Media and Systems Services

So I spent the afternoon with Francis from Media and Systems services. (MSS) He was at pains to tell me he had only been in this role for 3 months and that actually the name of the service is historical and outdated. This area has recently been streamlined and now has limited functions. In other libraries this is now known as Electronic Services and Francis felt that this would happen soon when reorganisation happens.
One of the services offered is the maintence of the Edvideo. This is the legal recording of curent affairs, documentaries and educational programs shown on TV within HK. Once recorded these are then streamed online to enable researchers to access them. The work for this is shared between all the HKall memebers. 2 universities record a particluar program, the second in case of mishaps. The service also has some cataloguing to do in connection to this.
Another role is the up keep of the online resources… subcriptions, licences, e-books, e journals and databases. There is some cross over here between aquistitions and MSS due to the nature of journal subscriptions. Some are bought as an online package whilst others are purchased individually. Aquisitions deal with individual titles whilst Media deals with the packages. It sounds incredibly complex and the communication that needs to take place appeares to be time consuming. This is another area Francis felt needed to be streamlined. I was interested to learn that publishers now sell their journal packages direct to the universities. This did not use to happen 10/15 years ago. They were always sold through an aggregator such as EBSCO host or Jstor. Now institutions can get very good deals but obviously all of these need to be brokered which is time consuming.
There are also many issues with online materials and most have strictly binding contracts written by lawyers. These contracts are often difficult to interpet, making decisions as to whether a journal/ article can be loaned through an inter library loan or copied in a particluar format, hard to make.
HKIEd is about to begin some Patron Driven Acquisitions. This works by securing in bulk e-books from the vendor. The library only pays for the books that are utilised. If the book is not used it is not paid for. Howevere in order to do this a limit on spending has to be in place as if demand is too high then budget issues can occur.

There is an e first policy in place. If possible the e-books are bought in perpetutity. Some are subscription based in particular those text that date very quickly, such as those concerning computing and modern technology.

HKIEd had joined several consortiuums in order to ensure their students have a access to as many e-books as possible. They have joined with university libraries in HK, Taiwan and mainland China to give themselves more spending power and shared access. This has ensured access has increased by 20-30 000 items.

The Media department also deals with its own IR. ( Institutional Records.) As the call for open access has arisen, and questions concerning the use of public money to fund research that then gets printed in a profit making journal, IR has become common place in many institutions. Before a piece of research is published, when it is still in its print form, the institution from which the research developed is able to approach the publisher and request that they may ensure their students have access to the paper. Every piece of research needs to be checked with the publisher before the print version can be made available due to copyright issues that may arise. Publishers generally agree to this.
Collaboration between information sevice and media service is high. The information Service decide on the content ie workshops, library virtual tours, subject guidelines, but the Media service put it together. On top of all this they are also responsible for hardware such as computers and headphones.

What occured to me this afternoon is that the library is a much more complex place than I had anticipated. There needs to be very clear systems in place and communication needs to be efficient and effective if the user is going to get the best out of the service. Collaboration within the library and between different institutions needs to be high if the users are to be able to access wide range of appropriate resources effectively and efficiently. It made me question why we don’t do this as schools. Surely by creating consortiuums we would get more bang for our buck and increase our services to our students.

Games and learning

Reading this article by Oblinger has made me think further about education games and the gamification of learning and education. Games engage us and motivate. They have a powerful potential which could enable students to learn information, skills and change attitudes and ways of thinking.

They provide an opportunity to be involved in a  collaborative community in which older or more established players act as mentors for novices. The community share ideas, solve problems, socialize and work together to move things forward. Players are required to accept a set of values so they can integrate with other members of the community.

This is all very well but how does this link to digital citizenship. I looked very closely at the iste nets standards for students. They state that being able to use technology is no longer enough and that today’s learners must be able to use technology to analyze, learn and explore. Under 5b Digital Citizenship they state that students should display a positive attitude towards using technology that supports collaboration, learning and productivity. 5c Digital Citizenship states that learners should demonstrate a personal responsibility for life long learning and 5d exhibit leadership for digital citizenship. I would argue that using games does all of this. Games allow learners to take on leadership roles whilst collaborating with others in the virtual environment. Being engaged, as many gamers obviously are, illustrates that life long learning is more than just a label but a true possibility. And finally that the opportunities through games for collaboration and learning are endless. In fact most of the 6 standards would be able to be achieved through game play.

However it is here we need to be a little more circumspect. The key is how the teacher utilizes the game and for what learning outcome. Just like another tools thought needs to be given as to how it is going to blend with the curriculum and to what effect? Can it be blended successfully with the current educational tool kit?

Other question the gamification of education raises are;

1. What happens to internet addiction when study and learning are linked closely to games?

2.  Is the hardware up to the job? is it appropriately configured and available for extended hours? Is the right equipment available such as headphones and working mics?

3. Are all the other networking tools that gamers need available?  Networked communication systems are a must. (Chat, IM, e-mail?)

 Games are still in an early stage of evolution. Although they can be effective learning environments, not all games are effective nor are all games educational. Games are now being designed based on learning theory and research. Their effectiveness rests on the massively multiplayer immersive worlds they create, where learners “learn to be” and a social network surrounds the learner. The time has come for games to be reintegrated with education, ending a longstanding rift between work and play. Oblinger (2006)

Are we ready for this change or do we remain rooted in the smoggy industrial past? Is the recent interest and push for games based learning based on research? Is it the educational tool of choice or just a current fad? Further reading and learning required!


Machine Learning

Wine and weed.

Something I’d read during the last subject (collection management) stated that although the TL is ultimately responsible for the collection others within the community should be involved in its development. So tonight I tried out a wine and weed hour. I invited our lower school teachers to come along and help weed the picture books. I offered wine and juice and around an hours worth of work.
Six willing crew turned up, one with snacks! A bit of music in the background, lots of laughs and large numbers of picture books culled. To anyone considering weeding their collection I’d recommend it. It got a big job done in a short amount of time and created a great collaborative atmosphere.
Only problem now is that I need to deaccession and sort the. I might ust have to recruit the monitors.

Final vision for the ETL504?

Found an interesting article today that flies in the face of some of the other works I have read. I have to say it made a lot of sense and it made me think a little more deeply. Mardis (2011) argues that we need to stop discussing as much collaboration and regarding it as the only way we can make a difference within school. She states that when preparing new teacher librarians collaboration is talked about and regarded as a very important skill, however when these new recruits get into school the reality is very different. The job is often to put into place the planning of others and time constraints mean that joint planning never really takes place, a frustration to those new TLs. (and more experienced ones I’m sure)
She sees the collection as a vital to make change happen and a tool capable of having great impact. She sees future school librarians using the collection’s diverse resources in order to help teachers differentiate instruction. The widening the collection’s spectrum to include multimedia and the learners needs will also acknowledge and account for differing learning modalities.

Hmmmm… so how does this all fit with vision? Well after a lot of thinking and with time ticking away too quickly I began to think that learning is supposed to be our bread and butter. (didn’t Ross Todd or James Herring say that somewhere?) Surely then the learner is the most important person. Therefore, in order to have a visionary library that deals with the learners needs and preferences we must place the learner at the heart of everything we do. So there it is, Quarry Bay School library, putting the learner at the heart of everything we do. Now I’m not sure if that is what they are looking for or whether it is visionary enough but I think if we did this, not just in the LC but also in every class and every school we would make that difference we are all looking to do.
Wordle: library vision

Effective teams ETL504

Law, S. & Glover (2000) Leading effective teams. In education leadership ad learning: practice, policy and research (pp. 71-86).

Team leadership is the only form of leadership acceptable in a society where power is shared and so many people are near equals. ( Belbin 1993: 107 Team roles at work)

So our team has come together … we share a common purpose and have some interconnectedness however I’m not sure the other attributes are in order. We don’t yet have a team identity… number 9 is not really an identity, only a label and I’m not sure we have agreed values. We are regulating our behaviour but I don’t know the other members well enough to say we have the same values.
We have to belong to this team but I don’t yet feel I completely belong. I am having to try too hard. I think there is at present a lack of fluency between members and certainly no intimacy as I don’t even know what some of them look like. As a group I think we all have concerns such as where we will be placed within the group and if we have anything valuable to offer. Other questions and issues are will the group like me? Will they think I am a positive addition? Will I have any influence within the group?
So we are still forming but we don’t yet seem to have entered the storming stage as there has been no real conflict.
We have conformed to an established line but more openness is beginning to appear and a common ground is being sort. By working together these norms will begin to appear.
We have yet to reaching the performing stage or “mature stage’ but hopefully it won’t be long. Will we be the A team?
If we can get the subject right we might just well be.

Meeting 2 ETL 504

Well tonight was our second meeting. Arthur didn’t reject the first suggestion out of hand but there has been a flurry of work, research and ideas. This has lead to a narrowing of the title and an attempt to link it to only one LO. Challenging your hierarchical structure in order to improve school performance: recognising the power and potential of the teacher librarian. Now it would be great if we got the green light and then we could start work and focus on the task at hand.
There have been lots of emotions this week, particularly uncertainty. I think there has been a bit of stepping carefully around each other and a worry that we are not contributing enough or that we don’t know enough. I have definitely felt that I need to work harder…not that anyone has suggested it but I don’t want to let the team down. At present we are going through the forming stage ( Hough &Paine 1997 Collaborative decision making with teams. In Creating quality learning communities pp 110-127)
We are obviously forming a collaborative decision making team. We need to be dynamic and creative and hopefully share some core beliefs. ( Would these be that the TL has an important role? That learning is vital and valued? Literacy and information literacy are the most important vehicles for learning?)
There is obviously going to be a great emphasis on team learning and as we all bring ideas, experiences and knowledge to the group.

Forming and storming!

Great to collaborate with such a positive group of people today. Everyone seems ready for the challenge and to get going. Your school library, a case study in effective change management. Sounds really interesting, seems to fit the LO criteria…now we just need to see if Arthur approves. A bit scared that everyone seems to know more than me but I suppose that is always going to happen and that the others maybe feeling uncertain too.
I used Wordle to highlight the key words from the LOs in the hope it might help guide us/ I’m not sure it will but it was worth a try.
Wordle: ETL504 learning objectives