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Monthly Archives: February 2012

SI 643 Reflection of Readings: Book Club and Socratic Seminar

This week’s readings are about two different styles of reading groups and discussion: Book Club and Socratic Seminar. First, Hoffert (1996) and Dempsy (2011) explain how book clubs of public library became flourished. They argue that several factors attributed to a success of book clubs activities; widening a scope of books in book clubs (e.g. comics, non-fictions, blog posts, etc.), using videoconferencing technologies, developing activities beyond book reading (e.g. watching Shakespeare’s play after reading his book), and discovering new communities that are willing to discuss a book while they engage in other activities (e.g. Knitting club).

On the other hand, Metzger( 1998) and Tredy (1995) discuss about the principles of Socratic Seminar in classroom and how they help students achieve an in-depth understanding of reading materials. What I find most important in their articles are (1) Socratic Seminar works best with open-ended questions rather than questions which are made by and for teachers to test whether students do their readings (2) feedback based on observation from students in a outer circle to those in an inner circle can help inner-circle students improve their skill of discussion (3) teachers’ less intrusive behavior in the seminar eventually helps students’ critical thinking.

Although these articles deal with different types of reading groups (book club in public library and students in classroom), they all stress that choosing proper reading materials and having ready well-prepared open-ended questions are important for successful discussion. Therefore, while instructors (or librarians) need to be passive observers rather than active participants in Socratic Seminar or book club discussion, it is also important to keep in mind that the careful preparation of class is always essential to successful discussion.

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

SI 643 Reflection of Class week 05

This week we started by talking about whether gaming can change the real world. Interestingly, while some colleagues were skeptical of the role of gaming in education, others thought that gaming could become a useful tool to promote transfer in learning process. As I talked in class, I think that the role of gaming in learning process will vary depending on who plays it because gamers have different educational, cultural, and social environments. In other words, even if children play the same game, the context of the game can be transferred or connected to other activities or learning in very different ways depending on other environmental factors.

The most interesting finding in the class discussion is that gaming is quite different from reading or watching movie and it may not promote creative thinking because gamers have to follow a certain type of protocols and paths that game creator designed in order to win a game. It means that gaming may be useful to master a certain skill but it has limited capacity to develop learners’ critical thinking.

We also had a chance to meet our blog cohorts and discussed about the main issues raised by key bloggers in library land. We found out that librarians are very proactive and have a liberal attitude toward social issues (e.g. SOPA, PIPA, RAW, and Overdrive issues) because they have been the advocates who support freedom of speech and learning. The hottest issue to key bloggers is eResources because it will affect reading behavior, learning capacity, educational curriculum, and library system and management in the future. In particular, many key bloggers are worried about the problem of emerging technology that the prosperity of eBooks and eReader devices may harm the low-income households’ learning opportunities.

Compared to librarians in European countries who are supposed to serve for a handful of academics, those in U.S. have been and will be educators of people and supporters of freedom of learning. Under the current long-term economic recession, these efforts of U.S. librarians will be a great help to overcome the increasing social inequality in U.S.  

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

SI 643 Reflection of Reading:Transfer

As authors of How People Learn claim, a major goal of schooling is to prepare students for flexible adaptation to new problems and settings (Bransford et al, 2000, p.77). Therefore, promoting the transfer of learning from one context to new contexts is a fundamental task of teaching. According to academics researches, the transfer of learning has three distinctive characteristics.

First, initial learning is necessary for transfer. Students need to gain enough knowledge before they can apply their knowledge to new context. Second, contextualized knowledge is helpful to students, but it should be noted that overly contextualized knowledge can harm students’ ability to transfer from one context to new context. Third, transfer can be improved by helping students become more aware of themselves as learners who actively monitor their learning strategies and resources and assess their readiness for particular tests and performances.

To teachers, however, promoting transfer is not a easy task even when they know well about the aforementioned principles of transfer. Students’ ability to transfer their knowledge can be hindered by previous experience and cultural difference. What is a suitable amount of motivation to promote transfer and how much environment gap there is between school and home are not easily identifiable. Moreover, individual students have different personal backgrounds.

In this sense, Wiggins and McTighe (2008)’s 12 steps of meaning making and transfer proceeding instruction can be very useful to improve students’ metacognition that help transfer their learning from one context to new context. In addition, I personally think that providing multiple contexts in each class will really help stimulate students’ metacognition and thus conduct transfer (Please see my posting of “the reflection of reading week 1”. In the posting, I offered my experience in which students did not understand properly the pros and cons of political system in various countries until I provided multiple cases).

However, In a typical one-time workshop carried by a library, it may be difficult to follow all of Wiggins and McTighe’s instruction due to time limitation. But I believe that this method can be still applicable to a one-time workshop. We can focus on part of Wiggins and McTighe’s instruction that can best meet the needs of targeted students when we design a one-time workshop. For example, suppose there will be a workshop on Excel in public library. An instructor will teach how to use Excel but also she can get students work together on some exemplary tasks in class and give them tasks based on their own needs. So even after a one-time workshop, students would be able to use Excel skill in their own project and may come back to the instructor in order to get her advices for their future tasks.
 
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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

SI 643 Reflection of Class Week 04

We discussed in class about how a librarian should do a summative evaluation and a formative assessment before and after a workshop.  First, in a summative evaluation, we learned that Likert and multiple choices were very effective tools in getting feedback from an audience of the workshop. Either Likert or multiple choices, it is very important that we should try our best to make good questions since poor question wordings usually lead to poor results.

Second, we learned that a well-done formative assessment could help instructors to customize instructions to fit needs of learners. Moreover, it would allow learners to get feedback that would help improve their project “before” it is done. In library, entrance survey, hand votes, and the human thermometer are most effective tools of formative assessment. Among three, I think entrance survey is better than the other two because, first, a librarian can assess learners’ anticipation and goals before a workshop, and second, a librarian can adjust the contents of workshop to maximize learners’ satisfaction.

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

SI 643 week 4 Reflection of Reading

In How People Learn, authors talk about how teachers design the learning environment (chapter 6). There are four perspectives that teachers can apply to their class;  learner-centered, knowledge-centered, assessment-centered, and community-centered environments. Based on the teacher’s goals and topic, teachers are more likely to choose one over the others, but all other perspectives are needed to be considered simultaneously. In particular, the development of students’ self assessment ability should be also a big consideration to teachers because students’ information literacy will be effectively and continuously improved “when students are able to judge the quality of what they are producing and are able to regulate what they are doing during the doing of it.” (Sadler, 1989, p.121)

Education environment of Korea which I was born and raised is designed by a knowledge-centered perspective. And students’ information literacy is mainly measured by summative assessment, such as teacher-made tests given at the end of a unit of study and state and national achievement tests. However, according to Sadler, formative assessment is also fundamental part of education. His article gave me some useful ideas on how to develop formative assessment. For example, the combination of verbal descriptions and associated examples provide a practical and efficient means of externalizing a reference level; peer-review is one of good methods that students themselves can select from a pool of appropriate moves or strategies to bring their own performances closer to the goal.

But I also found out that creating formative assessment-centered environment is not a easy task to teachers in U.S either. I interviewed several teachers of English composition class for my project, and learned that they were struggling with students’ indifference about peer-review because students were not interested in peer-reviewing in the class or they did not know how to do it. How we promote students’ interest about self-assessment seems worth more exploration.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

SI 643 Week 03 Class Reflection

In last class, we talked about what makes a good screencast and watched colleagues’ screencasts. Only some of the screencasts were shown in class, but all of them were creative and fun to watch. In fact, I made time to additionally check out at least 15 of screencasts other than what we watched together in class since topics of screencasts chosen by my colleagues were really interesting and easy to follow. For example, I learnt some new function in Gmail thanks to Ashley’s screencast, and also got to know from Kelly how she made a bird (yes, the Twitter), Flikr, and Facebook logos magically move to a box in her PowerPoint presentation!  Next time, my PowerPoint slides will be much prettier thanks to my colleague’s help!

From reading articles and participating in discussion, we found out that people, even teachers and faculties, make an assumption that information literacy is automatically acquired by  using  some technologies. Information literacy, however, cannot be developed in that way. Students often overestimate the level of their information literacy. And teachers/faculties have little idea how they assess the students’ information literacy level.  In small group discussion, we talked about how to improve students’ information literacy in such a circumstance, and all agreed that librarian need to “buy-in” faculties’ collaboration and involvement in students’ information literacy education before librarian promote students’ information literacy. In academic library, librarians can easily find resources related to information literacy and faculties who can function as a mediator between students and librarians. Actually we found some cases where academic libraries succeeded in developing student information literacy assessment as well as programs. In my view, however, it is more difficult for public library to find budget to purchase resources related to  information literacy as well as mediator(s) who can collaborate with librarian in developing information literacy programs and urge the general public to participate in the program. Since it happened that my group consisted of those who were most interested in cases of academic libraries, I am still wondering about how public library would and could find collaborators who are willing to help the library on the issue of information literacy of the general public.

Lastly we discussed how to define librarians’ roles in the future. In discussion, I sensed that some colleagues were uncomfortable of the idea that librarians need to develop metaliteracy in order to improve students’ information literacy because they believed that learning all kinds of technologies would be too much burden to librarians.  But, I think that developing metaliteracy is indeed quite a challenging task to librarians, but not because librarians have to learn all kind of technologies (In fact, learning all available technologies is a transliteracy argument, not metaliteracy argument )  but because librarians should think harder which technologies will be more useful to students in the future. According to Mackey and Jacobson (2011), several competing concepts of literacy have emerged including digital literacy, medial literacy, visual literacy, information technology fluency, new media literacy, and transliteracy because they want to stress the importance of  students’ critical thinking, ability to evaluate technology, and communication with community beyond learning how to use technologies, yet they expect a certain venues of information, such as multimedia, Internet, or social media, will promote students’ critical thinking and connection with their communities. Currently, different venues of information became more and more integrated with each other. For instance, on the Internet, we learn and use audio-visual recording technologies, such as Aviry and Jing, and then share the multimedia file by uploading to YouTube and Screencast.com; newspaper articles are read on the newspaper website, but also are spread by social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and so on. Looking at such a changing environment where the boundary among different venues of information becomes blurred, the librarians must think about how to help develop students’ metalitearcy. In my view, becoming metaliterate seems a mandatory, not optional, task to librarians.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2012 in Uncategorized