Bring on the Learning Revolution! a TED talk from Sir Ken Robinson

[tweetmeme source=”librarianbyday” only_single=false] In this video Sir Ken Robinson talks about what is wrong with the education system – namely us.  We push children down the cookie cutter assembly line of education and expect them all to come out the same at the end.  This doesn’t account for passion or individuality.

And we have sold ourselves into a fast food model of education. And it’s impoverishing our spirit and our energies as much as fast food is depleting our physical bodies.

He offers the suggestion of moving to system that feeds their passion, encourages growth and development.

We have to move to a model that is based more on principles of agriculture. We have to recognize that human flourishing is not a mechanical process, it’s an organic process. And you cannot predict the outcome of human development; all you can do, like a farmer, is create the conditions under which they will begin to flourish.

What does this have to do with Libraries and Transliteracy? It is a wider approach to education and learning.  If you’ve heard me speak about transliteracy you have heard me say our education system is broken and is preparing students for a world that no longer exists.  Sir Ken Robinson is essentially saying the same thing, but with a British accent and much more eloquently 🙂

Transcripts are available on

Blogs as Web-Based Portfolios

If you are a school or academic librarian, you will want to read Jeff Utecht’s new PDF, “Blogs as Web-Based Portfolios.”  In this PDF, Jeff pulls together a series of blog posts  “… to help schools looking at adopting Web Based Portfolios (WBP) as a form of assessment with students over a period of time. By adopting a web-based platform as a container in which to house portfolio content, schools give students a web-based vehicle with endless possibilities to create, collaborate and communicate their learning to the world.”   If you work in an academic or K-12 library environment, consider how you and your library program can help facilitate and support this kind of learning.

If you are attending ISTE in Denver this month, you may want to consider registering for Utecht’s workshop, “Blogs as E-Portfolios in the Classroom.”

Helping Educators Learn About New Media Practices

Although the book,  Teaching Tech-Savvy Kids Bringing Digital Media Into the Classroom, Grades 5-12, highlighted in these  interviews by Henry Jenkins with author Jessica Parker and additional contributors is geared toward educators, the conversations and content are also applicable to librarians who work with youth in a public or school library setting.   You can read both Part 1 and Part 2 of Henry Jenkins’ interview on his blog, Confessions of an Aca-Fan. Here is a short excerpt from Part 1 of the interview:

With regard to new media practices making youth less literate, it’s a version of an old argument that surfaces every time there’s a new wave of practice. Each new wave of media practices encounters resistance. Literary scholar, Nina Baym (2006), chronicles magazine and journal articles from the early 1800’s in which editors asserted the need for reviewers to exercise surveillance and provide direction to the newly literate masses who had taken up the habit of reading fiction. Novels were dangerous! There was a similar kind of backlash in response to comic books. If anyone had taken that criticism seriously we would never have the incredible array of graphic novels we enjoy today.

As Henry Jenkins has pointed out, the critical change in the latest of the new literacies is that of convergence. The problem with “either/or” thinking with regard to traditional and digital literacy is that it fails to capture the experiences of youth. The child who is reading a novel from a traditional text, or listening to it on her ipod, downloading it onto her e-book, and visiting a website where she can play a game as a character from the book, participate in a forum discussion, and answer challenge questions, is transforming the practices of reading and writing. The sad fact is that she is not allowed to bring her e-book to school, even though some of her classmates wear outfits that cost more than her Kindle. She only sees a computer when her teacher beats out the thirty other teachers attempting to sign-up for the school’s only computer lab on Wednesday, after lunch. Though at home she rarely writes with a pen, during the school day it is the only tool she is allowed to use in most of her classes. Even her cell phone must be kept in her locker or it will be confiscated.

Chapters in the book include:

1. Understanding Youth and New Media

2. Hanging Out With Friends: MySpace, Facebook and Other Networked Publics

3. YouTube: Creating, Connecting and Learning Through Video

4. Wikipedia: The Online Encyclopedia Based on Collaborative Knowledge

5. Role Playing: Writing and Performing Beyond the Classroom

6. Virtual Worlds: Designing, Playing and Learning

7. Remix Culture: Digital Music and Video Remix, Opportunities for Creative

8. Conclusion

You can also join the website/social network  for the book for supporting content and discussions related to the themes of the text:

Using Jing to Grade Student Assignments

[tweetmeme source=”librarianbyday” only_single=false]A recent post at Teach Paperless demonstrates the use of Jing to grade student assignments.

What would take 20 minutes to write out can be done in 5, allows a wider range of feedback and multi-media interaction with resources.

What a great idea! It is exciting to use the use of video and voice as feedback on written assignments.  I can see the applications for this in library instruction for staff, patrons and students.

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The White House Asks: What Does A 21st Century Education Mean to You?

[tweetmeme source=”librarianbyday” only_single=false]From Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning:

That’s the question the White House posed to the public this week. The government is using social networks to solicit feedback.

As part of its focus on making government more transparent, participatory and collaborative, the White House blog yesterday posed a question to the public about 21st-century education. Answers can be submitted via any one of a variety of social networks:

From The White House Asks:

At we’re always looking for new ways to engage with citizens, whether it’s through a live video chat with a policy expert or an Open for Questions event with the President. As an extension of the Administration’s commitment to making government more collaborative and participatory, we’re trying something new this week. The White House will pose a question to our more than 480,000 fans on Facebook, 1.7 million followers on Twitter and 30,000 group members on LinkedIn. Later in the week, we’ll highlight some of the most interesting responses on the White House blog.

As part of this week’s “Education in Focus” series, the White House asks:

What does a 21st century education mean to you?

So, tell us on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn. We look forward to your responses and want to give a hat tip to@GOOD for a good idea.

Oddly enough you can’t respond to this question on the White House’s site, you have to go to FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

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