lifelong learning

Libraries, Communities, and Lifelong Learning: Heather Braum’s Ignite Talk at DML 2012

Check out my friend Heather Braum’s inspiring Ignite Talk at DML 2012 !  Be sure to watch the other talks from this year’s conference on Digital Media and Learning’s YouTube channel.

Mimi Ito: The Positive Potential of Peer Pressure and Messing Around Online

from DMLResearch Hub’s YouTube Channel:

This past October, Ito spoke at the New School’s biennial conference series, The Politics of Digital Culture. In her talk, “Learning with Social and Mobile Media: The Positive Potential of Peer Pressure and Messing Around Online”, she examines the diversity of youth experience with new media and how it relates to questions of equity, access, and learning opportunities.

“We can debate outcomes of engagement all we want, but the thing that’s really important, I think, to have on the public agenda is really the question of ‘Who is getting access to the kinds of experiences that are productive and engaging, and who is not?’ And what are the factors contributing to that?”

Librarians and Libraries: It’s Time to Play

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“How do you have time to do all of that?!” is a question people frequently ask me in reference to all the Library 2.0 toys I love to show and tell to anyone who will listen.   My sincere response is, “It’s easy because it feels like play, not work!”

I have been mulling the brilliant and inventive Helen Blowers’ December 2008 presentation on “Libraries, Learning, and Play” and her earlier call in 2007 to make “play” your New Year’s resolution.   When I think of the verb “play”, I associate that word with fun, creativity, and joy.  Blowers adeptly shows us to equate learning with play—for me, it is through play that I discover something new that energizes me as a librarian and as a human.  Play fuels my passion as a school librarian.   As David Lee King points out, play is the key to keeping up and staying ahead of the changes that are happening in the ever shifting information landscape.

When I first started my career as an educator, I encountered my own set of challenges and stresses, but most of the time, I felt as though I was having fun.  For many educators, the pressures and stresses associated with No Child Left Behind—the emphasis on quantitative evidence, standardized testing, and conformity–have stolen the joy and some of the freedom to play from our classrooms and yes, even our libraries at times.

How do we get that joy back?    I believe the answer lies in play.  The presentation, embedded below, speaks for itself, and it has me thinking about four major questions for myself and for you as my peers.  I encourage you to watch and reflect on Blowers’ presentation; then, please consider the questions below.

1.  What is my commitment to engaging in play and learning every day?  How can daily play make me a better librarian?  Are you willing to play?  Are we willing to be a lifelong learners, to let go of our fears and to just play independently and with others?

2.  How do I create playful (and by playful, I do not mean the dreaded “edu-tainment” term) authentic learning experiences, formal and informal, for the students and teachers in my media center?  How do I work and collaborate with teachers to create meaningful research projects that feel like joyful fun for students?  What do we need in our toy box to help our students engage in play and to seek knowledge with creativity and enthusiasm?  What solutions will I find and remix to create bubbles of learning?

3.  What does play look and feel like in your library right now?  What is your vision for play in your media center 3 months from now?  6 months from now?  A year from now?

4.  Blowers poses this important question:  Are we bursting bubbles of learning or blowing and creating bubbles of learning in our library programs?

If you are just starting your personal learning network or “playground”, consider the School Library Journal Learning 2.0 “All Together Now” self-paced program as a starting point for your play as a “NowGen” librarian. Use these tools to engage in independent exploratory play as well as collaborative networked play with others.  Our GLMA blog is another rich playground for inspiration and ideas as well.

Let us make 2009 the year of “Play” to help us be agents of change and innovation in our learning communities and create “play” opportunities for our students!

Buffy Hamilton, Ed.S.
Teacher-Librarian
Creekview High School
http://theunquietlibrary.wordpress.com
http://theunquietlibrarian.wordpress.com

Roll Out The Red Carpet: It Is Time to Vote on the 2007 Edublog Awards!

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Are you wondering how to use cool new web 2.0 tools, especially blogs, in your classroom?  Are you looking for inspiration or quality examples of how to use blogs in educational settings?  Surf over and look at the nominees for the 2007 Edublog Awards!  Edublogs, a blogging site owned by WordPress, is designed especially for educators.   Although Edublogs is “blocked” here in our district, you can override the filter by clicking the “continue” button if you wish to browse these blogs at school.  Better yet, set aside a few hours to enjoy some hot chocolate on the sofa while you explore these outstanding and exceptional blogs!  Drum roll please……and the nominees are:

1. Best individual blog

2. Best group blog

3. Best new blog

4. Best resource sharing blog

5. Most influential blog post

6. Best teacher blog

7. Best librarian / library blog

8. Best educational tech support blog

9. Best elearning / corporate education blog

10. Best educational use of audio

11. Best educational use of video / visual

12. Best educational wiki

13. Best educational use of a social networking service

14. Best educational use of a virtual world

23 Things@The Unquiet Library

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In the spirit of super librarian Joyce Valenza, I will be rolling out a new learning initiative for our students and our faculty, http://theunquietlibrary23things.edublogs.org.  Our program, which is modeled on the dazzling array of 43/23 Things library sponsored programs across the United States, is designed to help our patrons learn about exciting Web 2.0 technologies and tools that can increase productivity and improve student achievement.  Mrs. Fleet, another super-librarian, will be my partner in this venture as we work to help all of our patrons become lifelong learners!

Of course, the intrinsic thrill of learning is the primary reason for participating in this self-paced program, but we will also be offering prizes to patrons who complete our program.  Stay tuned as we launch our http://theunquietlibrary23things.edublogs.org/program in November 2007!

Buffy Hamilton :-)