Teen Services in Second Life

Finally… live blogging!!! Internet works in the regular sessions. Kelly Czarnecki and David Lee King are presenting.

David’s avatar actually looks like him. I’m jealous… He’s talking about how Jean Gardner from TSCPL was actually supposed to present, and how she got excited about the possibilities to reach teens through SL. They want to ultimately support teens and schools and educational goals… to support KS state standards in literature and technology. They hooked up with Hope Street Academy… hoped they would read a book and then create an environment that they read about. But they ran into some obstacles… Linden Labs (they people behind SL) haven’t billed them for their island or touched base with them. They did background checks with staff and 18+ participants. It took a lot of lead time to get everything set up and to get everyone trained, etc. Changes were afoot! They switched gears and then planned a new landscape for the school using SL as a modeling device.

Lessons learned: The classroom teachers need training and in-world experience beforehand. Same with the teens – they need to know the basics before going to the next level. One semester is not long enough for a project of this sort. They ultimately completed three projects, in got more than 20 kids exposed to the new world, and had 2 older kids open up main grid accounts… AND some were working on their SL outside of class, a major accomplishment in an alt school. So far: they have 65 teens complete the project, 2 SLMS’, and 5 middle and high schools wanting in on the action. They have gotten more interest in collaborating with other schools even out of the area! Hard to keep money straight as the banks in SL aren’t like banks in RL πŸ˜‰ Lots of tech expertise needed to get it all straight on the computers.

It appears like this has been a great partnership with the schools thus far with lots of room to grow. An excellent outreach partnership that promises more progress and involvement. Next up: Kelly’s portion of the presentation where we go into TeenSL and see what’s going on.

Addl thoughts during Berger’s keynote

Michael Wesch’s Managing Information video. I just love it more each time I see it.

Epiphany during video: if we’re changing the power of hierarchy in a metaphorical sense, are we not also challenging the hierarchy and authority of the entire power structure of education? We are, more often, moving towards becoming facilitators of learning. It implies an active learner and a responsive facilitator of of learning. Learning is becoming more reciprocal – how will this mesh with a system that defines itself as a highly controlled atmosphere? What does this mean for the concept of in loco parentis? How is that even possible in a world of information that constantly changes? What should this mean for the textbook industry? For the whole industry of education (for it is an industry, make no mistake)? The future of learning may not even include PLACE as a concept. I have already seen teens in the library who are attending school virtually, and they have NOT chosen any physically local program in the area. They have used the internet, they have shopped around, and they have NO LOYALTY to locality. Which means we need to simultaneously give them a reason(s) to participate fully in the community in which they’re physically located.

DAY 2 – Pam Berger Keynote

Phoebe Bechir in SL – www.infosearcher.com

Learning and Literacy in a Digital World

Last night she went to animoto and made a music video-style presentation on yesterday’s session! Fun!

Internet as transformative technology. What is digital literacy? What does it mean to be a learner in a digital environment? What are some of the key survival skills learners need?

Native or immigrant? I was yes to 7 of 8 questions.
Y, Y, Y, N, Y, Y, Y, Y

Today’s student: They would answer 8 of 8

Tells a story about a modern-day student and how she uses technology in her life. Very integrated into all her life – connected 24/7. They’re collaborative. They share. They connect. The internet has become the computer. 55% of online teens have social profiles but only 20% of adults.

OMG – all I can think about is a class I took about the Bloomsbury group – EM Forster’s quote β€œonly connect” seems to have actually happened! Musings on the anxiety of technological change on society…

Paul Gilster’s book Digital Literacy: 1997 β€œability to understand and use information in multiple formats from a wide variety of sources when presented via computers.” Kathleen Tyner’s book Literacy in a Digital World – two literacies: tool literacies and literacies of representation.

Ppl. Are required to use a growing variety of technical, cognitive and social skills… literacy advances the ability to effectively and creatively use and communicate information. But it’s always CHANGING.

We come to Web 2.0… now memory is less of an issue as the programs and platforms reside β€œon the web” – the idea of collective intelligence. Can get and create content. Web 2.0 characteristics: Interactivity, user participation, collective intelligence, self service, convergence of media.

Matches what we want to see in schools. Collaborative, active, independent learners. Indeed!

Graphic literacy: being able to β€œRead” graphical displays so that they can function at a high level – photo-visual literacy. Navigation next – need to construct knowledge from large quantities of non-linear information. A new sort of spatial orientation!

Kids 7-12 worked on the International Children’s Digital Library: designed the interface to orient the reader. The question of finding and presenting information stymied the adults. Kids voted to search for the color of the book too!

Students need to develop a sense of context so that they can use information in intelligent ways.

Focus: digital environments tend to fragment the attention. Encouraging reflection and deep thinking. Learning to organize information to facilitate quick retrieval. Tagging will encourage this process– folksonomy may be more personally relevant.

My observation: Tagging evolution follows this order: confusion/randomosity, epiphany, folksonomy. I want to incorporate this into the cyber 6 wiki!!!

Diigo is one of her favorites. She started a best practices web 2.0 tools tag

Confronting the Challenge of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century – Henry Jenkins is a must read.

Developing these new literacies requires passion on a personal level – and a ton of these skills are learned outside of the traditional school system. It’s not about web 2.0 – it’s about giving students the tools they need to learn. The services they need to make it happen – and the platform for Inquiry 2.0 = student learning.

New IST standards released at NECC: moving towards habits of mind rather than concrete skills: OERCommons.org

Wesch’s video

Just in case any new readers haven’t seen Michael Wesch’s videos… this is his latest and greatest. He’s a winner on many counts: from KSU, awesome thinker, and all about information.

Additional thoughts from Aaron’s presentation

Aaron’s presentation was really good, and I just thought of something I forgot in the last post. He referenced the recent articles on churches who are using Halo to draw in young men who would otherwise have no excuse to attend. And then he noted – surely SCHOOLS and PUB LIBS can use Halo and other “violent” games if churches are using them in this way. I think he has a point there… the number ONE game guys always ask me about is if we’re doing Halo tournaments. And then they get pretty much disinterested when I have to say “no, no Halo” and “no, you can’t bring your own controllers and games in..”

Get Your Game On

presented by Aaron Schmidt — librarian@gmail.com – XxagentcooperXX

Line Rider – YouTube video of INCREDIBLE set up

Eleven BILLION dollars – gaming industry is bigger than books, movies, music – everything.

Games as content and as service – games and learning. Presentation on walking paper after the fact.

Strengths of libraries are to create community. But what about kids electing to be in the library voluntarily? Wii for retirement homes – fun for many generations. 18-35 is core gamer age group. Average gamers – but trending older too.

MMORPGs

  • Like Runescape and WoW

  • They are navigating HUGE amounts of info at once – reading, constantly changing landscape.

Participatory Culture: Media Education in the 21st Century

lots of good pdfs to read

Play: the capacity to interact with one’s surrounds to do problem solving?

Research Quest: ACRL studying gaming and matching mapping standards for Halo and Fantasy Football?

Wired article about Yahoo exec who used his WoW accomplishments as his resume.

Questions – asking about violence-free games and games with no competition – one person claims that band concerts are an example of non-competitive collaboration (but nobody speaks up to note that you compete fiercely beforehand to get a better chair!!!!) How much technical expertise does it take to do a LAN party? We want to know what ratings the games are BUT of course no internet so we can’t find out in real time. This is SOOOOOO frustrating!!!!!

(**this is my epiphany that NOBODY has wifi** We are all typing on wordpad or similar programs. I don’t think anybody is online!!!)

Nintendo DS games – Cooking, Trauma Center under the knife, Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney, Hotel Dusk acts like interactive e-book to read and move around to solve mystery.

AZ state game called Quarantined! Started off as a paper board game where you are a student using information resources to save the campus from a virus.

Talks about hosting a gaming event. People have really basic questions about the games themselves, gaming platforms, logistics like how many boxes to have, etc. Public libraries should be collaborating with school libraries to share gaming equipment if they need it.

Conference Notes So Far

Well, the keynote was pretty great. We immediately ran into snags accessing wifi and THEN, to my horror, I discovered that the room for Internet@Schools West has NO internet access. As Carolyn says in her blog, I felt like I was missing a limb. So far, I was glad to hear that schools have bought into Helene Blowers‘ Learning 2.0 program as I was planning to reference that in my Cyber 6 Pack presentations anyway. Excellent reinforcement – I feel as though I have been told “you are headed in the right direction here.”

Practical Mashups

Robert Lackie and Robert Terrio presenting :University folks: Presentation online at http://tinyurl.com/2w2j2g

robertlackie.pbwiki.com; infomaniac

Article in last Internet at Schools mag, references and other stuff full text via database

About 30 people in room, no wifi, squeaky mikes

Useful collab tools used by new folks being mashers

Tumblr examples: musiclibrarian.tumblr.com

Non-editorial style, more faceted. What do you want to share?

Looks like just another style/strategy for blogging? How is this better than embedding a UT video in your existing blog? Must investigate. He references the Gray Album – Danger Mouse– being the epitome of mashup.

randrtumblerama.tumblr.com

Shares with his wife: Looks like a myspace style sort of approach on his template. Has a painting demo mashed with a song by the artist being depicted. Learn to photoshop while listening: Foxytunes. Yackpack for your PBWiki. Like meebo but with VOIP. Would this be allowed in school districts rather than text chat?!?!?!?! Our embedded Meebo modules are blocked. I ask this question: allowing certain things through, like specific video clips and stuff. Yackpack walkie-talkie widget not blocked at any of his schools yet. Video has been blocked widely. Yackpack on a wiki worked and with high quality. Would we have to train reference staff?

Google docs API scripting – lit-trips and stuff

World Geography quiz like the ones we put on Facebook

The Route 66 google maps mashup – YES but NOW I want to know strategies in how to teach kids to code this themselves. They can CONSUME this stuff but ultimately with the new AASL standards they are going to have to learn how to DO it themselves – with the mandate to CREATE information products.. β€œcreate new knowledge.” Standard 3.1.4: β€œUse technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use, and assess.”

The EPA report on the Superfund sites – incorporating a Google map onto the page identifying the locations of superfund sites. Yay toxic waste!

AFTER THE SESSION: We realize that a woman with an iPhone has internet access and has been creating a Tumblr about the session! I ask her to email me the link, so I will post it when I get it.

IL2007 picks

I’m finishing up my preliminary schedule for IL. There are too many good sessions I want in on!!!

Monday:

  • AM: Keynote: 2.0 and the Internet World. Will outline typologies of internet users, future forecasting, and user types in the library environment. Then, Practical Mashups. Practical mashups for educational environments. Now I need to pick from several academic studies on student users. Yargh!
  • lunch!
  • PM: Successful Web 2.0 initiatives with Students and Teachers. Duck into Erica’s session quickly, then run back to 21C Libraries – Getting your Administrator on Board. If it’s not useful, then I will hit MySpace and Facebook Pros/Cons. Following that, School Library Learning 2.0 from the CLA and The Future of Blogs OR Multimedia Search OR User-Generated Content. I think I need a clone.
  • Hopefully dinner. And editing all the notes I will have taken during the day!

Tuesday:

  • AM: Learning and Literacy in a Digital World I@S Keynote. I can’t wait to hear Pam Berger talk. She will be fresh from Reno and can hopefully illuminate some of the new AASL standards. (Which I am already impressed with!) Then we have scheduled exhibit time, and Educational Gaming in Libraries. KidsClick Redesign project, aaaaaaand lunch.
  • PM: Exploratorium OR Getting Their Attention: Training and SN Tools. Stroll by the Creative Commons Cybertour… RSS@Schools next, then “Gary’s Latest Web Research Update.” Duck into Kelly C’s session on 2nd Life for Teens to say hello.
  • 6 pm – Learning 2.0 dine around
  • 7:30 – Session with Delft librarians and Aaron Schmidt. Special documentary screening!

Wednesday:

  • AM: Keynote on Future of Search. Search Engine and Handheld sessions all AM, but also cybertours on eBooks and eInk, RSS, and Citation Managers.
  • lunch.
  • PM: User-based tagging, then Tech Tools for Outreach, and Visual Information Retrieval.
  • Exhaustion πŸ˜€

Killing Creativity?

(link courtesy of Albert Ip from Random Walk in Learning)
(want more inspiration? Try the TED website.)

Pay particular attention to the spot about 3/4 of the way through where Sir Ken starts talking about epiphany. This is what I obsess about every day at work (and in the shower, on my drive in, etc). I want our library to be a powerful and invisible conduit for young people so they can reach their epiphany. Every time we extend our services to a different demographic, simplify a process, or try to identify easier ways to connect PATRONS with IDEAS, we are speeding their interaction with their true and ultimate destiny. We’re all here to find what it is we are MEANT to do, meant to share with others. The library is either going to be a part of that process in the 21st century or it will very well go extinct.

In the 19th century, we were a civilizing force. A method of sharing the proscribed, acceptable, and palatable mores of society (as it were). But libraries gradually changed over time from the exclusive club for scholars and those striving to attain middle class “values” into something radically different. The moment we unlocked the books and let patrons have open stacks, we were admitting something: you know what you want and need better than we do. And instead of gatekeepers we became lamplighters; fellow travelers who’d been down the road once or twice with friends and who would gladly walk along with you as well.

And in the self-service life of the 21st century, we’re the ones handing you maps to adjacent lands and interesting detours… librarians are the people who want you to consume with abandon– glut yourself in our stacks!– and then we’ll be there when you’re ready to make sense of everything you’ve found. If you need us, we’ll be your Motel 6 and leave a virtual light on for you.

Nowhere is this concept more important than in education. We must prepare for an imminent seismic shift in our educational system that empowers the individual learner to pursue passions and to take intellectual side-trips wherever they may lead… and an entire community must be ready for that. We’ll need both for and non-profit businesses, we’ll need mentors both artisanal and scientific, and most of all we’ll need libraries. We will need massive collections of ideas that people can spark against one another like stone and flint. Libraries will serve as the agora for citizen-learners, throwing off isolation and embracing community in ways that haven’t even yet been invented.

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