A sincere thank you to everyone who made me feel so welcome at the Ohio eTech Conference last evening and today as well as the conference organizers for their hospitality! I’d also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to my friends at InfoOhio for their support and lovely company last evening. Finally, a special thank you to all who took time to attend my session today–it was wonderful to have the chance to chat with several of you, and your kind words truly humble me.
You can download the PDF of my slides here: Personal Learning Networks and Lifelong Learning February 2013 Ohio eTech Conference
Transforming schools and the learning that happens there is not simply about what happens in between the four walls of the school building. It is also about what happens in the larger social ecology that kids navigate and the extent to which other nodes in their network support learning across multiple sites, both formally and informally.
But beyond this basic literacy is the need to support a vision that defines digital literacy as a life skill that is connected to the everyday lives and situations of students and their families and communities. Call it ‘design literacy,’ that is, the capacity to engage in higher-order thinking, critical thinking, and real-world problem solving. Whereas ‘tools literacy’ is foundational, ‘design literacy’ is transformational.
I encourage you to take a few minutes to read one of the most interesting and exciting blog posts I’ve come across in 2011, “Conectar Igualdad: Argentina’s Bold Move to Build an Equitable Digital Future”, by S. Craig Watkins at DML Central. Watkins explores the three major challenges all nations face in building a “more equitable digital future”—a must read for any educator.
The announcement that Google Social Search is now available to everyone in beta was an exciting development I stumbled upon yesterday while looking for web-based resources on courtly love to support the database and print materials in a research pathfinder I’m developing for two of my English teachers.
This new search feature represents what I think is the evolution of the web as mainstream websites and social media/social networking become more integrated in search results. On a personal level, the integration of my social network associated with my Google Profile into a Google search gives me yet another seamless and powerful way of tapping into the collective knowledge of my personal learning network. Now that the social media tools associated with the Google Profile of my colleagues are part of my Google search results, I can access information and materials (original or that from others) they are sharing and posting through the cloud. Take a look at this sample search and results when I search for ipad.
What are the implications for the students I teach in the library? The integration of Google tools has been a major push with ninth and tenth grade students this academic year. I think this new search feature of Google will reinforce the idea of collaborative learning and knowledge construction as students can now “network” through their Google Profiles. This new search feature also presents the opportunity to underscore the importance of establishing a positive digital footprint and to expand our existing conversations about social scholarship. As my Media 21 project gears up for an unofficial phase two on February 23, I am looking forward to integrating this new search feature into our “toolbox” of information seeking strategies; I am also eager to show students the possibilities for sharing information sources through Google Profiles and Google Social Search.
In a few weeks, I will be working with a group of librarians, and we’ll be engaging in a little inquiry about personal learning networks. I would be honored if you would consider making a brief contribution to this community VoiceThread about what your personal learning network does for you! Who better to help tell this story than you? A few statements in two minutes or less will be more than enough for you to help make a collective statement for librarians who are new to the concept of personal learning networks. You may contribute to the VoiceThread by clicking on this link. Thank you for considering this request and for your help!
I would like to invite you to join us on the Teacher Librarian Ning where we are forming a book discussion group aboutComprehension and Collaboration: Inquiry Circles in Action by Stephanie Harvey and Harvey Daniels. Everyone is invited to join the conversation as we engage in inquiry of our own to explore the concept of inquiry circles! This book discussion will be of interest to librarians, teachers, and administrators of all ages and content areas. Please surf over to the Teacher Librarian Ning discussion forum for more details and to share your input as we determine official dates and ideas for facilitating the discussion.