Category Archives: Learning Everywhere

New Article: “23 mobile things: self-directed and effective professional learning”

 

Citation: Michael Stephens , (2014) “23 mobile things: self-directed and effective professional learning: “, Library Management , Vol. 35 Iss: 8/9, pp. –.
Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the “Mobile 23 Things” survey results from the program offered by Guldborgsund-bibliotekerne (a public library in Denmark) and present the findings as support for professional development models to increase library staff familiarity with emerging technologies.

Design/methodology/approach

Using an integrated, exploratory approach, a Web-based survey tool, developed for a previous Learning 2.0 study, was adapted for this study, with survey questions translated English – Danish, and responses Danish – English. The data gathered from both pre- and post-program surveys are presented and analyzed.

Findings

The research results identify that 23 Mobile Things increases familiarity with movable technologies, promotes inclusive learning, and can be an effective model for delivering professional development.

Originality/value

This article reports on the first research study to evaluate the 23 Mobile Things model and provides evidence that this model of library staff professional development can be an overall beneficial experience that increases staff knowledge and expertise related to mobile devices and applications.

 

Reflection on a New Culture of Learning:? Implementing a Learning 2.0 Program for Diverse Communities – A TTW Guest Post by Elaine Hall

Note from Michael: Elaine takes us through her work on the #transtech group project for Huntington Beach Public Library and connects to our course texts. i am happy to share this insightful reflection!

 

This report outlines the unique experiences, challenges, and opportunities in developing a Learning 2.0 program for the diverse community served by the Huntington Beach Public Library. This project – called Links to Literacy – was accomplished virtually as a group assignment in Dr. Michael Stephens’s Transformative Learning and Technology Literacies course in Spring 2013. It involved seven learning technology modules aimed to introduce communication, job searching, and internet literacy skills to the patrons in HBPL’s Literacy Program. While this report reflects my own views regarding the project, I offer acknowledgement and gratitude to the dynamic group of students, as well as the staff at the HBPL, who offered the dialogue, critique, technical expertise, and dedication to make this project a great success. I also offer thanks to Dr. Stephens and Char Booth, author of Reflective Teaching, Effective Learning, for their support, guidance, and insight to the project’s development and objectives.

“Links to Literacy” – A Unique Learning 2.0 Experience

The Huntington Beach Public Library (HBPL) has a dedicated program focused on literacy which includes tutors, training for tutors, and special programs such as adult and family literacy. They serve a highly diverse community where many of the residents do not have access to computers, internet, smartphones, etc. which significantly impact their social, language, technical and job-searching skillset. The HBPL literacy program aims to serve its community by providing tutors, classes, and group and individual activities that build upon these essentials skills for successful living.

The Links to Literacy program became a unique Learning 2.0 project in that it actually incorporated both synchronous and asynchronous learning. Most Learning 2.0 programs foster the idea of asynchronous learning where the learner is approaching learning on their own. For this project, based on the needs of the diverse community needing guidance, language interpretation, and motivation, much of the learning was done synchronously in small groups of tutors and students – but fostered the application of play, personal exploration, and continued learning outside of the program. It presented an interesting blend of synchronous learning that hoped to develop into more extended learning activities asynchronously. Examples of “extended learning” activities include:

  • Patrons using their new email accounts to communicate with each other and family
  • Patrons using JobScout, setting up profiles that will help them search for
  • Patrons building comfort with the Internet and using search engines to explore their own interests.

Learning outcomes will extend beyond my assessment here. This presents another unique aspect of the Links to Literacy project. The fact that the patrons had to come to the library to access the modules via library computers made it more challenging for students to stick to a “one-module per week” model. They got sick. They got busy. They forgot. In a sense – life got in the way and the lack of access made it challenging to adhere to a particular “schedule” for learning. This presented a unique experience for us as developers/instructors as we had to adjust to the learning environment of HBPL library staff and tutors to create an engaging, useful, and instructional program for the patrons. In the end, it was a success – even if it did not quite go as we had originally planned.

Project Implementation – Personal Evaluation: 

My primary role in the project was developing the Pinterest Module. I really valued the process of sharing a social and learning technology that I personally enjoy using for both personal and professional learning and tagging. Developing the Pinterest Module for the unique literacy group at HBPL was a great learning experience for me as I had to take off my “expert” hat and bring my thinking to that of that user. This become challenging for me.

Challenges in targeting the Pinterest Module for this group included several components:

  • The students were bilingual with some having very little English. While the program needed to be built in English and would have bilingual tutors to assist, the language needed to be simplistic and easily understood between the English and Spanish translation.
  • Many of the patrons have an education level based at the 6th grade level. This further complicated the language barrier and required simplicity in the instructions.
  • Learning of the Pinterest Module was based on successful completion of prior modules such as Email, Search Engine, and Facebook. It required that I understood the learning objectives of prior modules in order to confirm the learning of those modules and offer opportunity to advance upon that learning.
  • The Pinterest Module had the challenge of offering “WIIFM” (what’s in it for me) factor (Booth, 2011). I had to instill the desire to use Pinterest. I purposely used food as the example where patrons could explore recipes and build boards based on their interests, favorite recipes, etc.

All of these challenges resulted in learning opportunities that expanded my knowledge of developing an online learning platform, gaining additional skills in WordPress, opening up my concept of diversity in libraries as well as in the learning environment, and how to take myself out of the expert mode to transforming my knowledge to fit the specific needs of a target learning group.

My secondary role as the communicator with the site liaison was the most rewarding experience of this process as it allowed me to engage with the library, identify with its real-life application for the patrons, and build connection with my group members as I shared the feedback with them. The most intriguing conversation I had with the library staff was on how to incorporate photo sharing into the modules. This really pushed the understanding – on their part as well as mine – on the limitations of the served community based on its lack of technological resources, application of use, need for additional learning, and time. In one sense, it seemed a lost opportunity as photo sharing is applicable to many of the other modules – Email, Facebook, Pinterest, JobScout (uploading a profile picture), Tumblr, and even YouTube (expanding the photo sharing to video sharing). On the other hand, we had to come to the realization that to offer this learning despite the barriers of technology access could result in frustration and inability to complete a module – both things we were aiming to avoid. In the end, we decided to eliminate the photo uploading/sharing component within the modules and hope that as the patrons take advance in their learning, they will adopt these skills on their own.

Developing Learning 2.0 Program – Group Evaluation: 

The Literacy and Students Learning 2.0 group overall worked well together. We had a slow start and it was challenging to assess roles and responsibilities to begin with but once we all logged in and connected, it smoothed out quite effectively. We had two synchronous meetings where brainstorming, structure, format, and constructive criticism were both encouraged and effectively executed.

I give compliments to the group in their effective communicative strategies. So often in online communication comments, criticism, and even suggestions can be interpreted incorrectly. Our group seemed to keep in mind the objectives of the program and pulled together a sense of exploration and inquiry that helped facilitate a continuous flow of ideas. The group was also honest about their frustrations, open about their challenges, helpful in offering solutions, and highly encouraging to each other. Having started the communication process on several online course group projects and often taking on a leader role, I often get involved with bickering, complaints due to lack of fair work, etc. I compliment this group on working together as a whole towards a main goal throughout the whole project!

The one main thing I think we as a group missed out on was better program assessment. In thinking (and teaching) as an assessor, Wiggins & McTighe (2005) ask the question: “What specific characteristics in student responses, products, or performances should we examine to determine the extent to which the desired results were achieved?” (p. 150).  This was challenging as we had expected better interaction with either the tutors or the students (or both!) as they made their way through the modules. In reality, due to the structure of classroom learning and the use of tutors to help guide the patrons through the modules, we missed the opportunity to interact with the patrons, to learn from their challenges, and assist in their learning. This, according to Wiggins and McTighe (2005) is where rubrics, products of learning, and evaluation come into play.  While we did review each other’s modules before launching the program and even though some of us opted into trying out the modules as a “learner”, we should have considered developing a rubric or some other structured assessment of each other’s modules. By doing so, we may have been better able to identify how well we met our learning – and teaching – objectives despite the lack of learner feedback.

This really highlighted the challenges of teaching in an online format. Instructors need to develop methods of obtaining feedback from their students. It need not be elaborate (although sometimes that may be needed), but it does need to provide information on how learning is being achieved, whether learning objectives are being met as well as the valuable insight to the challenges and new applications that arise from the learning.  I think this was the real challenge in our group not getting feedback from the learners themselves – we lacked that engagement to learn how the program impacted them and also missed feedback on how we could enhance/adapt the program for future use.

Conclusion – Understanding the New Culture of Learning:

The experiences within this project really brought to life the “new culture of learning”. Thomas and Brown (2011) indicate that “the primary difference between the teaching-based approach to education and the learning-based approach is that in the first case, the culture is the environment, while in the second case, the culture emerges from the environment – and grows along with it” (Kindle version, loc. 369).

Learning 2.0 programs offer tremendous opportunity to demonstrate this new culture of learning. By understanding where the needs are within any community, learning programs can be developed to offer value, incentive, opportunity, and motivation for learning. The Links to Literacy program could not have succeeded without first understanding its community, its limitations to access, the patron’s lack of understanding and experience, the barriers of language, and opportunity created by need (need for job skills, technology, and communication).

Thomas and Brown (2011) also indicate that “a second difference is that the teaching-based approach focuses on teaching us about the world, while the new culture of learning focuses on learning through engagement within the world” (loc. 381). This is the beauty of Learning 2.0 programs – without engagement, learning simply doesn’t happen.

Similarly, the Links to Literacy project also brought hands on application to the Four Processes for Learning (aka Transformation) presented by Mezirow (1997). Below I demonstrate how the Links to Literacy project fits into this model:

Process 1 – Elaborating Existing Frames of Reference

The Links to literacy project could not have been developed successfully without fully understanding the targeted community the program was aimed for. Fortunately, our communication with the site liaison at HBPL was very effective. The fact that the library was just as excited about this program as we were facilitated enthusiasm, effectiveness, and collaboration in fully understanding both the environment of learning for the patrons as well as diverse frames of reference the patrons would be demonstrating.

Process 2 – Learning New Frames of Reference

Char Booth (2011) says that “learners pay more attention, try harder, and understand more clearly when they see the personal benefit of an instructional scenario or object” (Kindle version, loc. 742). This was an important process behind what modules our group presented. We wanted to attract and engage with the use of simple language (ease of understanding clearly), presenting fun activities (all activities were to encourage personal interests and applications), and offering examples of additional applications for those who wanted to explore a module/technology even further.  It is no surprise that the JobScout Module was so well liked by the patrons! The program solidifies the benefit of prior learning (emails and search engines) while presenting a much needed online resource for creating resumes, searching for jobs, and applying and tracking applications. The JobScout Module also encouraged participation through the use of digital badges as motivators for learning. Patrons benefited from immediate personal gratification by achieving a new badge while also achieving more long-term benefits of learning job searching and application skills.

Process 3 – Transforming Points of View

While the engagement of exercises and the development of new learning has transformed the points of views of the HBPL patrons in their experience and comfort in using new technologies, the biggest impact on transforming points of view, in my opinion, for this project is demonstrated through the staff’s perspective…

”This has been such a beneficial project for us! Of course I had the idealized picture of everyone moving from module to module each week with no problems and I have had to adjust, but people are really learning a lot and we are learning how to do this type of project with our students. I think this will be a huge help overall to our program and to our students. It is just taking a lot of patience.”

Amy Crepeau, Huntington Beach Public Library

Where our target was presenting Learning 2.0 programs to HBPL patrons, transformative points of view became evident in library staff who led the program. They too had to realize the unique learning needs of their patrons, the opportunities and disadvantages of attempting a Learning 2.0 program both as a collective class experience as well as an individual learning experience, and the value of being open to change and flexibility to make learning effective. Ironically, these same lessons were learned by us – the Literacy and Students Learning 2.0 group – throughout the program.

Process 4 – Transforming Habits of the Mind

The further process of transforming habits of the mind is individualistic for the patrons, tutors, and even staff at HBPL. Just as valuable are the transforming habits of the mind that occurred during our group’s own learning. We learned that teaching needs to be flexible, assessments are critical to evaluate learning outcomes, and learning needs to be centered on the user’s individual engagement and experience.

“Links to Literacy”: Project and Module Links

Links to Literacy: https://litlink.wordpress.com/
Email Module: https://litlink.wordpress.com/module-1/
Searching Module: https://litlink.wordpress.com/module-2/
JobScout Module: https://litlink.wordpress.com/module-3/
Facebook Module: https://litlink.wordpress.com/module-4/
Tumblr Module: https://litlink.wordpress.com/module-5/
Pinterest Module:  https://litlink.wordpress.com/module-6-pinterest/
YouTube Module: https://litlink.wordpress.com/module-7-youtube/

References

Booth, C. (2011) Reflective Teaching, Effective Learning. American Library Association: Chicago.

Mezirow, J. (1997), Transformative learning: Theory to practice. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, no. 74, p 5-12.Retrieved from http://www.ecolas.eu/content/images/Mezirow%20Transformative%20Learning.pdf

Thomas, D., & Brown, J. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. CreateSpace: Charleston, SC.

Wiggins, G., & McTigue, J. (2005). Understanding by Design (Expanded 2nd Edition).Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

 

elaineElaine Hall is a MLIS student at San Jose State University studying and working in the field of Library and Information Science with special focus on research, academic libraries, and information technology.

Developing My Personal Learning Network: Processes, Decisions and Outcomes – A TTW Guest Post by Elaine Hall

Personal Learning Network – Presentation

“Developing”, as it pertains to my title of this blog, is defined as the ongoing development, utilization, and management of my personal learning network. It is not something that “is done” and then complete, it is something that will, with careful nurturing and management, follow me throughout the rest my learning life.

The journey began years ago without realization when I signed up for Facebook, popped on (and then quickly off) Twitter, set up a LinkedIn account, and checked out various apps via my mobile phone.  It wasn’t until taking Transformative Learning and Technology Literacy course with Dr. Michael Stephens that the potential of a Personal Learning Network (PLN) came to life!

My favorite explanation of a Personal Learning Network is by Anya Kamenetz who writes on her blog post titled 8 Ways to Build Your Personal Learning Network with Twitter, Google Plus, and More  that “no one learns alone”. The leads to the various discussions about transformative learning we have had in our course this semester – where learning is a transformative process from where we begin in our learning, to how where we end, and most importantly – the resources, tools, and people that helped us through that transformation. David Hopkins (2013) highlights this well in his own blog post when he said “I know my work and perception of my role has been transformed since I joined Twitter and other networks, and it has been because I wanted it to.” That’s the beauty of the PLN – we create it purposely so our learning can be transformed, so we can continuously expand and explore our understanding, and then share that understanding continuously with others.

In the attached “My Personal Learning Network” presentation, I present my PLN as it stands right now. As will always be the case, the network is not yet complete. For example, I have not yet explored or compared bookmarking sites, yet they are on my list of things to check out.  I need to revisit other LIS type social sites such as Goodreads and LibraryThing, both which I have explored before, to see if they should be added as well. And there are so many others. What news feeds will help support my PLN? What list serves should I explore?  What professional associations should I engage with online? What potential employers should I follow?  The process will be ongoing.

VIEW “MY PERSONAL LEARNING NETWORK” PRESENTATION VIA SLIDESHARE!: 

For those of you who do not have the time to view my presentation, I offer an outline below of my PLN development process.

My PLN Mission Statement: 

My PLN will…

  • be transparent and open for others to view, to participate, and to learn from
  • foster lifelong learning for myself and others
  • permit both creativity and curiosity
  • be used to share ideas, to play, to have fun, and to continuously explore.

Goals of My PLN: 

  • Commit to lifelong learning
  • Constantly add to my skillset
  • Develop professional identity
  • Curate information
  • Find a mentor – be a mentor
  • Foster balance between professional and personal life

Scope of MY PLN:

The scope of my PLN is to focus on issues and trends relating to academic librarianship and will include a strong focus on the following areas:

  • Academic Libraries
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Technology
  • Research Methodology
  • Reference Services
  • Online Learning
  • Assessment
  • Learning Environments
  • Social/Hyperlinked Media

Objectives: 

  • Connect
  • Contribute
  • Converse
  • Request

My Primary Networks: 

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • Netvibes

My PLN Tools: 

  • Google Docs
  • Box.net
  • Slideshare
  • Mindmeister
  • Google Scholar
  • Flickr
  • Tumblr
  • YouTube

Maintaining My PLN: 

  • Contribute at least one blog post per week
  • Participate in at least 3 discussions per week
  • Connect/follow those I meet in discussions
  • Tweet and re-tweet daily
  • Connect by sharing personal interests as well as professional interests
  • Re-evaluate dashboards and collections at each life milestone
  • Review blogs every six months – weed out inactive ones
  • Network at live events, receptions, conferences
  • Introduce others within my network and ask to be introduced

Advice to Others 

BE PATIENT! 

  • Building a PLN doesn’t happen quickly
  • It takes time to make connections
  • It takes time to build relationships
  • It takes participation to determine the value of a community
  • It takes perseverance when you receive no comments or replies
  • It requires patience to build your social presence

BE AUTHENTIC! 

“Don’t try to game the system, worry too much about your online “brand,” or in any way cajole people into following you or responding to you. The more you reveal your humanity the more people will trust you, identify with you, and respond to your reflections and appeals. More importantly, the more you seek out the humanity in others, the more they will want to connect with you – and share with you.”    Wagner, 2012

PLN Success! 

The following items are examples of outcomes as a result of developing my personal learning network. These results happened naturally as I explored the potential of my PLN: what I wanted it to do, how I wanted to use it, how it could build my personal and professional networks, and how to not only participate in but also build community. It is evident by the immediacy of the results, that my PLN has only begun its potential as an essential tool to lifelong learning.

ACTION: Used Pinterest to do a search on PLN’s. Received numerous resources, suggestions, presentations, mindmap, etc. to reflect upon for my own PLN development.

RESULT: This led to developing my own Pinterest PLN board which has since been followed by others

ACTION: Inquired about favorite tools and resources from graduate students in a MLIS program via Facebook SLIS Students group

RESULT: over 13 responses with over unique 20 suggestions. Not only resulted as a tremendous resource for my project, but also resulted in shared file for future students to access the recommendations. 

Resources supporting both this blog post and the “My Personal Learning Network” presentation: 

Hopkins, S. (2013). Developing your own Personal Learning Network (PLN) #edtech. Technology Enhanced Learning Blog. Retrieved from: http://www.dontwasteyourtime.co.uk/elearning/developing-your-own-personal-learning-network

Inquisitive Learning: http://inquisitivelearning.wordpress.com

Howlett, A. (2011). Connecting to the LIS online community: A new information professional developing a personal learning network. ALIA 5th New Librarians Symposium 2011: Metamorphosis: What will you become today. Perth, Australia.

Kamenetz, Anya (2011). 8 Ways to build your personal learning network with Twitter, Google Plus, and more. Fast Company. Retrieved at: http://www.fastcompany.com/1770997/8-ways-build-your-personal-learning-network-twitter-google-plus-and-more

Rajagopal, Kamakshi, Joosten-ten Brinke, Desirée, Van Bruggen, Jan, And Sloep, Peter. “Understanding personal learning networks: Their structure, content and the networking skills needed to optimally use them” First Monday [Online],  17(1). Retrieved from:  http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/3559/3131

Wagner, D. (2013). Personal Education Networks for Educators. Getting Smart. Retrieved from: http://gettingsmart.com/2012/01/personal-learning-networks-for-educators-10-tips/

 

elaineElaine Hall is a MLIS student at San Jose State University studying and working in the field of Library and Information Science with special focus on research, academic libraries, and information technology.

23 Mobile Things: Join the Australian / New Zealand Course

I am super excited about this – just heard from Mylee Joseph that 500 AUS/NZ new professionals have signed up.  This is free learning folks created by library folk!

http://anz23mobilethings.wordpress.com

http://librariesinteract.info/2013/04/12/23-mobile-things-join-the-australian-new-zealand-course/

So what is the NZ/Australian Cohort for 23 Mobile Things all about?  Read on.

What are the 23 Mobile Things?

  1. Twitter
  2. Taking a photo with a mobile device:  Instagram / Flickr app / Snapchat
  3. eMail on the move
  4. Maps and checking in: Foursquare
  5. Photos + Maps + Apps: Historypin / What was there / Sepia Town
  6. Video: YouTube and screencasts
  7. Communicate: Skype / Google Hangout
  8. Calendar
  9. QR codes
  10. Social reading: RSS / Flipboard / Feedly / Goodreads / Pocket
  11. Augmented reality: Layar
  12. Games: Angry Birds / Wordfeud
  13. Online identity: FaceBook and LinkedIn
  14. Curating: Pinterest / Scoop.it / Tumblr
  15. Adobe ID
  16. eBooks and eBook apps: Project Gutenberg / Kindle / Overdrive / Bluefire / Kobo, etc.
  17. Evernote and Zotero
  18. Productivity tools: Doodle / Remember the Milk / Hackpad / any.do /  30/30
  19. File sharing: Dropbox
  20. Music: last.fm / Spotify
  21. Voice interaction and recording
  22. eResources vendor apps
  23. Digital storytelling

You can view the 23 Mobile Things on the official blog here –http://23mobilethings.net/wpress/the-things/

What is this NZ/Australian cohort all about?

simple; it is just establishing a group of librarians in NZ and Australia who are keen to do the 23 Mobile Things at the same time. This cohort will give us mutual support and contact with each other so that we can learn together and keep each other motivated. Hopefully it will help you grow your own personal learning network (PLN) and have fun and great collaborations throughout the course!

#transtech Learning 2.0 Programs this Semester

In my Library Journal column “Office Hours,” I explored the concept of learning everywhere.  Here’s a snip:

This semester, I’m teaching a new class based on Mezirow’s concepts of transformative learning, the work of Char Booth in the arena of user instruction, and the Learning 2.0 model…. We’re working with consultant Polly-Alida Farrington, who teamed up three groups of my students with two libraries and a school library consortium in New York State. Over the course of our 15-week semester, each group is adapting, designing, and running a “mini-23 Things” for its assigned organization.

It’s been a fun, chaotic, and messy experience. In our weekly group chats online, the mantra has become “Learn by doing….” Real-world messiness offers a level of experience unmatched by classroom activities. This high-tech/high-touch experience sets the students on course for getting jobs and taking on future projects.

Well, the learning continues with the third semester I’ve taught #transtech. We’ve partnered with some great libraries this spring. The students share a link and a blurb about their programs below:

East Greenbush Community Library

This site is for the staff of East Greenbush Community Library in Albany, NY. The library came to us with a specific list of emerging technology tools that they were interested in learning about. From this we have developed an 8 week curriculum. As an added bonus, East Greenbush will be offering continuing education credits to participating staff members. We have 23 participants.
Washington University Library in St. Louis
http://learninghub2point0.wordpress.com

The Learning Hub 2.0 site was created for librarians at Washington University in St. Louis in the spring 2013. These librarians submitted a list of requested emergent technologies that they were interested in exploring.  Our student group then created 7 learning modules including: Web Marketing, Data Gathering, Online Instruction, eBook Management, Online Chat, Online Collections, and Data Visualization. The participant librarians at WUSL have been exploring these emergent tools and exploring how they can be useful in their institution.

Huntington Beach Public Library

Family Literacy Program

The “Links to Literacy” Learning 2.0 program is designed for use by library staff, tutors, and the diverse community at the Huntington Beach Public Library. We have created 7 modules targeted for this diverse community – many whom have limited education, limited access to computers, speak English as a second language, and need to develop computer skills such as setting up emails, using a search engine, finding and applying for jobs online, and connecting socially. The program has been utilized by patrons with the assistance of tutors who also teach English as a second language. Most fascinating, in addition to learning about the 7 modules, these patrons are opting to perform (ie set up email and corresponding in English) these modules in English extending their overall educational experience.

 

All of the learning modules will be archived at our Learning 2.0 module site by the end of the term: http://thehyperlinkedlibrary.org/learning20/

Cluetrain Brilliance

“Imagine a world where everyone was constantly learning, a world where what you wondered was more interesting than what you knew, and curiosity counted for more than certain knowledge. Imagine a world where what you gave away was more valuable than what you held back, where joy was not a dirty word, where play was not forbidden after your eleventh birthday.”

Levine, Locke, Searls & Weinberger. (2001). The Cluetrain manifesto: The end of business as usual.