School Libraries Worldwide - Volume 14 Number 2, July 2008

Welcome to a special edition of School Libraries WorldWide (SLW). The theme for this edition (Volume 14, Number 2) is New Learners, New Literacies, New Libraries.

The goal of this issue is to explore some of the current research and emerging notions of School Libraries 2.0. By this we mean implications for libraries of Web 2.0, or “the trend in the use of World Wide Web technology, social software and web design that aims to enhance creativity, information sharing, and, most notably, collaboration among users”(Wikipedia, ¶ 1). Library 2.0 entails “both physical and mindset changes that are occurring within libraries to make our spaces and services more user-centric and inviting” (Wikipedia, ¶ 1). We are publishing this issue in blog and wiki formats to reflect new ways to publish and share information and to allow viewers/readers to add their responses and comments to the content presented. Thus the journal itself is a living example of socially constructing knowledge with Web 2.0 tools.

We have gathered an eclectic set of articles all of which are linked to a variety of web-based resources which support and extend the content in the articles. The authors have varied perspectives and experiences and present a wide variety of issues related to the challenges facing the worldwide school library community. The idea is to present the core set of articles for all to share and then have viewers explore beyond that core in order to build their own understanding of Web 2.0 and the influence it continues to have on emerging notions of new school libraries (what some are calling school libraries 2.0).

While the influences of Web 2.0 may vary in regions around the world, there can be little doubt that the challenges raised by new technologies must be addressed by the entire school library community. Without facing the new realities of how people use information and communication or digital learning technologies, we risk a real danger of becoming isolated as print-only learning environments. We need to draw on our traditional leadership in building collaborative teaching and learning activities in order to engage students in new learning environments which harness their innate interests in new technologies and connect their in-school and out-of-school literacy practices.

While these challenges seem daunting on many levels including providing adequate and equitable access, improving teacher and teacher-librarian education, and developing curriculum aligned with current notions of literacy and learning, we hope this issue will foster an international conversation about how school libraries can show leadership and create compelling models for school libraries in the 21st century.

Guest Editors: Marlene Asselin & Ray Doiron

Table of Contents

School Libraries Worldwide
Volume 13, Number 2, July 2008

New Learners, New Literacies, New Libraries

Editor: Dianne Oberg, University of Alberta, Canada

Guest Co-Editors:
Marlene Asselin, University of British Columbia, Canada
Ray Doiron, University of Prince Edward Island Canada

Critical Concepts
Towards a Transformative Pedagogy for School Libraries
Marlene Asselin & Ray Doiron

Youth and their Virtual Networked Worlds: Research Findings and Implications for School Libraries
Ross Todd

Open Access and the Open Journal Systems: Making Sense All Over
Rick Kopak

Shaping Global Criticality with School Libraries
Keith McPherson

Diverse Contexts
Popular Culture in the School Library: Enhancing Literacies Traditional and New
Elizabeth E. G. Friese

Videogames in the Library? What is the World Coming To?
Kathy Sanford

Immersive Learning Environments in Parallel Universes: Learning through Second Life
Jeremy W. Kemp & Ken Haycock

Towards School Library 2.0: An Overview of Social Software Tools for Teacher-Librarians
Jo-Anne Naslund & Dean Giustini

Creative Expressions
New Learners, New Literacies, New Libraries - a wiki
Marlene Asselin & Ray Doiron

School Library Mash-Up
Lillian Trousdell & Sharon Doyle

Technology in our Lives- Voices of Two Learners
Kaitlyn & Allen

Young People Talk about Libraries - A Video
Maryam Moayeri

Abstracts and Links to the Articles

Included below are the abstracts and links to all the articles in this special issue of School Libraries Worldwide.
You are invited to read any and all of the articles and add your comments at the link below each abstract.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Article 2: Youth and their Virtual Networked Worlds: Research Findings and Implications for School Libraries

Ross Todd

This paper provides an analytical review of recent research that examines young people's engagement with the web environment, and particularly their use of Web 2.0 applications and tools, and identifies key challenges for the school library and instruction in schools. Set within the immediate context of the role of information technology in school libraries, and the broader context of adult use of the web, the article provides a brief description of the web 2.0 environment, its growth and its functionality. It elaborates social network analysis as a useful framework for understanding the dynamics of young people's participation in Web 2.0, and identifies predominant virtual information seeking behaviors emerging in the Web 2.0 environment. Key challenges for school libraries relate to conceptualizing the school library as a knowledge commons, shifting instructional emphasis from information provision to knowledge development, and engaging the whole school community in appropriate pedagogical and policy decisions in relation to Web 2.0.

View the full article.


Amanda Bond said...

I agree with Ross when he says that Web 2 "challenges us (school librarians) to imagine..." pages 29 - 30. Sometimes that is what I find most challenging about Web 2 - the ability to imagine. I am not one of those who is resisting Web 2 but I am someone who feels incredibly challenged by it. I want to participate and I want to not only imagine but create ways my students can interact with the library. As Ross says we need to harness this amazing momentum and be imaginative in our use of Web 2 to enhance learning. I guess that will be the selling point in our school - how does it assist learning and achievement.

Thanks for the thought provoking article Ross.

Charity Becker said...

In response to the question: What are you doing to tap into this "after school education"?

Ross definitely presents us (educators) with a challenge. I think the first challenge for me is increasing my own comfort level with social networking sites (I am working on this) so that I am better prepared to incorporate these into my teaching.

One thing that I can do, as my final project for our Masters program is developing a school library website, is to look at ways of incorporating social networking opportunities into the school website -- places where students and staff can share information, ideas, and creations, receive constructive feedback, and initiate discussions. I don't have a definite plan yet on how exactly I will do this, but this will certainly be an important consideration in the development of the site.

I would also like to incorporate social networking into my English class. I had been thinking about creating a class wiki for my grade twelves' study of 1984. My students thoroughly enjoy group work but often, because of other activities, have difficulty meeting outside of school. With the wiki, groups of students could collaborate outside of school without having to meet at a particular place at a particular time.

I may also look into having my students post their literary research papers to a wiki so that they can incorporate digital elements and so that they can share their information. (May have to see where the comfort level of my students lies in sharing their work before doing this -- or leave it as an option rather than a requirement.)

This is only a start, but that first step is very important.

Angela said...

Hi Charity!
Your comments on social networking sites is very thought provoking. I'd love to spend more time getting comfortable with these tools myself. Perhaps with the government's promise of high speed internet everywhere by the end of 2009, I will have that opportunity!
Our student's today are so creative. I can only imagien what your class will create for 1984. What class do you do that with?

Angela said...

Now I'll add my two thoughts in response to the article "Youth and Their Virtual Networked Words” and answer the following question:

What are you doing to tap into this “after-school education”?

So let me get this straight, by “after-school education”, we are not referring to the school education that students receive, but the learning that extends beyond the classroom, right? I’m guessing that would be the “fun stuff”, not the boring stuff that I teach in English, correct?

I’ll admit, I don’t do a whole lot with regards to the “after-school education”! Not that I’m making excuses by trying to say time is my enemy as I have to condense an overloaded curriculum into one semester. My other “excuse” is I’m not completely confident either. I’m sure I would be confident if I spent more time with this stuff. I know what some of you are going to write- find the time or let the students do it, teach you! Sure, I guess that would work. I suppose I’m doing what most of us are...the best I can with what I have. I do my best to reach all learners and incorporate as much technology as I can. As TL, I try to be versed in the newest things, having students be my teacher in many respects. As Todd said “accommodate rather than resist this force”.

After reading this article, I know what I need to do. I need to incorporate more class blogs and wikis, social mashups, not just in my English class, but in the library as well. Todd said in this article that there would be challenges for our school libraries. Our students are leaving behind the world of print (as librarians, print is our friend) for the information intelligence (ahhh- the unknown highway)!!! Right now, I suppose I don’t always go to the encyclopedia, but refer them to the online encyclopedia that they navigate with ease (they love that the citations is always there as well).

As I write this reflection, I wonder how Amanda is going to respond. Amanda, I envy your skills. I imagine your list of how you tap into “after school education” is probably quite long. While I am still in my 20s (just barely), I am just that much older that some of this “after school” stuff intimidates me. I hope Amanda will write and after I read it, I can say “Oh yah, I do that...and that...and that”. Perhaps I’m not giving myself enough credit here.

Here I go, quoting Prensky again (well I guess Todd really quoted him)! Prensky’s quote, found in the last paragraph on the last page, goes like this “When kids come to school, they leave behind the intellectual light of their everyday lives and walk into the darkness of the old-fashioned classroom”.
This guy just makes sense; he is so right!!! Teachers are responsible for shutting that light off. Prensky is telling me I need to leave the light on, tap into these intelligences instead of discarding them. I’ll have to learn more about him (perhaps Prensky’s a she, I shouldn’t speculate).

Well, I suppose the first thing I should do is get myself registered on some sort of social networking site, eh? Facebook’s popular I hear. Okay, I’m a very social individual. Don’t you think if I had high speed internet or if wasn’t blocked at school, I’d be there already? Okay, "enough with the excuses already" I hear Gail saying! tehehe


Charity Becker said...

Hi Angela,
I'm doing 1984 with my grade twelve class. We're going to be starting it after Christmas break, so I'm hoping that will give me time to set up the wiki so that we're good to go in January. I' haven't decided yet whether to have a separate wiki for each class (I teach two) or to use one wiki so that the two classes are able to share. It might be interesting to set up groups that include students from each class. We'll see.

Gail said...

Hi Charity:
Ross Todd certainly did leave us with a challenge. I use a couple of social networking sites myself but not to their full potential. I would need to learn more about their capabilities before ever using them with a class. Your situation is different from mine in that your students are older and probably very adept at using various social networking sites. It is amazing how many of them there are and how many students belong to so many. They could teach us how they work.
I do see the value in such sites as wikis for group work. I would like to try a simple one with my grade 4 class but have not decided how that will look. That will be for later in the year. You have great ideas for your classes.

Gail said...

Hi Angela:
Yes I was having a little chuckle as I read your response. Aren't you living in Charlottetown??? I can't imagine living without high speed. Oops, I hope Melanie isn't reading this because she'll never, ever have high speed where she is.

The world of social networking is the world of our learners. The fact that we block such sites at school does prevent us as teachers from accessing it and using it as a teaching tool. There are sites such as Youtube that the Department blocks in case of ...inappropriate material.
We need to adjust our teachings for our learners, instead of leading them into the 'darkness of the old fashioned classroom'.
The after school education that our students are getting is from the many new technologies that they have available to them at home but which the education system can't keep up with. With technologies changing so quickly it would be financially impossible for the school to keep up. Today's society (aka today's parents) are continually trying to keep their children outfitted with the newest technologies. Providing the students with a class wiki or blog that they can respond to from home would be a beginning in changing our ways of teaching.

Angela said...

Gail, I live 10 minutes from town and 4 km from our provincial airport. Isn't that sad?
I haven't given up on hope for Mel C. yet though!
Thanks for your response...even it you are chuckling at my expense!
Hope all is well!

Anonymous said...

Amanda B’s Response

Angela, I hope I don’t disappoint you with my response, but I don’t feel as though I do a lot to tap into my students’ after school education. I must admit, I do a lot to tap into my own... I am completely addicted to facebook, in LOVE with my blackberry and text messaging, only watch television shows on my laptop (that way I can watch them at a time that is convenient for me), and visit the celebrity blog of Perez Hiton daily (little guilty pleasure of mine); however, much like it is with our students, that seems to be part of my outside of school life. It is sad that this is the reality of the situation because students enjoy social networking, downloading music, messaging on their cell phones, etc, but for some reason all of these things which they enjoy are banned or blocked in school.
The only ways in which I tap into this after school education of my students is by having them do Animoto projects, make videos with Windows Movie Maker, use a class wiki (I only use this for Eng421, not the Eng Writing), and by encouraging students to email me with any questions they may have in the evening. Reading this article just left me feeling more and more frustrated by the fact that so many resources which teachers could utilize in the classroom and which students enjoy are either blocked or forbidden. After reading this, I made up my mind that I will definitely use a course wiki again second semester when I teach English 421 (I used one last year with my 421’s but student use was minimal; however, I think this had more to do with the motivation level of this particular class than anything else). Since I do not give much homework, I will use the wiki as a means to tap into certain resources which are blocked at school (such as youtube or blocked webistes – which contain appropriate content of course) and have students view/respond to them on their own time. Last year, I found a particularly great video on William Shakespeare on youtube, but I could not show it to my class since the website was blocked, so I posted the video on my course wiki and had students view the video on there and comment. I will do more of this in the future. I will make a conscious effort to decrease the amount of homework I would normally give and provide students with more time in-class to complete assignments which can be completed in school, and I will leave work which is to be completed by using resources such as youtube to be done as homework.

Angela said...

You can't disappoint me, Amanda!
You constantly fascinate me with your inventive ways to engage more "realistic" up-to-date learning with accompanying resources.
I must chat with you in person regarding a class wiki. My class this term would have been ideal now that I know them and how they relate with technology. However, with that said, I still have a handful of about 7 students who struggle with computer access. Teaching in a rural community limits. Fortunately (or unfortunately), I can relate as a person with dial up.
Tell me more about this Shakespeare video on Youtube. I'm planning my unit for January. Would it be a good first day intro?
I'd love the link. Of course, I'd have to upload it with Sherri's instructions that she handed out, as I'm sure nothing's changed and I won't be able to get it at school.
Thanks for your thoughts!

Gail said...

Wow, Net Genner, I think so. As the STC I like to try and keep up with the new technologies but when I read your response, I don't compare. Maybe it's because I teach elementary, I'll go with that!!! The technologies that you are using are what the students of today are using and as you said many of these are not accessible or allowed at school during the day. We seem to be impeding our students education instead of improving it. You are doing a good job of assisting in the students after school education through your wiki which you are able to post links to videos that you want them to watch. What happens to the students that still don't have internet access at home? I have a blog that I update weekly with homework but the 3 students without internet I have to send home a hard copy. That would be hard to do if they are to respond to a video.
Keeping up with the technologies in the elementary school is not as much of an issue as it is in the high schools. As technologies continue to change and be upgraded, that day may come.

zeke fabian said...

I agree with this, this is a great article about youth and virtual networked worlds: Research Findings and Implications for School Libraries. We need to be an imaginative person so everything will be possible if we will just explore everything.

leonard said...

I agree with you zeke fabian, a very nice message.