Friday, October 23, 2009

Week 7 Wikis, Lesson, and Readings

#16 Wikis: Like many of my classmates have written, I worked on a wiki for a school library media management class for a budget project. My school has had an explosion of wikis used by teachers because they love the way they can cover so much content,put assignments on them, and get feedback from students in a discussion format. I love the book lover's wiki put out by the Princeton Public Library. It is so obviously designed by librarians. We are starting a book club in our library for students and this would be an excellent way for students to collaborate about books.

Lesson: I chose to put a lesson I teach every spring into a more 2.0 format. We have "term paper season" which is the spring term when we collaborate with the entire history department for their World Civilizations Term Paper assigned to freshmen. This lesson covers an approximately 6 week period that includes; finding sources, citation generation, note taking, outlining and finally writing the paper itself. We teach the 3.5 style of writing papers (introduction including thesis and forecast, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion) so this is also part of the lesson.

Readings: As Courtney states, wikis are wonderful ideas for librarians especially in collaborating with other teachers on assignments in school environments. As a communications professional as well as a teacher librarian, I really see the communication/collaboration qualities of wikis.

We have a gaming club in our library and I think gaming is an excellent way to get young adults into our space. Our club meets twice a week to play older games that they can now download for free from the internet. When I discuss this with other librarians in the community, I am shocked at how horrified these people are by the prospect of having games and gaming in their libraries. Why does being a librarian have to mean "control" rather than "open access?"

Virtual life, this is where you loose me. I think real life is more important and even though my kids use technology and love it - I think it would be a major loss in their lives if I weren't there in person for them to hang out with every day.

I am all for digital storytelling. When I worked in a public library we had story times 3 times a year for three different age groups. What a great idea, right? Well not if you went outside the lines and tried to do things differently. I do think young children need to learn to touch and appreciate books but why not have a storytime that was computer-based also?

The best in-service for 2.0 - and I've been to many - was given by Linda Braun from YALSA. I learned so much from that session that I still use in my classes. I really have to be careful because I've been to many sessions where I have completely wasted my time learning things that were not useful to either me or my students. I think it's important for the techies who teach these classes to remember that ease of use is huge. I go to a Power Libraries in-service every year and I fall asleep watching the teacher show us the 6 clicks it takes to get to a qualified website from a database article when I can teach my kids how to spot a qualified web site in 2 or fewer.


  1. I think virtual life should be in addition to "real" life! I haven't much experience with the virtual world but it sounds interesting.