0 in the Library Media Centre 1
Running Head: WEB 2.0 IN THE LIBRARY MEDIA CENTRE
Using Web 2.0 Tools in the Library Media Centre Michelle Rinker, Barbara Heard, Philip Salembier, and Brian Farrell University of British Columbia
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 2 Key Frameworks School communities have traditionally been seen as a collection of individual and sometimes isolated classrooms where the learning is teacher-driven and focuses on the individual student’s ability and disposition (Scardamalia & Bereiter 1994). This type of learning environment according to Scardamalia & Bereiter (1994) prevents the development of expert-like learners. They instead propose the idea of developing a knowledge building community that involves the whole school as a learning community. These views are supported by constructivist and social constructive learning theories (Henri 2005). James Henri (2005) supports the development of this type of learning environment, which he refers to as an information literate school community. He believes the library media centre needs to take a leadership role by providing both a physical space and cyberspace where students, staff and administrators can come together to share resources, ideas, collaborate effectively and develop knowledge-building skills. Through the use of emerging web 2.0 technologies, students are able to become partners in knowledge-building by generating new understandings and contributing to a socially constructed body of knowledge. They are at the centre of the knowledge-creating process (Scardamalia & Bereiter 1994). For the information literate school community to become a reality, it is important for shared values to become embedded in practice (Thomas, Kellogg and Erickson 2001). There is a need for teacher librarians to become strong role models and leaders. Developing an innovative and collaborative online component to the library media centre sends a positive message to the learning community and encourages interaction on new and exciting levels.
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 3 Intentions and Positions School library media centres play a pivotal role as a knowledge hub in their respective school communities. In addition to assisting students in the development of effective inquiry-based research skills, school libraries are responsible for fostering a love of reading, and should develop literary connections for students. This design project seeks to extend the school-based library media centre to an online environment and enable teachers and students to make a personal contribution to a socially constructed body of knowledge. The predominant technologies being used in this design project are a series of web 2.0 tools including a blog, wiki and a social bookmarking tool. All of these technologies facilitate social knowledge building amongst teachers and students and provide a constructivist learning environment. These tools provide an opportunity to engage students in inquiry-based learning and are collaborative by design (Engstrom, 2005, p. 12). Our aim is not to replace or duplicate information that is currently readily available online, but rather to direct students and teachers to information that is most beneficial to them and their unique learning goals. Students will compile and edit wikis to build and expand existing knowledge of information literacy skills, share strategies and knowledge to be successful in specific courses or projects, pursue shared interests in reading, and other student driven areas of interest. Relevant resources and links will be compiled into an accessible social bookmarking tool using del.icio.us, with an aim of offering teachers links that are factual, unbiased, and scholarly in nature. Research has clearly shown that students are more motivated and will feel more confident in their abilities if they are an active participant in designing and directing their learning (Valenza
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 4 2006). Our blogs and wikis will enable students to be active drivers of content and discovery, with teacher librarians acting as guides, filters, and moderators of discussion and idea sharing. We also hope to engage classroom teachers and administrators as part of a knowledge-building school-wide community through the use of these dynamic social networking technologies. The teacher librarian plays a critical role in professional development, especially with regard to literacy, new literacies and information technologies. The library, particularly in large, highly departmentalized secondary schools, is the one place where both faculty and students meet physically to do research for their courses, pursue their interests, read for pleasure and sometimes, simply relax for a few minutes. We intend our digital presence to serve as a virtual extension of these positive, scholarly and social interactions available to students and faculty 24/7, whenever need or inspiration strikes.
Key Concepts and ContextsTargeted Learners Recently, a great deal of attention has been paid to the unique set of characteristics that today's learner possesses in contrast to generations from the past. Coined the 'Net generation' (Tapscott 1998) or 'digital natives' (Prensky 2001), students of today undoubtedly possess a familiarity with technology unlike generations before them and therefore are demanding an education which will meet their unique needs for the future. With an innate desire to experiment, explore and collaborate, today's learner demands a learning environment that enables them to make a personal contribution and customize their own learning experience (Johnson, 2005). With their social lives outside
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 5 of school already firmly embedded in online social environments, high school students have a great deal of experience with web 2.0 tools and elementary school students are not far behind them although they may lack access to some tools due to parental censorship. Educators can use this familiarity to extend the boundaries of the classroom to online environments. Through the use of wikis and blogs, teacher librarians can engage both students and teachers in a dialogue about information issues in the twenty-first century. In addition to sharing their thoughts and opinions about books, users might explore such complex issues as censorship, intellectual property, plagiarism, copyright, piracy and digital citizenship. In this way, the library media centre moves from a repository of knowledge to a more interactive, knowledge-building community. This learning environment targets three significant groups of learners in the K-12 setting: elementary students, secondary students and teachers. It is recognized that each of these groups requires a unique approach to the design of online learning environments which caters to their particular needs as a learner. Teachers In contrast to the digital natives who approach new learning environments in a spirit of exploration and experimentation, teachers (or 'digital immigrants') vary greatly in their comfort-level and experience with emerging technologies. The social bookmarking component of this learning environment provides teachers with two levels of interactivity, depending upon their individual interests, level of technological expertise and time constraints. On a more basic level, the Del.icio.us site may be used as a reference tool with teachers simply utilizing the bookmarks for their own professional development. The more technologically savvy teacher may choose to become a
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 6 contributor to the site and engage in the construction of this resource. The site provides step-by-step instructions in hopes that even the more technologically-timid teachers will venture into the knowledge building process. Elementary Students These students are viewed as digital natives having been raised in a digital environment. They are excited and motivated by using technology however, may lack reading and writing skills. Several face-to-face lessons on book review writing and how to make effective comments would be appropriate as support for the reading and writing skills of these students. Face to face lessons are also needed to teach students how to log on, post a review and comment on the library blog. Students will be introduced to blogging in a safe environment where the teacher librarian screens all postings and comments. Learning Internet safety is an important issue for these young students. They will be involved in creating blogging rules through class discussions. Students will be encouraged to post their opinions and ideas for everyone to read. Many elementary students are familiar with reading emails and using MSN, however, many will not have experienced seeing their work and opinions on the Internet for everyone to read and comment about. Class discussions could involve what is feels like (both positive and negative) to have people make comments about your ideas. Discussion also needs to involve the idea of responsible blogging and the fact that comments can influence the ideas of others. Secondary Students These students have been exposed to the web and its evolving tools throughout their lives, and have come to demand a level of instant information and feedback. These
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 7 students have become particularly attached to social networking, and using a blog format to offer comments and develop conversation will help to foster this sense of connectedness. Secondary students face many time constraints and competing demands in their lives, so learning tools need to be intuitive to the digital native and relevant to their experiences. The 24/7 availability of Internet technologies is also a good fit with the lives of secondary students whose work, sleep and social patterns (including social networking via the Internet) often mean school assignments are completed at unusual times. Reminding students of their responsibilities and the need to respect each other with their comments and contributions will be important amongst these students, as these learning environments need to be both comfortable and transparent. At the same time, teenage students are often underestimated in terms of their desire to be altruistic. In the wiki assignment that forms part of this project, many students noted in their discussion entries that they were motivated by the ongoing nature of the wiki. They justified their edits in terms of their potential use to future students. Teenagers, especially seniors, are at an interesting place in their psychosocial development. Technologies which tend to promote, however subtly, values such as altruism can only be of benefit to students, schools and the community.
Pedagogical Challenges There are several pedagogical challenges teacher librarians need to be aware of before launching into cyberspace. Through awareness and being proactive, teacher librarians can prevent many issues before they arise and can in fact create dynamic learning situations.
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 8 Plagiarism Teacher librarians are frequently tasked with the role of chief academic honesty (i.e.: plagiarism) enforcement officer, and digital technologies present clear challenges in this area. However, they also offer fora, in the same cyber-space, for discussions of academic honesty, copyright, school and district policy regarding same (possibly in blogs) and assistance in proper citation and style (via wikis, podcasts, and screencasts). Many of these cyber aids could be student-produced with teacher, or teacher librarian guidance. Respectful Behaviour in Online Environment Another perceived challenge that teachers and students might face in the shift to an online knowledge building community is that of respectful and appropriate ways of interacting in these settings. Initial experiences in blogs and wiki environments will require teaching “digital citizenship” (Ribble & Bailey 2004) to students so that they see these environments as an extension of the classroom and not the more casual social environments in which they spend their free time outside of school. Disrespectful responses and flaming in a school-related blog can create an environment that feels unsafe to students. In wikis, inadvertent and intentional ‘editing wars’ can challenge collaborative work groups and make the knowledge building process difficult to manage. With strong guidance from teachers and peers, it is hoped that students will apply face-toface good manners in electronic environments as well. Appropriate digital manners could, itself, be a topic of ongoing blog or wiki dialogue with the school community. Evaluation and Online Learning Tools Teachers frequently express concern about how to evaluate the work students
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 9 produce in social, collaborative environments such as blogs and wikis. This is part of the shift from seeing knowledge as a body of facts mastered to varying degrees by individual students and then basing assessment on the extent to which those facts can be regurgitated. Knobel & Lankshear (2006) refer to these two views as mindsets. They illustrate "the difference between a focus on intelligence as a quality or possession of individuals and a focus on collective intelligence; (and) the difference between seeing expertise and authority as 'located' within individuals and institutions...and seeing them as distributed, collective and hybrid" (p. 41). Such challenges require some thought to overcome, however, it is our contention that rubrics may be designed to assist teachers in assessment of work created using web 2.0 technologies and the act of collaboratively producing them, and then making them available to students, is in fact a means of bridging the mindsets for all collaborators. The school library media centre serves a wide range of students in regards to age level and ability. Assignments using web technologies have to be designed with appropriate goals and materials for the developmental level of the students involved. In some cases it may be preferable to introduce students to a technology using a simplified interface; however younger students are often adept at using, and unafraid to experiment with, technological tools. The number, type and depth of edits one might expect from K7 students contributing to a wiki on, for example, the cycle of life, would be different from what would be expected of secondary students contributing to a wiki on viruses. The general approach in using the wiki technology need not be significantly different; however the resources, expectations and rubrics would have to align with grade appropriate learning outcomes. At the same time, younger students clearly benefit from
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 10 early exposure to the technology and practice learning in new digital, collaborative environments. Challenges to the use of Interactive Technologies in Schools Due to the nature of online resources and growing concerns about the safety and security of minors in cyberspace, federal and provincial laws have been established to protect students against online predators, identity theft, and other perils by restricting the use of publicly-accessed web 2.0 environments. In B.C., educators interested in utilizing collaborative, social learning tools hosted on outside servers are frequently constrained by FIPPA (the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act). Fortunately many school districts have established wiki and blog environments within their own firewalls. Access to these sites is through school portals using a password. Other school districts have gone so far as to block any content that could have the potential of being a security or online safety concern, limiting access to some of the most popular web 2.0 sites. Although this restricts students' access and ability to fully interact with the world wide web, it does provide a safer web 2.0 experience, and, as educators, we must err on the side of caution to preserve the safety of our students. Although the school districts have tried in various ways to protect the students, the reality is that students will be using web 2.0 tools at home without any firewall protection. It will be important as librarians to offer help and advice for these students. Younger students need to be made aware of the possible dangers that they face in their home environment and how to stay protected. Face to face lessons and class discussions is the most effective way to reach younger students, while older students can gain access to similar advice when entering the library portal.
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 11
InterActivities This design project provides an online learning environment which utilizes three (3) emerging technologies that are becoming increasingly familiar to today's learner. The tools are accessed via links on a library portal webpage which is hosted on the UBC server located at http://educ.ubc.ca/courses/etec510/2008/team5/
Elementary School Blogs An elementary blog space was created using WordPress, which is a free blog site for educational use. The blog is entered through the main library web page. Students are provided with an on-line space where they can publish their book reviews, read and comment on the book reviews of their peers. It is hoped in the future to extend this space to publish original work. Affordances • Accessible from outside the classroom boundaries both in space and time • Views and ideas are available to a wider audience. Feedback isn’t just from the teacher or from classmates but from the entire school community • Questions can be asked to clarify opinions and ideas, which deepens learning • Quality of review is increased due to the public nature of the blog space • Parents can become directly involved with their child’s learning • It is exciting and therefore motivating to view your work on-line • Students are able to think about ideas and have time to make sure they are happy with their response before publishing
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 12 • Teacher librarian becomes familiar with the reading trends of the school community Possible Challenges • Blogging etiquette may be violated • Student Internet safety • Maintaining enthusiasm and motivation to blog • Time consuming for teacher librarian to monitor all entries and comments • Parent and teacher objections to using web 2.0 tools with elementary students • Low level reading and writing skills Verification of the Elementary Blog The elementary blog component of the library portal would be verified by the: • Quality and quantity of the blog entries • Type of comments made in response to entries • Circulation of books recommended in the blog Book reviews can be compared with the book reviews students have previously produced. The quality of a review is easily assessed using a rubric. The quantity of the book reviews is also easily compared with the amount students were doing in the past (many classes have reading journals which include book reviews). The quality of comments can be measured using a rubric. I would be concerned that providing a grade to postings would severely limit postings and change the tone of the blog. However, several face-to-face lessons could provide scaffolding on how to write a book review and the types of comments people find most helpful. Posting on the blog is currently not part of an assignment. Providing class time to comment and write reviews would greatly increase participation.
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Safety Measures Due to the vulnerability of elementary school students, several face-to-face lessons were used to discuss Internet safety both within school walls and at home. Students wrote a list of etiquette rules which were posted on classroom walls and on a page in the blog. Students use their initials only on their posts. As this is a small school, most students know who the person is but this information is not available to strangers. Although one of the major affordances of a blog is its links to blog spaces of like-minded bloggers (Halavais, 2005) it was considered too risky to link with other blogs as it is impossible to monitor their content.
High School Blog Edublogs was chosen as the host for our secondary blog, primarily due to limited access to other blog sites at the school board where it is being implemented. While the eventual intent is to have all members of the library community (students, teachers, and teacher librarians) as contributors, the initial content has been created solely by the teacher librarian. Students who wish to contribute or comment are required to first be approved by the site administrator, and rules surrounding privacy and appropriate behaviour are established on the main introductory page of the blog. Affordances • Universal availability - accessible both from home as well as from school network • Reliable information that is not blocked by school network filtering software • Interactive discussions become possible among all members of the library community
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 14 • Maintains the school library as a centre of excellence in online resources, encourages other school use of web 2.0 tools in the classroom • Constructive criticism and dialogue is encouraged surrounding books, fostering an increased love of reading Possible Challenges • Protecting users' anonymity through use of pseudonyms while maintaining accountability for posts • Ease of access - initial registration can be a barrier for some • Active participation may be difficult to encourage among students when competing with other demands (formal assignments, clubs and teams, work, etc.) • Registration and monitoring process add to teacher librarian's workload Verification of the Secondary Blog • Informal feedback has been actively solicited and received offline from members of the library community • Rate of new registrations and posts by community members will in part determine success
Social Bookmarking The social bookmarking component of this learning environment is specifically designed as a collaborative resource for teachers. In contrast to a more traditional model where the librarian was solely responsible for collecting quality resources on behalf of teachers, social bookmarking provides a constructivist learning opportunity for teachers to work collaboratively and contribute to a growing database of quality web resources
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 15 that can be shared amongst the entire faculty or school district. Teachers may choose their own level of participation either by simply accessing the site and making use of the list of resources or by becoming an active contributor and adding their own favourite websites to the list. Affordances This educational environment contains the following features: • The site will be available from any computer at any time and so teachers can use the resource both at home and at school • An informational portal is provided before the users access the del.icio.us site. This portal is a website with several linking pages designed to provide information about social bookmarking and use of the resource. • Teachers are provided with separate links depending upon their chosen level of participation. • For those wishing to become contributors, a set of instructions is provided as to how to log in to the site and add their own favourite web resources to the shared database. • A glossary of the terms used in del.icio.us is provided of terms including "recommended and popular tags, bundle and notes" • A pre-established organizational hierarchy with bundle names/subject headings already in place. In this way, a framework will be established in advance to provide structure and to guide the collaborative effort. • Users are asked to work within the existing bundle names. If it seems that a significant bundle is not available, they are free to create a new bundle. • Users will be able to create their own tags, encouraging a natural folksonomy to
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 16 develop Possible Challenges • The very nature of folksonomy will create a certain amount of disorganization as users familiarize themselves with the tool. • There will be a certain amount of 'housekeeping' that will need to be done on the part of the teacher librarian as the resource is being built. As teachers add new tags, unbundled tags will need to be categorized and added to bundles • Some participants might not take the time to add notes to their entries and so some of the resources may not have the same added value as others Verifications of the Social Bookmarking Component The social bookmarking component of this educational environment would be verified by the amount of use that teachers make of it. Assessing whether or not they were successfully able to access the website, install the del.icio.us buttons on their browser and make contributions to the list would indicate whether or not the design was effective. In addition, success of the resource will be verified by the length of time that the resource is actively used at the school. It is hoped that over the course of months or even years, the resource will continue to grow as a collective professional development tool for the entire faculty.
Secondary School Wiki A secondary level wiki was created using Wikispaces, which is one of many free wiki sites. The debate wiki provides students with an opportunity to reflect on their learning in the English 11 debating unit, gain familiarity with the wiki environment, and
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 17 apply their knowledge and insights to a project that will continue beyond the classroom to the benefit of future students. As with all pilot projects, the debate wiki has worked well in some respects and has also suggested some areas in which further instruction and finetuning would be beneficial. From the perspective of the school library, we are encouraged by the level of student and teacher interest in the use of this Web 2.0 tool which bridges and further connects the library and the classroom using the Internet. There is great potential for similar student-generated wikis stemming from co-operative library and classroom units and projects in the sciences (biology, physics), social studies, languages, art and even foods, to name a few. Affordances • Accessible 24/7 to students and staff (although initially, only those granted access to the private wiki space). • Potentially available to a wide group of learners. • Provides an authentic audience of peers to which students demonstrate their learning. • Students peer edit and revise, improving each others’ work. • Constantly evolving and improving: a resource that will never be outdated as it will adapt to changes in curriculum, learners, teachers and the instructional environment. • Utilizes Web 2.0, an environment in which digital native secondary students are comfortable and motivated to participate. • Classroom teachers and teacher librarians can assess effectiveness of their collaborative efforts by the quality and quantity of student participation in the wiki. Challenges • Privacy legislation and safety concerns vs. benefits of wider (public) access.
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 18 • Plagiarism and academic honesty (although the wiki also presents another opportunity to teach proper citation and discuss why it is important). • Wiki entries are more complex to assess than traditional assignments. • Potential for wiki vandalism, or competitive edits. Verification The secondary wiki would be verified by the: • Quality and quantity of wiki entries; • Extent to which wiki entries reflect the learning outcomes of the debate unit; • Extent to which students are able to incorporate knowledge and information from the web and other sources beyond that which was directly provided; • Level of student preparedness for and success in performing debates (it is envisioned that the debate wiki will become a resource to which students may refer prior to and during their study of debating). Contributions to the debate wiki are assessed using a rubric that is provided to students as part of the assignment (it is posted on the wiki home page). This rubric can be fine-tuned, as can the introductory lesson, to shape the development of the wiki along lines that meet curricular goals. For this project, the teacher librarian, who had been involved with the debate unit from the start, bookended the unit with the debate wiki assignment. Once students had finished their debates, a class was devoted to a demonstration of the wiki, and how students may create an account, access and perform edits along with discussion of the rubric. The class then moved to a computer lab where students were given time to log in, create wiki accounts and begin experimenting with the wiki editing tools. The assignment was presented as a bonus activity. At this writing,
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 19 fifty-four of a potential eighty students had participated in the wiki—a fairly high percentage for a non-required assignment. Monitoring this participation rate would also tend to act as a form of verification.
Conclusion Teacher librarians have always been on the front lines of guiding and supporting the literacy needs of the learning community. As technology has evolved and changed, teacher librarians have embraced the challenge, this includes today's developing set of web 2.0 tools. Our goal as information managers is to ensure that we provide the best and most effective tools to enable our students and colleagues to continue to grow and adapt to emerging technologies. We also see the inherent benefit of incorporating these tools into other aspects of our role as literacy leaders, and see how social tools such as blogging can help to encourage an affection for reading and a facility with emerging technologies, thus promoting improved literacy rates. This design seeks to bring together some of the best web 2.0 technologies into a common portal that can then be modified or adapted to meet individual school needs. And, in providing these tools, instruction in their use, and access to the technology (computers, printers, and wireless access) required to use them in the common and welcoming meeting place of the library media centre we hope to address, albeit in a small way, the issue of digital equity for students who may not have adequate access to technology at home. We will encourage students to be active participants in this design both in concept and content, and hope to establish an online community that is accessible, relevant, and effective in supporting a love of reading and an understanding of community knowledge building.
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 20 Group Reflection Comprised of four (4) teacher librarians located in the UK, Ontario and BC, our design project group was an eclectic mix of professionals working with students at various grade levels (elementary, middle and high school). Considering the unique needs of various age ranges of learners has been quite a challenge. Coming from across the range of grades none of us are familiar with the entire range of learners. However, having group members at all levels K-12 has provided us with a unique perspective so that we could better see the challenges that teacher librarians faces at levels other than our own. In the end, we came away with a better understanding and perhaps appreciation of our colleagues at other levels. The focus of the design project evolved over time as we looked more closely at the needs of the learners at our individual schools. The initial plan was to create a library media centre portal or web-page which would link students and teachers to various online resources. This eventually evolved to a more constructivist approach where we considered various web2.0 tools that would specifically address the needs of the library. What we came away with were three tools enabling students and teachers to collaboratively engage in knowledge building as a school community. Each person in the group took a different web 2.0 tool so the parts of the design have been quite separated. We found this approach was necessary due to distances, time zones and varying work/travel schedules. Although each of the components was completed individually, we did manage to pull them together into a more seamless final product which we feel flows between tools and creates a cohesive learning environment. Watching the site materialize has been very exciting. What could have been a very
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 21 isolating activity was not due to having others to show the learning space to, ask questions, get technical help and feedback. There was always someone to bounce an idea off.
Barbara's Reflections Elementary school students (10/11 year olds) were very excited to participate in the library blog. However, although most commented that they wanted to write, using their own time did not produce much activity. The students liked the idea that I was learning about blogs alongside them. Initially, I went into two classrooms and taught the students how to log onto the blog, make a post and a comment. There were many instances of the students sending me their review that wasn't finished and I would have to send it back to draft. This was very time consuming, as was reading all the posts and comments to allow them through my monitoring. Providing a set of easy to follow directions saved me much aggravation when students came back to me unable to remember how to post. I’m not sure they are as digital literate as expected by the various reading such as Prensky (2001). Many students got very excited when they had comments made about their posts. To my surprise it was not just the more able students that posted. I checked with the various teachers and found that some of the less able students were some of the more prolific writers. I had several students coming to ask for books that had been reviewed on the blog! My greatest surprise was the resistance I came up against from some of the parents and several teachers. Out of 15 library monitors whom I began this project with,
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 22 only 3 parents (2 of whom came to talk to me) signed their permission forms to participate and provided an email address so I could invite their child to become a contributor. I got around this problem by setting up a class email address. I had to take off the restriction of having an active email account to post a comment. The resistance was due to concern for student safety. Directly talking with the students about the blog makes them curious. Providing class time, not necessarily a mark produces more activity. I believe students need time to get hooked before they become ardent bloggers. Working with the group has provided an opportunity to see what takes place in high schools. It was interesting to see that some of the issues (motivation, time constrains of both teachers and students) are common across the grades. It was also interesting to see the differences between school districts (and countries) regarding polices concerning student safety and how this effects what can and cannot be done using web 2.0 tools. I am very excited to use this experience as a foundation to build my own library portal.
Michelle’s Reflections Designing a social bookmarking resource for teachers was an initiative that I have been meaning to do for some time and so this design project became an authentic project which will be useful to me beyond the scope of this course. I look forward to importing all of the work that I have done in the 510teacher del.icio.us site to a new site for my new school that I will be starting at in August. Although I looked at several other social bookmarking options including Diigo
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 23 and CiteULike, in the end it was the established popularity of del.icio.us that made me stick with it. Since it is more widely-used than the others, the numbers of others who bookmarked the same cite was higher thereby opening up the possibility of greater interaction amongst networked users. It will be a bit of a challenge for me to surrender my authority of the bookmarking site to a more collaborative, "group-think" approach. People are inevitably going to "mess with" my carefully chosen bundles, add tags that I would question and even add websites that perhaps don't measure up to what I personally consider a quality resource. This folksonomic approach will be of particular challenge to me as a librarian who strives to maintain a certain level of organization and consistency. In designing the webpage portal for our learning environment, I used iWeb and found the process relatively easy. The greatest challenge that I faced in the design itself was needing to be brief and succinct in my instructions and guidelines on using the environment. I had my partner walk through the step-by-step process so that I could see it from a teacher's perspective and things seemed to go smoothly. Granted, he is quite techsavvy and so the real experiment will be when teachers with little technological expertise use the site.
Brian's Reflections A book blog has long been on my wish-list, as I feel that it can be an excellent vehicle for starting discussions around literature and generally helps to promote a love of reading. I've been pleasantly surprised by the amount of real-life response that I've received from this initiative, but wish that it could translate into more contributions
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 24 online. Students and teachers are quite happy to read the blog, but seem less inclined to contribute by way of posting their responses online. This is likely partially due to the cumbersome process of registering all authors, which unfortunately is a necessary evil to ensure compliance with my school board's and teacher federation's views surrounding privacy and online safety. Gaining access to a blog site provided me with a reminder of how cumbersome and overly restrictive some of my school board's information technology policies can be. It took several weeks of pleading and convincing to allow access to an effective blog platform, and access was only given under the condition that all pages be strictly monitored and controlled. I can understand the school board's liability concerns, but I feel that often administrators fail to recognize the level of integration that students already have with many of these sites outside of the school environment. I think our students are far better served by being taught about the responsible use of tools such as this blog rather than the carte blanche blocking of any sites that the board feels may be an issue for one reason or another. I'm happy to report though that this initiative has already spawned greater collaboration with classroom teachers, as it has opened up an English teacher to the idea of using blogs in place of literature circles in her class. This will be a great opportunity to bring increased relevancy to my library program, and will also provide a chance to sell some of the work that I have already done on this project.
Phil’s reflections The 510 design project was the impetus I needed to move forward with an
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 25 experiment in using Web 2.0 tools, in this case, a wiki, to further connect the school library media centre and the classroom. After considering several wiki hosting sites, I chose Wikispaces due to its easy-to-understand interface, full range of editing tools, discussion page, detailed history page and other features. The site also offers ad-free pages to K-12 educators after a simple registration process. My next step was to create a rubric for the students who would contribute. As what one assesses tends to strongly influence what students produce, I took some time over this and studied several models for online contributions and assessment. In setting up the skeleton wiki site, I created a basic home page and short page on print resources, a topic that I covered with students on their library research days during their debate unit. Both pages included sample outside links, images, basic formatting and discussion entries. I had wondered about tweaking the organization or editing the English of the student edits. My project collaborators talked me out of this and I’m glad they did. Many errors were later corrected by other student contributors. As well, it was fascinating to see the patterns of, and approaches to, wiki editing that appeared. One issue that emerged as needing some fine tuning is that of citation and attribution of sources. There is a possibility of having a fourth class add to the debate wiki site this semester and I may pursue that just for the opportunity of teaching some simple forms of wiki citation and seeing how the students incorporate the information. Overall, however, I am very pleased with the enthusiasm with which the students, most of whom said they had not contributed to a wiki before, took to the assignment. I am encouraged to refine the assignment, attempt to address privacy issues so that the site may be made more widely accessible, and expand the student-generated wiki concept to
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 26 other library-classroom collaborative units in a range of subject areas. Finally, I was very fortunate in my colleagues in this project—especially Michelle whose post in the design team sign-up forum at the beginning of the course brought this eclectic group of teacher librarians together. It has been a source of encouragement and inspiration to me to see that we are all interested in making the best possible use of digital learning environments both to keep our libraries at the heart of the school learning community and to provide our students with the kind of 21st century skills we believe will be necessary to ensure their future success.
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 27 References Engstrom, M.E., & Jewett, D. (2005). Collaborative Learning the Wiki Way. TechTrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning, 49(6), 12-68. Gee, J. P. (2002). Millennials and Bobos, Blue’s Clues and Sesame Street: A story for our times. In D.E. Alvermann (Ed.) Adolescents and Literacies in a Digital World. New York: Peter Lang Publishing Inc., 51-67. Halavis, A. (2005). Weblogs and collective web publishing as learning spaces. in J. Weiss (Ed.), The international handbook of virtual learning environments. Dordrecht, NE: Springer. Henri, James (2005). Understanding the information literate school community. In James Henri and Marlene Asslin (Eds.) Leadership issues in the information literate school community. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited, 11-26. Johnson, D. (2005). Working with the net generation. Education World. Retrieved February 7, 2008 from http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/columnists/johnson/johnson002.shtml Knoebel, C. & Lankshear, M. (2006). New literacies and the challenge of mindsets. In C. Knoebel & M. Lankshear, New literacies: Everyday practices and classroom learning (2nd Ed.). New York: Open University Press, 29-62. Oatman, Eric. (2005). Make way for Wikis: Easy-to-use software that lets students collaborate is heading to your school. School Library Journal, Nov. 2005, 52-54. Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the horizon, NCB University Press, 9(5), October 2001. Retrieved February 7, 2008 from http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/ Ribble, M. & Bailey, G.D. (2004). Monitoring Technology Misuse & Abuse. T H E Journal, 32(1), 22-25. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier. Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (1994). Computer support for the knowledgebuilding communities. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 3(3), 265-288. Tapscott, D. (1998). Six truisms and corresponding false conclusions. Edcom Review, 33(1), 38-44. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier. Thomas, C., W.A. Kellogg and T. Erickson (2001). The knowledge management puzzle: human and social factors in knowledge management. IBM Systems Journal, 40 (4), 863-84.
Web 2.0 in the Library Media Centre 28 Valenza, Joyce Kasman (2006). They might be gurus. Teacher Librarian, 34(1), 18.