Now you see it: How the brain science of attention will transform the way we live, work, and learn – A TTW Guest Post by William Bejarano

As part of Michael Stephens’ Hyperlinked Library course offered through San Jose State University, I reported on the book Now you see it: How the brain science of attention will transform the way we live, work, and learn, by Cathy N. Davidson. We were encouraged to use creative means to convey our reports, so I took the book’s central theme to heart and utilized several free and available web tools to comment across platforms.

Part 1: TameTheWeb – “Introduction”

The main thrust of this book is the notion that we are using outdated criteria to measure our educational progress. This is a crucial idea for information professionals to understand, because it attempts to call our attention to the largely invisible shift in how we find, absorb, and utilize information, which could be changing the very idea of what we consider valuable.

Given that much of the book is dedicated to questioning and possibly dismantling the argument that distractions and periodic attention shifts are a bad thing, I’ve decided to create a distraction-heavy presentation with different points presented on separate formats. If the author is correct in her assessment of how users absorb information, then anyone reading this book report will likely be checking Twitter and Tumblr (among other things) before getting to the end of it anyway. By appearing on all of these platforms, I hope to stay a step or two ahead of you!

(For you traditionalists who prefer to have everything in one place, the entire script is available at the very bottom of this post, in one big text-heavy entry).

Part 2: Screencast – “The Gorilla Illusion”

http://www.screencast.com/t/nQEWNZGuK

Part 3: Tumblr – “Distraction as an Asset”

http://hyperbill.tumblr.com/post/109733910521/distraction-as-an-asset

Part 4: Slideshare – “Fighting Gravity”

http://www.slideshare.net/hyperBill/part4-slideshare-44127214

Part 5: Twitter/Storify – “Using Hyperlinks for Good”

https://storify.com/hyperBill_287/using-hyperlinks-for-good

Part 6: Soundcloud – “Conclusion”

https://soundcloud.com/bill-133/bookreview-conclusion

BejaranoBioWilliam Bejarano has worked as Information Specialist at the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies Library since 2013. Prior to that, he worked in Technical Services at the Rutgers University Libraries for eight years. He holds a Masters in Employment and Labor Relations and will complete his MLIS degree in July 2015. You can email him at [email protected].

Continue reading Now you see it: How the brain science of attention will transform the way we live, work, and learn – A TTW Guest Post by William Bejarano

Practicing Critical Information Literacy by TTW Contributor Troy Swanson

This is an interview I did with Brian Mathews originally posted on  his blog The Ubiquitous Librarian which is part of the Chronicle Higher Education blog network.   His blog (which has been awesome for many years) will soon end as the Chronicle ends its blog network, so Brian gave me permission to also post the interview here. I am appreciative of the good and honest thinking Brian has provided our profession over the years.


BM: You have stated that librarians have long been champions of intellectual freedom and that you see critical information literacy as an extension of this value. Could you tell me more about that?

TS: I have always felt that the value of critical information literacy(applying critical pedagogy to information literacy) is as a lens through which to view the cycle of information production within society. Information products (whether online or in a physical container) are not apolitical. They are produced through systems that carry biases, barriers to access, and interest in maintaining existing power structures. A critical information literacy approach provides an opportunity to examine the power structures that underpin the information production process.

As you note, librarians have long been champions of intellectual freedom, and I see critical information literacy as an extension of this value. It is a way for us to consider what “freedom” means within the context of the information ecosystem. Some voices are privileged over others. In higher education, we often privilege some forms of publication over others. Sometimes we privilege the voice of the expert over that of the novice. In other cases, those with means have the ability to produces information where those without means do not. Critical information literacy can act as mechanism to hold conversations about this system and evaluate the reasons for this privilege.

BM: Can you provide an example of this in practice?

TS: One of the best examples that I have been part of was an examination of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda in a modern world history class. The history instructor and I had students conduct research utilizing news coverage from the time and contrasting with the interpretations of historians. The students worked to layout the course of events, while also looking at what was actually reported as the horrific events unfolded. We asked the students to try to understand why there were significant holes in the reporting and why the Western world (especially the US) did not act.  The students came to very complex understandings that moved beyond pointing fingers and toward reflection on the goals of the players involved.

The goal was not to say that the media was bad or that the US should have taken specific actions, but to recognize the power relations, worldviews, and political factors that enabled or prevented action. In terms of information literacy, the students recognized the ways that historians worked to outline events, they examined the choices made by media at the time when it came to reporting, they examined the remarks made by world leaders, and they reflected on their own values in terms of the US acting in the world.

This example follows a critical perspective, because the instructor and I did not impose our worldviews in the process. We set up the direction, but we did not offer judgment. We allowed our students to define the relationships and create their own understandings. Obviously, critical pedagogy is not the only way to create assignments like this, but this was the avenue we used.

BM: You wrote one of the early articles about critical theory and library instruction. Any thoughts on that effort ten years later? How have your thoughts about the topic evolved? And do you see momentum around the ideas now?

TS: I am very excited by the energy around critical information literacy. There’s a new generation of librarians really exploring the topic and giving it new life. The ways that it has been extended to connect with feminist pedagogy and other areas of learning theory have great promise. I have participated in some of the #CritLib chats on Twitter. They are amazing, and I can’t help but think back to 2002 and 2003 when there were only a handful of folks thinking about critical pedagogy and information literacy.

BM: Do you have any concerns about the direction of critical information literacy?

TS: One fear or concern that I have with some adaptations of critical pedagogy to information literacy is this can become an opportunity to jump up on a political soapbox. Clearly, the examination of the power structures at work within information systems is an inherently political act. But if we are not careful, this can sometimes take on a very judgmental tone. This can be judgmental of students and of colleagues. I worry that students who enter our institutions with different beliefs will not engage in true dialog. I have written about some of these concerns in the Accardi, Drabinski, andKumbier book on critical information literacy.

BM: You recently co-edited a new collection with Heather Jagman(DePaul University) called Not Just Where to Click: Teaching Students How to Think about Information. Tell me about the book? How does this relate to critical information literacy?  

TS: This book is not specifically focused on critical pedagogy, although some contributors do utilize the approach. I have been very interested in how we teach students about information literacy. This was one of my interests that brought me to critical pedagogy, but I have also been interested in cognitive authority in a broader sense.

  • Why do we trust some sources over others?
  • How do our beliefs, values, and worldviews inform our information sources?
  • How do we get students to reflect on the impact that their own beliefs have on their interactions with sources?

I definitely did not have the answers to these questions, so I asked Heather Jagman to help me find some people who did (or at least people who were trying to work toward answers). The contributors are fantastic, and the chapters range from very theoretical to very practical.

BM: Anything you want to share about the ACRL Information Literacy Framework?

TS: I was very honored to be part of the ACRL Task Force. We really worked to make the writing process open and as responsive as possible. It is great to see how the Framework is moving forward as more librarians and educators take it and apply it to their local settings. In terms of critical pedagogy, some librarians have criticized the Framework because it is institutional in nature, and therefore, part of a larger power structure. This disqualifies the Framework right away for some practitioners because they say it is too removed from critical practice in a living world.  On the other hand, I hear from others who say that the Framework is too loose and fails by not setting firm standards that everyone can follow.

Troy SwansonThe intention of the Task Force was to offer something that moved away from standards. The Framework is intended to be applied locally and calls from local campuses to write their own learning outcomes while still offering a big picture (framework) that connected the diversity of higher education institutions. The Framework is more inline with critical practice than most other definitions of information literacy.

Generally, I think that the Framework’s real contribution is that it moves away from the purely mechanical aspects of information literacy toward a more conceptual approach. The previousInformation Literacy Standards had many conceptual aspects to them and the Framework takes a further step. Time will tell how the concepts need to evolve and grow.

—————-
Troy A. Swanson is Department Chair and Teaching & Learning Librarian at Moraine Valley Community College. He is the co-editor of the recent book from ACRL, Not Just Where to Click: Teaching Students How to Think About Information. You can follow him on Twitter at @t_swanson.

The tumblarians – a TTW guest post by Tamarack Hockin

The LIS blogosphere is what brought me into librarianship. I was travelling in Tasmania more than a decade ago when I happened upon Jessamyn West’s librarian.net (still going strong!), and started the discovery process for my own career in libraries. I began spending part of my daily hour at the public terminals reading up on the issues of profession, reflections from practitioners, and linking around within a community of library bloggers. Enter the biblioblogosphere. I have just wrapped up the first semester of my MLIS, and had the amazing opportunity to delve more deeply into the biblioblogosphere in Dr. Michael Stephens’ LIBR200 course. The past few months have been spent constructing some preliminary research into the tumblarians, and considering their place within the existing research on LIS bloggers and information communities. It might be safe to assume that many of TTW’s readers are familiar with the biblioblogosphere since this is an area of special prominence in Michael’s research and many of his past posts.

For those who aren’t familiar, I’ll share here the world’s shortest review on the topic: Beginning in around the early-mid 2000s, LIS bloggers formed an informal online community of practitioners and researchers who shared personal-professional information. This community has been compared to a new form of grey literature for the profession (Powers, 2008), and bloggers themselves identified meaningful benefits from participating in these online conversations (Stephens, 2008). I’ll keep the citations brief, and just sum up the biblioblogosphere as comprising librarians who shared information and reflection on the profession, and who interlinked between one another’s blogs through conversation (e.g., commenting) and endorsement (e.g., blogrolls).

But back to the tumblarians. Who are the tumblarians, what are they doing, and are they an actual community? If the term isn’t new to you, then perhaps you’ve read Tkacik’s piece in The Digital Shift, or Power’s round-up in the Journal of Access Services— or perhaps you yourself are a tumblarian. For myself, I’m lucky enough to know a couple of tumblarians IRL, and was able to supplement this dearth of academic research on the topic by direct conversation. Let me tell you about what I found*. A combination of tumblr (the platform) and librarian, the tumblarians are defined mainly by their use of the hashtag of the same name. Tumblarians share information on diverse topics, but library-related information does take prominence.

I found that the tumblarians bear striking resemblance to LIS bloggers, and may be candidates for inclusion in the same grouping (while the platform is distinct, it shares many similarities with more traditional blogging formats). Like the LIS blogosphere documented in the research, there is a mix of personal and professional information, a community of inter-linking, and topics relevant to the profession are discussed. That said, there are also a lot of quirky animated gifs and pop-culture references. It’s a real mix of social and information. What I find most interesting is the way that this virtual community which is embedded in tumblr and centred around libraries and librarianship, is just that— a community.

My semester long project took place within the context and conversation of Fisher and Durrance’s (2003) information communities, which stressed the ways in which communities form around information needs. Yet it seems there is more than just an information need which leads tumblarians to engage with the blogosphere. Librarianship is deeply rooted in information, and our profession centres on concepts of informational authority, balance, and accuracy. Previous LIS bloggers have described themselves as LIS citizen-journalists who discuss and engage with the issues of the profession. Yet there is editorialising too, and also a lot of irreverent and playful content. The tumblarians especially seem to embrace the social aspects of a blogging community, mixing fandom and research side by side, separated only by their use of hashtags. A blog post (even a long one) is too short a space to get deeply into the issues and themes worthy of real examination. My hope is that I will have more time to follow up with the LIS blogosphere, the tumblarians, and the ways in which librarians and library workers are engaging in discourse about our profession.

We spend so much time with information, but I’m particularly interested in how we’re communicating.By “what I found”, I need to clarify that this was not actual research but findings through informal conversation buttressed by conceptual frameworks. Hence my using the term “preliminary” to characterise my research project.

See also, http://www.sjsu.edu/research/irb/index.html References Fischer, K. E., & Durrance, J. C. (2003). Information communities. In K. Christensen & D. Levinson (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Community: From the Village to the Virtual World. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412952583.n248

Powers, A. C. (2008). Social networking as ethical discourse: Blogging a practical and normative library ethic. Journal of Library Administration, 47(3-4), 191-209. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01930820802186522 S

tephens, M. (2008). The pragmatic biblioblogger: Examining the motivations and observations of early adopter librarian bloggers. Internet Reference Services Quarterly 13(4), 311–345. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10875300802326475.

 

photo cc by-nc-sa KylerStorm[Flickr]Tamarack Hockin is in the first year of her MLIS at San Jose State University, and has been a library technician for six years working in Canadian public libraries. Find her wry humour on twitter @tamahoc, or contact her to talk libraries, anytime, via about.me/tamahoc.

Thanks Arizona!

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Thanks to all who attended my talks in Arizona on Friday and Monday. What a wonderful group of library folk. I am looking forward to returning in November for AzLA in Flagstaff.

Slide downloads are below:

May 29, 2015: Learning Everywhere: The Transformative Power of Hyperlinked Libraries, Prescott Valley, Arizona, for the Arizona Library Association  SLIDES:  https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/239835/StephensPrescottValley.pdf

June 1, 2015: Trends & Technologies Update, Phoenix Public Library,  for the Arizona State Library: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/239835/stephenstrendstechphoenix.pdf

Thanks Florida Library Webinars!

2014-11-19_1416370136Just finished recording a webinar for the good folks in Florida.

The slides are here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/239835/StephensLearningFlorida.pdf

Some Links from Office Hours that were used in the talk:

A Genius Idea: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/03/opinion/michael-stephens/a-genius-idea-office-hours/

In the Moment: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/06/opinion/michael-stephens/in-the-moment-office-hours/

Library as Classroom: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/05/opinion/michael-stephens/library-as-classroom-office-hours/#_

Holding Us Back: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/04/opinion/michael-stephens/holding-us-back-office-hours/

Infinite Learning: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/10/opinion/michael-stephens/infinite-learning-office-hours/

Learning to Learn: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/06/opinion/michael-stephens/learning-to-learn-office-hours/

Mobile at the Library: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/11/opinion/michael-stephens/mobile-at-the-library-office-hours/

Reflective Practice: http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/01/opinion/michael-stephens/reflective-practice-office-hours/

 

MAKE. PLAY. READ. LEARN by TTW Contributor Justin Hoenke

 

Make. Play. Read. Learn Logo designed by Kyle Gordy http://kylegordydesign.com/
Make. Play. Read. Learn Logo designed by Kyle Gordy http://kylegordydesign.com/

From the moment that I began working in libraries in around 2007, I was not a fan of Summer Reading programs and the themes they were generally packaged around. They were boring, cookie cutter, and out of date. The themes seemed to be 1-2 years behind what was popular at the moment.  As a teen librarian, my job was to take these themes and put some excitement around them. I found it to be a difficult task that took energy away from what I consider to be the most important part of any public library: the community that uses the library services.  Why spend energy on something that doesn’t reflect your community? I’ve been asking myself this question throughout my career. It’s taken awhile, but as time has passed the answer has become clearer and clearer: summer reading programs should not be catch all, cookie cutter programs. They need to be crafted and designed to meet the needs of the community.

My early research into summer programs at libraries turned me onto the Summer Game at the Ann Arbor District Library, a remarkable game where library patrons can earn points, badges, prizes, and more for participating. I loved this approach. However, I knew that at this moment my library and the community did not have the means to achieve something like this.  This is ok!  Instead of saying “oh well, we can’t do this, so let’s just do what we used to do” we said “NOPE! Let’s keep moving ahead!” And ahead is where we went with MAKE. PLAY. READ. LEARN.

MPRL-Teaser-Banner

 

The idea is simple: what are the themes we can organize library programming around? What is our community interested in? Using ideas for STEAM and Every Child Ready to Read, we came up with 8 themes to focus our efforts around: Design, Drama, Tinker, Technology, Music, Writing, Science, and Art. We (myself and Children’s Services Coordinator Lee Hope) then assigned our staff to a certain theme and tasked them with coming up with 5 simple programs focused around that theme. 20 staff members contributed and came up with amazing program/lesson plans, supply lists, budgets, and more.  Everyone who created these themed programs in a box got a $150 budget.  These “theme programs in a box” will travel throughout our library branch locations this summer and serve our kids, tweens, and teens with two programs every day (one for kids, one for tweens/teens) over the course of 8 weeks.

There are two big parts I like about MAKE. PLAY. READ. LEARN.  First up is how we had all of our staff involved in the planning. Coming from a strictly youth services background, I always try to remember how important it is to have the youth services voice at the table.  Youth Services traditionally drive library circulation, programming statistics and more. Simply speaking, kids, tweens,  teens and families love libraries. It is easy to say “yes, we will do this and that for the kids”. Those kind of initiatives will work out in the end but I find it far more rewarding and successful at the core if you involve as many of the youth service staff that you employ. Youth Services staff have a treasure trove of ideas in their head. Why not create a program and give that program the structure and support to unleash staff creativity? I’d like to think that MAKE. PLAY. READ. LEARN did that for our amazing Youth Services team at the Chattanooga Public Library.

The other big part I’d like to finish with is the branding. To me, a successful program has to reflect the community it serves. What do Chattanoogans enjoy from the library? They make, they play, they read, and they learn in our libraries.  With that in mind, we are trying to tie it all together into one package that the community can identify with.

MPRL-Logo

 

The final step in our story is unwritten. Throughout May 2015, we’ll prepare for MAKE. PLAY. READ. LEARN at our library locations.  June and July will be the months where everything happens.  It’s super exciting and a whole lot of scary, but you know what? We’ll make it through and we’ll give some kids, tweens, and teens and amazing summer.

MAKE. PLAY. READ. LEARN images and logo design by Chattanooga Public Library Web Developer/Designer Kyle Gordy.

-Post by Justin Hoenke, Tame the Web Contributor

Library as classroom: What’s the big flippin’ deal? — A TTW Guest Post by Jolene Nechiporenko

listening

In my hyperlinked library class we’ve been learning about the library as classroom and the benefits of the flipped classroom.  The flipped classroom lends itself to the newer concept of teaching and learning, the active, community centered, collaborative, group learning in which both students and instructors can be learners or teachers.

What is a flipped classroom? The flipped or inverted classroom assigns pre-class, often an online video, pod cast, or reading material, homework and then utilizes class time to complete an active discussion or learning exercise.  “Lectures are moved online to be viewed before class, and classroom time is dedicated to learning activities that require students to engage concepts at a higher level in a group setting and with an instructor at hand to answer questions, give feedback, and prompt reexamination of key ideas.” (Baepler, Walker, & Driessen, 2014)

What’s so great about a flipped classroom?  Flipping the classroom offers new opportunities to both students and instructors that the traditional classroom does not.  Among these opportunities is flexibility for both the students and the instructors.  Students can access, ‘at home’ materials online wherever and whenever they want thanks to the incorporated technology. These recordings or materials remain available to students for repeated use.  “It allows a blended, (online and face-to-face) and self-paced instruction more aligned to how this generation of students learn.” (Brunsell & Horejsi, 2013)

Flipping saves time in the long run.  Instructors record their lecture only once until they feel the need to make changes or updates and students can view/listen to the material as many times as they feel necessary.  This process, known as ‘off-loading’ allows for better use of classroom time. Kim Miller explains off-loading as it pertains to information literacy instruction “…it’s hard to jump into more complex application and exploratory activities during a traditional 50 or 60 minute class if students don’t have a basic foundation on which to build advanced skills.  Off-loading the procedural instructions, like how to navigate the library’s website or basic catalog searching, to pre-class activities can free up in-class time for librarians to help students work through more complex activities.” (Miller, 2013)

Off-loading provides for better use of classroom time which can foster active, collaborative learning.  “Engaging students in active learning during class gives them an opportunity to think critically about what they are leaning, something often lacking in traditional library instruction.” (Fawley, 2014)  “The [Horizon] report notes, “Students are increasingly evaluated…on the success of the group dynamic,” as well as the outcome.  This might involve peer evaluation and self-reflection in addition to review of the group’s work. (as quoted in Stephens, 2012)”

“Thanks to social-networking software, information can flow not just from teachers to learners but in multiple directions: among students, from students to classroom teachers, from teacher-librarians to classroom teachers and students.” (Loertscher, 2008). In this ideal environment, instructors can assume the role of student and students have the capability to be the instructor. “When an assignment is given, everyone-teachers, librarians, students, and other specialists- can comment, coach, suggest, recommend, and discover together, and push everyone toward excellence.” (Loertscher, 2008)

Why should libraries be interested in flipped classrooms?  It’s ideal for an instructor to collaborate with a teacher librarian and have their class take place in the learning commons where a world of resources are readily available to the learner.  Flipped classrooms are often found in libraries, especially in the information commons.  In addition, the flipped classroom can be applied to information literacy instruction in which the librarian is the actual instructor.  “Libraries are increasingly called on to pursue innovative educational initiatives in order to remain engaged with a user base that is beginning to expect more personalized, mobile, digital, and responsive information services. (Booth, 2011)

Want more information?  Check out this great info graphic:

flipped-classroom-2

References

Booth, C. (2011). Reflective teaching, Effective learning. American Library Association.

Brunsell, E.,& Horejsi, M. (2013) Flipping you classroom in one “Take”.  Science Teacher, 80(3), 8.

Fawley, N. (2014, September 1). Flipped Classrooms. American Libraries.

Knewton. (2011, August, 29). The flipped classroom. [Infographic] Retrieved fromhttp://www.knewton.com/blog/education-infographics/flipped-classroom-infographic/

Loertscher, D. (2008, November 1). Flip this classroom. School Library Journal.

Miller, K. (2013, February 25).  Flipping Out: Preflip planning. Retrieved from ACRLog.

Miller, K. (2013, March 28).  Flipping Out: Reflection upon landing. Retrieved from ACRLog.

Stephens, M. (2012, April 25). Learning everywhere [Web log post]. Library Journal. Retrievedfrom http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2012/04/opinion/michael-stephens/learning-everywhere-office-hours/

 

Jolene Nechiporenko is a senior student in the Master of Library and Information Science online degree program through San Jose State University’s School of Information. She lives with her family in North Dakota and plans to pursue a career in librarianship.

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Michigan: Technologies and Trends Workshop

Tech-Trends

Mark your calendar now for an exciting opportunity to attend a very special event in which you will “explore cutting edge trends” in “evolving libraries.”

Opening keynote speaker, Michael Stephens will speak about how libraries can play a vital role in how “emerging technologies” can change the way we “live and learn.”

Other scheduled presenters include: Kyle Felker and Kristin Meyer from Grand Valley State University, Amy James and Elizabeth Walker from Spring Arbor University, Sonya Schryer Norris, Library of Michigan and Rebecca Renirie from Central Michigan University.

Registration

Earlybird Registration Deadline: May 22, 2015

Advance Registration Deadline: June 4, 2015

For more information and registration details, go to: http://www.milibraries.org/events/technologies-and-trends-workshop/

 

People, Libraries & Technology – A Weblog by Michael Stephens