heart is at the center of the technological maze..." - Barnes

We need to offer right sized courses, either online or in person.

The public library may be where online/MOOC learners connect.

What now?
  • Make time for exploration and learning
  • Learn always
  • Watch the horizon
  • Value everyone
  • Be kind
  • Know that it is okay to fail
  • Invite them (the users) in
  • Take risks
  • Be creative
  • Be human
Questions which led to good conversation:
  • How do you get staff to be comfortable being online and being themselves? Would you trust a doctor or lawyer, who doesn't provide her name?  
  • Are educational institutions pushing back on the educational work that libraries are doing?
  • Comment on territorial issues between K-12 and public libraries.  White Plains has software compatibility with the school district.
  • Other recommendations?  Put professional development in people's job descriptions.  Get people to blog, in some manner, so they can share what they are learning.  

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