Part A: Evaluative Statement:
Bobish (2010) states that in a recent survey ‘ 84% of teacher librarians used Web 2.0 tools to facilitate delivery of content but only 38% of these same librarians were using the tools to actively illustrate information literacy concepts to their students’ (p. 54). This is significant. Information professionals not only have to use Web 2.0 tools to provide content but must exploit these tools to elucidate information literacy in context.
Dede (2009) identifies three main advantages for immersive learning in a 3D virtual world. It enables multiple perspectives and situated learning which enhances engagement and learning. More importantly it facilitates transfer of learning. Presently student must ‘far-transfer’ ie apply knowledge learned in a one situation to a new or different situation. However immersive interfaces facilitate near-transfer using authentic similulators. In times where librarians are finding it difficult to find the proof of transfer of information literacy skills, can SL offers respite? In the blog post The Line Blurs, I explore the potential of Second Life (SL) as an educational tool. My previous perceptions of virtual worlds as outlined in OLJ is challenged. I experienced its potential as a P2P and remote learning environment. I was exposed to a new culture. It is not polite to ask an avatar where they are from. This is seen as an invasion of privacy, yet this would be a polite question of interest in the ‘real’ world.
SL also facilitates creativity and freedom of expression. The creation of an avatar allows the user to create an extension of their real persona or to create a completely different one. SL facilitates the teaching of 21st Century skills such as collaborative problem solving and creativity. SL users can build new environments and create artefacts. However, more empirical research on learning benefits is required. Other important considerations are an updated Acceptable Use Policy and sufficient bandwidth.
Creating a stack on SL topic was a meaningful way for me to collect useful information to enhance my learning. I had hoped others would share other links on the group stack, but as of today, I have three followers, one comment and no contributed links! A tweet from some one influential is what is needed. You need to network with some one with a wide network to gain influence. Case in point was when Lyn Hay tweeted a Prezi by a student. Views went from 15 to 201 in a single day as documented in Sue Carr (2012).
Elliot (2012) in her presentation evaluated the effectiveness of Delicious as a collaborative information gathering tool . As a manager, she was frustrated with tagging anomolies. User feedback was mixed. In my blog A Shift to Social, I examine the features and functionality of Delicious to meet the informational needs of primary school students. The new feature of stacks shifts the focus from a book marking tool to a curation tool. Curation tools are latest way people are sharing information. Stacks offers opportunities for critical thinking and would be an ideal tool to teach information literacy in context.
The main barrier to my hesitancy in engaging in online social networking was lack of trust as highlighted in OLJ. I explore this further in Identity Privacy, Security and Trust. I did not trust technology to keep my details safe. This fact remains the same but what is different now is that I am informed. Aswell as being tech savvy one needs to be security savvy about what details one shares online. This shift in responsibility to the user, allows me to participate more freely in online networks. There is a trade off but it needs to be calculated. I no longer join groups without reading privacy policies. I set high levels of privacy and security. I am armed (with awareness) not alarmed. I vet my content with a mother’s eye!
A new dilema is unfolding, organisations need to consider how to archive social media(SM). A 2010 study of American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers showed 81% of its members had seen an increase in cases that had relied on information taken from social networks (Madhava,2011). It is the responsibility of organisations to preserve social media. The importance of information policies have never been so pertinent.
My journey as an informational professional has been profoundly changed. I have a better understanding of the participatory nature of Library 2.0. My experiences allow me to meet the information needs of clients in a innovative responsible way. I have embraced mobile technology and developed a valuable PLN to promote lifelong learning. I am now a true advocate of SN’s place in a 21st century curriculum.
Bobish, G. (2010). Participation and pedagogy: Connecting the social web to ACRL learning outcomes. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 37(1), 54-63.
Dede, C. (2009). Immersive interfaces for engagement and learning. Education & Technology Science, 323(5910), 66-69.
Elliot, S. (2012) Delicious a tool for collaborative information gathering [Google docs]. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/present/view?id=0ASi8lFJWZAmxZGhwYnpwandfMjZkeDRrcXJkNg
Madhava,R. (2011). 10 things to know about preserving social media. Information Management, September/October 33-37.
Sue Carr (2012, February 2) 201 now![Facebook Update]. Retrived from http://www.facebook.com/groups/inf506.201190/351033478241573/#!/groups/inf506.201190/
Part B: Reflective Statement
My participation in INF506 201190 Social Networking for Information Professionals Facebook group is a testament to my development as a social networker. I had only used Facebook as a portal into friends accounts to view their photos at irregular intervals. I identified with Peckham’s (2009) barriers to social networking. I lacked confidence and thought others might not see the value of my comments . I was more concerned with social privacy than institutional privacy. However, after my studies I am more aware of both kinds and with my current knowledge I am better able to make responsible decisions to protect myself. I have made informed decisions. I have taken calculated risks.
I still continue to view blogs as published articles rather than diary musings. I am not a prolific blogger. I tended to record my thoughts offline and only posted when my understandings had developed sufficiently. I tried to be less critical of my writing and more informal on my Ning, in an effort to engage the participation of others. It was quite liberating and I enjoyed creating the content.
Brown (2011) predicts an increase in mobile apps for libraries. Having recently purchased an iPhone and iPad, this makes sense. Being able to access information easily and quickly on the go is imperative as smartphone users rise. As discussed in my A-Z of Social Networking for Libraries mobile technology is key and as a librarian I need to embrace this. Suddenly, with multiple devices cloud computing became an informational need. Having a purpose, I explored the functionality of Evernote and reaped the benefits.
With mobile technology at my fingers I began to build my professional learning network, using a variety of platforms. Marcia Conner (as cited in Allen and Naughton, 2011) states that ‘Twitter excels at widening your network’ (p. 53). I started to explore tweets like a Russian doll adventure. Then I began to retweet. After a few weeks I actively sought users with similar interests and exploited hashtags to find specific content. Currently I am tweeting 2-3 times a week. It was time-consuming to check individual Facebook, Twitter and Flickr accounts so Yoono helps me manage these in one central place. It is now quick and easy to keep up-to-date.
I have seen an improvement in my blogs. Referencing has increased as I began to utilise my social networking tools. I exploited the Stack function on Delicious. I used it to curate links for topics of interest. I searched Delicious for similar topic stacks. This selective filtering (Pettenati & Cigogning, 2007) reduced time spent trawling a sea of information. Using an RSS reader and widgets have also helped me filter information.
I now use SN tools differently. I look at features with a critical eye, analyse functionality with the purpose of satisfying educational and information needs. My teaching is transformed. Having experienced first hand the value in tags and the metacognition involved in creating stacks, I will use this in my role as an informational professional. There is power in crowdsourcing. I will create Delicious stacks to function as pathfinders. I will empower students to create their own groups stacks during research projects. Allowing students to analyse and create mash-ups will act as a catalyst for authentic just in time learning opportunities in information literacy. Issues such as intellectual freedom and plagiarism will be taught in context.
The use of twitter according to Junco, Heibergert & Loken (2010) increased students’ sense of connection with faculty, improved academic engagement and facilitated an omnipresent peer support group. Webster(2012) expresses a similar gratitude. She saw the course as a life changing experience and valued the connection with fellow students. I value the potential of SN tools for learning and will advocate for the use of such tools. I hope to lead change. I intend exploring the possibilities of 3D virtual worlds as learning environments. There is an urgent need to revisit policies, it is imperative that policies are current and all stakeholders participate in their evolution as stated in my blog Identity, Privacy, Security and Trust. I also appreciate the importance of not only listening to feedback but actively seeking it, as advocated by Agosto & Abbas (2011).
I have used Hayes(2008)simple phases for social media marketing as a reflective tool. I have been involved in Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, Flickr. I have created content in the form of blogging, screencasts and image sharing. I have had discussions with other users on Facebook and Second Life to increase my learning. I have promoted useful links through Delicious and Twitter. However, I have only promoted my own content creation on my Ning. I have not had the confidence to use Twitter or Delicious. So measuring my success, is limited regards marketing but infinite in my own personal development. As an information professional, I now concentrate on the relationships not the technologies as recommended in Li & Bernoff(2008).
Agosto, D. E. & Abbas, J. (2011). Teens, libraries and social networking: what librarians need to know. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Libraries Unlimited.
Allen, M. & Naughton, J. (2011). Social learning: A call to action for learning professionals. T + D, 50-55.
Brown, A. (2011, December 29). Top 10 Social Media and Libraries Predictions for 2012 Social Networking Librarian [Web blog]. Retrieved from http://socialnetworkinglibrarian.com/2011/12/29/top-10-social-media-and-libraries-predictions-for-2012/
Carrie Webster. (2012, January 31) Just wanted to say thank you.[Facebook Update]. Retrieved from http://www.facebook.com/groups/inf506.201190/permalink/362152383796349/
Junco, R., Heibergert, G. & Loken, E. (2010).The effect of twitter on college student engagement and grades. Journal of computer Assisted Learning. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2729.2010.00387.x
Hayes, G. (2008, October 26). The future of social media entertainment. [Slideshare]. Retrieved from http://www.personalizemedia.com/the-future-of-social-media-entertainment-slides/
Li, C. & Bernoff, J. (2008). Jujitsu and the technologies of the groundswell. In Groundswell: winning in a world transformed by social technologies (Chapter 2). Boston, Mass. : Harvard Business Press.
Pettenati, M. C., & Cigognini, M. E. (2007). Social networking theories and tools to support connectivist learning activities. International Journal of Web – Based Learning and Teaching Technologies, 2(3), 42-50, 52-60. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/224638774?accountid=10344
Peckham, S. (2009). Networking: Overcoming your hesitation. FUMSI, November. Retrieved from http://web.fumsi.com/go/article/share/433
Uden, L., & Eardley, A. (2010). The Usability of Social Software. In T. Dumova, & R. Fiordo (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Social Interaction Technologies and Collaboration Software: Concepts and Trends (pp. 574-584). doi:10.4018/978-1-60566-368-5.ch050