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Lego Building: Promoting Play Through Online Discovery



Part of a talk at Internet Librarian by Meredith Farkas (the other portion will be given by Helene Blowers)

Part of a talk at Internet Librarian by Meredith Farkas (the other portion will be given by Helene Blowers)



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Lego Building: Promoting Play Through Online Discovery Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Building a Foundation with Five Weeks to a Social Library Meredith Farkas Internet Librarian 2007 Monterey, CA
  • 2. The Issue • Lots of people don’t have access to continuing education programs. • One-off Webcasts are great, but don’t ensure continued learning/use of the tools discussed. • Importance of hands-on learning and reflective learning. • Online courses could be run more cheaply.
  • 3. Five Weeks to a Social Library • The first free, grassroots, completely online course devoted to teaching librarians about social software and how to use it in their libraries. • 40 participants • All kinds of libraries • Application process • Chosen on basis of need and perceived benefit
  • 4. Building the class • Found five other lovely librarians to help • Michelle Boule, Dorothea Salo, Amanda Etches- Johnson, Karen Coombs, and Ellyssa Kroski • Solicited presentations from experts in the library world • Used open source software whenever possible. • Planned the entire course using wikis and instant messaging.
  • 5. Tools Used
  • 6. Structure of the Course
  • 7. Comments from participants • “My favorite part of this course is the variety of ways to learn. To read an article, listen to a Webcast, experiment with the technology and then chat about it -- what a great combo. Each part built on the other to help deepen my understanding.”
  • 8. Comments from participants • “My favourite experience had to be the weekly chats. This was probably the most valuable learning tool - if I wasn’t learning from my peers, I was gaining their support and encouragement. I treasured the time I spent with these folks -- being among your ‘peers,’ even if it’s just an hour a week, can be valuable.”
  • 9. Comments from participants • “In just a short time, I created 2 wikis, a book discussion group web page that pulls in RSS feeds, developed a blog and I am completely obsessed with Flickr. I couldn’t stop!”
  • 10. Comments from participants • “This 5 weeks has been one of the most invigorating and energizing professional development activities I’ve engaged in 20 years of being a librarian. I’ve discovered an entire sphere of activity and conversation and interaction going on in the library world that I knew nothing about.”
  • 11. Steal this idea! You don't have to teach this course in five weeks You don't have to use the exact same tools You don't have to cover the same topics (this would work for most topics!)
  • 12. Steal this idea! You do need to provide for experiential and reflective learning You do need to provide ways for people to have many different conversations about what they're learning You do need to use tools that aren't so difficult to learn that they become a barrier You do need to be flexible when technology problems arise (they will!) You do need to be open about the process and allow criticism from inside and outside the project
  • 13. Lessons • Playing with technology is essential to learning technology. • Reflective learning makes ideas stick. • Learning from peers can be more important than learning from a “sage on the stage.” • Online learning can be developed on the cheap.
  • 14. Thanks! Meredith Farkas mgfarkas@gmail.com Slides and links available at meredithfarkas.wetpaint.com