Hub, MOOC, Learning Commons- all serve an aspiration

i recently read an Open Book blog post and was reminded of how all our modern systems and paradigms are really just what all exemplary libraries aspired to be. Bygone days or new variants, libraries serve the needs of patrons- of people. Oddly, our culture rewards an institution of progressive services with anchors of stereotypes. Libraries are just old irrelevant dusty books. Librarians are either old cranky grannies or sexy introverts. The reality in public libraries or school libraries is quite contrasting. The library as an access point for resources or discourse has never been so vital and frequently adopted. The stereotype still prevails while Google and hitech resources get all the accolades yet serve just the mechanics. If you want quick facts by all means Google but this doesn’t serve the majority of patron needs. People visit libraries more than ever for diversified content, expertise and service. They patronize libraries for cultural reasons not simply fact finding. 

Jaqueline Van Dyk, Open Book blog, writes about a public MOOC. Although my experience with moocs was an academic course with edtech background, it was clear the concept of open and integrated connected learning would sustain itself. It’s not all roses but serves many social learning needs. I say social learning as opposed to prescribed learning. Credit or GED etc all have specific exit outcomes that are mostly indifferent to the learner. Not that standards are evil but a MOOC addresses a user driven model more than a administrative model. Libraries, as a whole have adopted these personalized learning options for ages. It’s in their DNA to serve from a patron’s view of needs. Service is foundational. Librarians embrace open access and sharing just as we cherish breathing. 

  
Sometimes learning is playful and other times just damn hard work. Fulfilling your learning needs is a personal and time specific exercise. Sometimes it’s not pretty. Falling down repeatedly in order to grasp wakeboarding. Learning how to read and write at 30years old. Occasionally learning is fun and seems easy but that’s in conjunction with a persons background, goals and degree of task. Whether a public library MOOC or high school virtual library, librarians usually are driven by patron service. Our sexy little librarian or reserve matron are images that fulfill parodies or fantasies but not reflect our reality. 

The trend for finding a ‘learning commons’ is none other than trying to leverage the roots of all library programs. Advocacy, marketing or good design; MOOCs, learning commons or damn good library, all are driven by serving others. It’s like first aid for the mind. :-) 

-Al Smith. Middle aged, male, extrovert, high school librarian. Where did they find me?! ;-)

…as an extension of what we’ve been doing as libraries in facilitating lifelong learning. What’s new is that we’re creating an atmosphere for that, for bringing people together to do that. It makes the library more of a place of connection. In that regard, it’s a professional departure – by facilitating these activities and using the technology as activities unto themselves, we’re extending what we’ve been good at traditionally in new and interesting ways with our programs…
Paul’s view is that this experiment represents an exciting professional departure. “With the MOOC, we’re providing recreation – people are having fun, getting to know each other – and it provides interest in more reading materials. We’re providing an opportunity to learn and absorb materials together and talk them over and people are lapping it up. Traditionally, people used libraries for education as a solitary activity. Now we’re providing the same educational role, but with an opportunity to share and enhance their learning by learning together. We are extending what we’ve been good at traditionally in interesting new ways.”  (VanDyk)

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“What’s a Mooc and Why You Should Know and Care!” Social Media Today. N.p., 25 Apr. 2013. Web. 20 May 2015. Image. <http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/whats-mooc-and-why-you-should-know-and-carE&gt;.

Van Dyk, J. “Mooc Ecperiment.” Open Book. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 May 2015. <http://jacquelinevandyk.ca/the-great-mooc-experiment%2F&gt;.

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Kite Runner suspended after a complaint- removes freedom to read

Originally posted on KSSreads:


http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2015/05/01/school-suspends-use-kite-runner-following-complaint/26736581/

As a librarian, it is always concerning to read about books being banned. The larger implications created when we narrow the opportunities to read, think, share and learn, are trouble for society. Diversity in our culture builds understanding. The diversity of ideas in books should be a reflection of our reality. Constricting access to ideas and authorship doesn’t protect our children but rather put them at risk. Loss of empathy, hate or radicalization is a likely result. The current discord and misinformation about race and theology in the Muslem community is an example. We need more knowledge and empathy not less. Books, especially well crafted literature, like Hussein’s Kite Runner, provide potential for discourse and freedom of expression.

Many classrooms around the world use the Kite Runner or provide copies in their libraries. Most schools use this title with Grade 12s. Like many situations, one needs to know…

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Nomads and Rhizomes- Dave’s blog revisited


I read this blog awhile ago during #etmooc course but thanks to my Twitter PLN, I rediscovered it.  Today, in the climate of confusion and discontent in British Columbia public education, the themes could not be more contradictory with our classroom experience.  Teacher professional development and reform doesn’t function in a vacuum. It is organically growing within the classroom setting- embedded with our young people. It is rhizomatic learning. Adapting, reaching out, and evolving in multiple tentacles, Pro-Dev thrives with good soil and fresh air.  The BC Government is currently smothering teachers and even elected school boards. Public education as a societal ambition demands an empathy and execution much like we now see our ecological issues. Schooling is an organic collective of human beings much like a sensitive but resilient environment. It can absorb many body blows yet wanton disregard for life does result in extinctions and degradation. 

People learn collectively and individually. Teachers and pupils forage for meaning. They flourish when nomadic not constrained inside a cage. The cages may be the restraint of many policies and cultures.  Wreckless or ideological, leadership needs stewardship of people and environments not just accounting.  BC education IS people. It is a living thing. It’s rhizomatic. Parents, teachers, students and our public deserve to treated by their elected officials less like container ships of iron ore and more like a rich vegetable garde.  Teachers should be respected more like proficient caring gardeners and less like endentured labour. Leadership, like good parenting cannot be arrogant. Like gardening or parenting, family or nation, our children need measures of experimentation, boundaries and love.  David Cormier’s blog, although assessing paradigms, is observing human relationships and culture. How does your garden grow? 

 Cormier tackles pedagogy and approaches change with the #rhizo15 paradigm. His insights are interesting  for teachers embracing their own professional development. Sadly, #bced Bill11 is legislating mandated PD structures for teachers, while espousing ‘personalized learning’ for students. The paradox, if not hypocrisy, of this government’s strategy flies in the face of many progressive education reform. Teachers need considerable professional autonomy in order to be innovative and effective. The climate of teacher learning does directly impact the nature and degree of student learning.  – Al Smith
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  • Why do we teach?
  • What does successful learning look like?
  • What does a successful learner look like?
  • How do we structure successful learning?

It is that map that I think successful learning looks like. Not a series of remembered ideas, reproduced for testing, and quickly forgotten. But something flexible that is already integrated with the other things a learner knows. Most things that we value ‘knowing’ are not things that are easily pointed to. Knowing is a long process of becoming (think of it in the sense of ‘becoming an expert’) where you actually change the way you perceive the world based on new understandings. You change and grow as new learning becomes part of the things you know.
Sounds a bit like networked learning…? The rhizome is, in a manner of speaking, a kind of network. It’s just a very messy, unpredictable network that isn’t bounded and grows and spreads in strange ways. As a model for knowledge, our computer idea of networks, all tidy dots connected to tidy lines, gives us a false sense of completeness.( Cormier )

  

What does a successful learner look like?
In a recent blog post i tried to offer three visions for ‘what education is for’ to help provide a departure point for discussion. Workers take accepted knowledge and store it for future reference. They accept that things are true and act accordingly. The soldier acquires more knowledge and becomes responsible for deciding what things are going to be true. The nomads make decisions for themselves. They gather what they need for their own path. I think we should be hoping for nomads.
Nomads have the ability to learn rhizomatically, to ‘self-reproduce’, to grow and change ideas as they explore new contexts. They are not looking for ‘the accepted way’, they are not looking to receive instructions, but rather to create.(Cormier )


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Cormier, D. “Dave’s Educational Blog.” Daves Educational Blog. N.p., 5 Jan. 2014. Web. 29 Apr. 2015. <http://davecormier.com/edblog/category/rhizomes/&gt;. 

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Walrus magazine- now on display

http://thewalrus.ca/category/issues/2015-05/

Access>

https://my23.sd23.bc.ca/school/kss/staffroom/new/shareddocs/eread/Documents/thewalrus.ca-Time%20for%20Bed.pdf

https://my23.sd23.bc.ca/school/kss/staffroom/new/shareddocs/eread/Documents/thewalrus.ca-Emily%20Carrs%20British%20Columbia.pdf

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Time for Bed

Your kids aren’t sleeping enough—and neither are you

Health
by

Emily Carr’s British Columbia

An unsettling journey through the archives

Visual Essay
by

CaptureWalrusMAY

In 1884, the ban on the potlatch ceremony struck an additional blow, crippling an important mechanism for the consolidation of community and identity, and for the transmission of knowledge, property, and clan entitlements. Finally, as the twentieth century dawned, the landscape was increasingly ravaged by industrial logging practices. No longer was the natural world honoured as the seat of identity and spiritual connection, as it had been for millennia. Rather, it was aggressively reframed as a commodity, with Indigenous people struggling to find an equitable footing within the new economy. That struggle continues today.( Milroy)

When Elizabeth was three, social and emotional lags became apparent. “Alarm bells were starting to go off,” says Claire. She and Elizabeth began seeing an infant psychiatrist in Burnaby. The problem was a lack of sleep, but she had developed other behavioural issues that were more worrying. Elizabeth had several different diagnoses, including anxiety, a developmental coordination disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. (Children with chronic sleep deprivation are often misdiagnosed with ADHD, as both conditions result in distracted, frenetic, and grumpy kids.) The ADHD medication exacerbated Elizabeth’s difficulties, making it even harder to fall asleep. In addition, she developed a facial tic, and her emotions ricocheted up and down. When she told her mother, “My brain is crying,” the family….(Ashenburg)

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Ashenburg, K. (2015, May 1). Time for Bed. Retrieved April 22, 2015, < http://thewalrus.ca/time-for-bed/ >

Milroy, S. (2015, May 1). Emily Carr’s British Columbia. Retrieved April 22, 2015, < http://thewalrus.ca/emily-carrs-british-columbia/ >

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Mindmapping Our Presearch Notes: Seeing Patterns and Gaps

Originally posted on The Unquiet Librarian:

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For the last month or so, I’ve been working with a section of Honors 9th Language Arts (hopefully, another more comprehensive post coming on this endeavor later in the spring).   After completing a class study of To Kill a Mockingbird, the students selected a motif of choice and began presearching a topic of choice related to the motif.   After completing a presearch search term map and arriving at a narrowed topic (which I’ve blogged about earlier this semester), we moved forward with another and more focused round of presearch while using EasyBib to capture information sources and take notes.   After approximately two and a half weeks, most students had a body of notes on their focused topic.  However, after many 1:1 student conferences and a formative assessment of collecting and reading their notes, the teacher and I realized many students were struggling with:

1.  Recording relevant…

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NightOwl Theatre presents….

APRIL 29- MAY 2 , 7pm nightowltheatre@gmail.com    nightowltheatre@gmail.com

KSS2bbweb-poster

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Overtime- pulling books

Overtime- pulling books for an art project- Comparative Civilization. We forgot how awesome the art book collection was. Despite fabulous online galleries, virtual exhibits and databases, a set of great print material engages students with content immediately. We have best of both worlds. :-)

IMG_3708

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KSS Library hosting connected teacher workshops

Some teacher directed Professional Development at Kelowna Secondary School.  The KSS Library is sponsoring and guiding some workshops for faculty. The sessions will include brief demonstrations and exemplars of connected teachers and conclude with discussion and Q/A.  Small group or individual instruction and collaboration follows as requested later in the term. All workshops are in the Joseph Boyden Learning Commons. Breakfast served in advance :-)

finditFB

Workshop sessions for KSS teachers.
APRIL 22, 3:30-4:30pm
Social Media for Teachers
APRIL 23 3:30-4:30pm
Twitter for Professionals
APRIL 29 7:45-8:45am
Managing Resources

Connected Learning: using social media for instruction and assessment.

  • A) Social Media for teachers
    • Blogging for teachers- as a web page, discussion or PD platform
    • Blogging with students- as a writing and production platform
    • Twitter as teaching tool
    • Twitter for professional development

  • B) Online Multimedia

    • Streaming video options
    • Managing YouTube or other video

  • C) Curating print and online resources
    • Curating and evaluating resources
    • Using Annotated Works Cited tools for instruction, inquiry, and assessment
    • Social Bookmarking with Diigo,
    • Dropbox, and/or GoogleDocs as curating platform

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The cure for childhood obesity parents will hate


The editorial says schools should make exercise the norm by ensuring that mandatory physical education classes in elementary and high school.  But it’s not enough to have physical education.  It says physical education classes need to be long enough and vigorous enough to meet recommended activity levels and not just token nods to exercise.  It adds that schools need to cut sitting time by getting kids moving in class with short exercise breaks and what’s called kinetic learning.  (Goldman, CBC)



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Goldman, Dr. Brian. “The Cure for Childhood Obesity Parents Will Hate – Blog | White Coat, Black Art with Dr. Brian Goldman | CBC Radio.” CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 30 Mar. 2015. Web. 30 Mar. 2015. <http://www.cbc.ca/radio/whitecoat/blog/the-cure-for-childhood-obesity-parents-will-hate-1.3014981&gt;.

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Struggles Realities of Student-Driven Learning and BYOD


As our technological world rapidly evolves and our social and work place environment changes, it’s unacceptable that we don’t address the low income demographic for anything not just schooling. The civility of our society cannot afford to only protect the 1%. Letting poor schools fend for themselves and not funding them to be progressive is akin to permitting slavery by justifying the economic benefits of free labour! 


National surveys consistently show that students in low-income schools are getting short-changed when it comes to using technology in school. A 2013 Pew study revealed that only 35 percent of teachers at the lowest income schools allow their students to look up information on their mobile devices, as compared to 52 percent of teachers at wealthier schools. (Schwartz)

-I personally think Giulucci below is over enthusiastic. Even with polite and engaged students, my experience is that the urgency if not obsession to txt is stronger than any force. Even college classes are now banning phones. People still txt and drive when they know it is severely hazardous. I think lesson design and engagement can only go so far. Although I implement every technology I can, I also have an explicit class management regime that includes a course of action for use and abuse of mobile devices. -Al Smith

Many advocates of using mobile technologies say the often cited issues of student distraction are just excuses not to try something new. Mark Giuliucci, a freshmen social studies teacher at Sanborn High School in New Hampshire, said it’s not the end of the world if a kid sends a text in class. “The way you discourage it is engage them in the activity so they don’t even think of sending a text,” Giuliucci said. “You’ve got to jump in and play their game or you’re going to lose them.”(Schwartz )



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