Changes in Technology

This is hysterical! This is also very eye-opening and strange to me, in that some of the comments from the kids are just so TRUE and honest about how they feel.  The most strange comment is from a girl at moment 2.50:

Kid: “How do I do my homework?”

Interviewer: ” You have to go to the Library.”

Kid: “Who wants to do that?!”

Really? That stinks! Yes, technology is awesome. Noted in the video is that the same power of technology that is in one smart phone equates to 850 1970’s Apple computers.  Crazy advances in a short amount of time.  But a library card has a value too. The library too. The same aged kid without resources to have their own computer at home is still going to the library to get on a computer.  That’s who wants to do that. The kids and people who don’t have the money to get all these resources to have for just themselves.  I wonder what would happen if there was a video for kids about how other kids use technology. How kids that frequent the libraries, use the libraries and what they do there.  That would be a good one.


Connecticut’s Information Literacy Conference, 2014



First off, let’s just say, I am from originally from NY, live in MA, and CT has the best swag around! Not only did I get a free travel coffee cup upon my arrival, but I also won the end-of-conference door prize, which was a signed book from the keynote speakers, Metaliteracy: Reinventing Information Literacy to Empower Learners. Nice.

Keynote was “Crossing the Threshold: Envisioning Information Literacy through the Lens of Metaliteracy.” Ummm…mouthful, right? Just try getting your head around some of this stuff. It was very much like my first philosophy course, where the teacher is trying to make easy some very complex concepts, and then the students regurgitate back in the exact same teacher-speak, what sense they think they are making about the material. It rings a bit inauthentic, but the over-reaching premise is very noble and I think if applied without the B.S. elements, a very good way of re-inventing the ACRL standards, so that we as library instructors can actually use them; which I would hope is sort of the goal of all of this.

Presented by Trudi Jacobson, and Thomas Mackey, metaliteracy is defined as “literacy about literacy.” It was described as a model of flow, in which the key elements of IL, are always in relation to the environment in which they are learned, and only completed when they are incorporated by the user by producing, collaborating, participating, sharing, and in general being a part of the process of learning themselves. Being engaged, and not just a passive learner is the “thinking about your own thinking” part. The environment is now withing, twitter, an OER, Facebook, etc. The skills (IL skills, called quests) that we used to teach are still present, but the goal is now knowledge acquisition in collaboration with others.

The new ACRL “framework” is very informed by metaliteracy. How the librarians are supposed to implement this, is through gen-ed competencies, upper-level IL requirements (HARHAR), and the idea of badging for threshold concepts. ***Threshold concepts is also a major fabric of the new standards, but I am avoiding discussing it here, as I cannot even stand to say the phrase, let alone try to fit my head around teaching these in my one-shot reality.

My first breakout session was fantastic, and along the same lines of the meta-framework about collaborating with Faculty in teaching in a metaliteracy program approach. Excellent work they are doing at University of Scranton.

My second breakout was also good, as it reaffirmed that my teaching was in the right direction. The presentation was on teaching to what the students already know and the ways they already search in order to keep their attention and retention of the new material. Aka, teaching Google! It wasn’t actually about teaching Google, but involving the students in the discussion on how and why they would search for something. My new takeaway techniques if I have a longer than 50 minute class, are to really explore explaining what Wikipedia is and parlay to Credo search so they can actually cite the source. Also, moving this into google books, versus books in our catalog. Circling back on the scholary conversation of old versus new information, reflecting back on what they are learning, and transferring the newly learned material into concrete terms so they can retain it. Excellent ideas; she also reflected that teaching this using a new discovery tool would be great as it searches very similarly to google anyway, so the evaluation piece will be crucial.

I thoroughly enjoyed this conference, on a topic that actually made me mad before. **Note to self: if it makes you mad, it probably is just misunderstood. Still working on the threshold concept thing…

LibGuides. Love or Hate? Late? Have?

LibGuides replaced our home-made pathfinder about 2 going on 3 years ago.  I am the admin, but most everyone can make all the changes in our institution.  I don’t like being the sole gate-keeper, but I have to admit, I feel that because I designed the WordPress site that we eventually got rid of, this LibGuides Beast is my baby to handle.

  • There are lots of things that I love about it:
  • Easy to teach
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to make a guide for just about everything
  • Easy to copy or re-use content
  • Getting to share with a HUGE user community
  • Teaching BI classes from the templates that embed or link into student’s lives seamlessly
  • The upcoming changes that will improve the look of Libguides

Some of these are things that I hate too.

I am currently on a fixing project where I have to update all of our links in the system that direct back to our old website.  It isn’t as easy as doing a search and replace type of function, because we now have Drupal.  This means that it won’t redirect to our new sites easily or understand if I try to. Basically I have about 155 broken links that I am manually checking and then replacing.

You might think that I like LibGuides less because of this. Not so. It makes me appreciate them more. Usually if I need to fix a link from a database or eBook, I can just use their automatic search & replace. Easy Peasy.  This is just a weird off instance where that won’t work. Also, their customer service is awesome.  I email a question and they get back to me so quickly.

This is not a post on how great LibGuides is. It is more of how I love/hate or “la-te” them…or “ha-ve” them.  I do both.