Day 5

HKIEdFinally the subject guides are finished! With that job out of the way I was left with a presentation on book talks and motivating readers and updating the ProQuest search guide. Looking at the guide I think Joey had done most of it. I looked it over and added a few bits about Boolean search terms but I think that is it. I’ll take another look on Monday just to double check.
The library tour that I was supposed to take part in was cancelled today but I believe there is a large group on Monday to take around. I will only playing a supporting role, thank goodness as I don’t really know enough about the place yet.

The most interesting part of today was meeting Belinda from lending services. Now most people think librarians are check out chicks but believe me after sitting for an hour with Belinda I was stunned at the amount of work involved.

Over 20 staff work in the lending service section alone. More are employed on a casual basis during times of high demand such as the lead up to exams or assignment time. There are over 50,000 items to reshelve monthly with 28,000 of those being returns. My jaw hit the floor on hearing that as I have around 25,000 to 30,000 items in total. Circulation is not really that simple either. There are book drop services, inter library loans, inter campus deliveries and other items borrowed through the JULAC card and the document delivery services.

This means lots of collaboration between other librarians. 40 libraries are part of the document delivery service and this is linked to a worldwide network that attempts to get a document within 24 hours! I wondered if there was now less demand for documents due to the amount that is offered online, however many Chinese journals do not have electronic copies and older journals may not yet have been digitalised. The document delivery service also is a useful tool when new courses start. The collection may be quite small in the new area and may not be able to grow fast enough. If this is the case the document delivery service becomes a very useful tool enabling patrons to access the information they need quickly and efficently. All deliveries have to be ready by a set time as the courier only comes once a day due to the Institutes location. (some 40 k out of town)

Facility management and displays are also a part of this departments work load.
As with many libraries space is an issue and stake management and maintenance can be challenging. recently the intown library relocated and this meant 50,000 more items have to be shelved. Withdrawal and weeding is complex. There are set policies and procedures to follow including meeting with the library collection developemnt committe re any withdrawals. This is then taken to faculty level and other libraries within HK are asked if they would like the materials. The finance office must also be involved as it is the disposing of materials. It is not an afternoon job!
Books that are damaged do not have a high priority. The preference is to buy another copy unless it can not be replaced. time constraints mean that there is time to spend on fixing texts. belinda said this was particluarly true of materials for the children as they disliked borrowing damaged items.
The reserve collection is also managed by Belinda and her team. This means changing the catalogue each time new material is added to the course list and ensuring that the online lists are accurate.
Displays, patron records, library cards, monetary transactions including fines and missing items, are also dealt with here.
Ibooking of study rooms and group discussion rooms are monitored but this has to be done manually as the software is unable to detect if the room is actually being used. if the room is not used a member of staff has to change the booking to allow others access.

And finally.

Well assignment 2 posted to EASTS and now uploaded to slideshare. Now I just need to finish the presentation, or polish it up a bit and away we go. I’m not sure what is happening on Monday, or Tuesday can’t remember at the moment, but I’m not going to stress.
My main concern was getting the notes down to 1500 words. The area was so big I’m afraid I’ve wasted words on stuff that I should have glossed over instead of leaving more words for the main part. I don’t know. Regardless I’ve learned lots about DC that I didn’t know before and about the positive aspects of online games. The readings have been great and I’d fully recommend them to any teachers thinking about using online games as a club or in their classroom. I’m now contemplating using QUEST ATLANTIS with my kids next term. I’ve also found some other online games that are worth exploring as they may be useful for school. The Educational Games research blog provides a good list.
So here is the presentation. Let me know what you think. Sorry I can’t post the notes as I have to save them for Judy until it’s all been marked. I certainly don’t want her to think I plagarised them!

Enjoy!

Reality is broken

I’m not sure any of my research is going to really help with my assignment for Judy but I was quite excited when my blog came number 1 in the search for digital citizenship and gamification. That tells me that not many people seem to be writing/blogging about this area yet. I’ve also found it challenging to find anything that points to an obvious link between gaming and digital citizenship in the research.
However I did find a few more interesting links out there. Adventures in Educational Blogging pointed me in the direction of Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal.I haven’t read it yet but I’m hoping it will shed more light on the games/ digital citizenship arena.

Further posts worthy of exploring are The Dangers of Gamification in Education. and the reply by Kathy Sierra.
It appears that gamification and gaming are very different. Games work because people enjoy playing them but gamification seem to imply that we need to create a points system so learners will be motivated and engaged. However research by Pink has demonstrated that points/ rewards work on manual tasks but anything cognitive is actually damaged by the reward system. So first point I need to be very careful about the terminology I use. Games NOT gamification.

Off to the Philippines tomorrow for some R and R. I have more to read than I can possibly cope with and I’m hoping to come back with a large chunk of this assignment in place. Hopefully the family will disappear off diving and then I can get down to some serious study. Hope the internet connection is not too wobbly!

Blue Orchid Resort here we come.

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

Overload and 1 to 1 lap top

Wow. This subject is massive! I’m trying to keep up and do everything online but I don’t think there is any hope. Today I decided that the only way to concentrate was to resort to the print button. Each time I try to do everything online I end up exploring too much, finding interesting links and achieving little.Yes my learning still improves but I have set assignments to write and these links don’t always help me even if they are interesting.

Now I have lots of paper to read which makes me happy but I’m not very environmentally friendly. What really worries me though is that I know when I’m wasting time and procrastinating but do our NetGeners know that too? In the 1 to 1 laptop school do learners know when to turn off because they are achieving little? In my experience… no.

My son can spend a very long time on his laptop ‘revising’ but in the end has achieved very little because he’s gone down blind alleys and explored things unrelated to the syllabus. My husband, who is a secondary school teacher, also backs this up. My son always has his chat and Facebook open. He will admit that he finds this a distraction even though they can be used as a homework help network.

For me we all need to realise that digital learning is not the only way and sometimes the lap tops need to be closed. This from someone who is not anti technology but just a realist who realizes that everyone learns in different ways and knows that we need to explore all avenues of learning if children are to succeed.

Exciting day at work today. Took the year 6 to listen to Eoin Colfer speak. A very funny guy. Love his books but just wish he had talked a little more about his books rather than his life. Despite all this I did think that I was very lucky to hear an international author speak and get paid for the privilege!

End of the year and end of ETL504

And now the end is near…. What a year! My learning curve has never been steeper. Not only have I now completed 3 subjects for MTLship but I’ve survived my first year as a TL. The LC is now a a more important place in school and offers a space for children to read, play, learn and inquire. The books are on the way to being more recent and of a better quality. Our online subscriptions are being well utilised, and have been expanded, as have our periodical subscriptions. All the posters have now been sorted and weeded. Guided reading is mostly labelled and hopefully we will have fewer wrong returns in the future. We have a new OPAC system and this is now accessible from anywhere in school and at home, a big step forward. Our book week was a success and it looks like we will have have one next year too. Our TR selection is growing and things are looking up!
It looks like that the timetable next year will allow me to attend most planning in the week but this does mean that i need to build three teaching spaces into the LC and try and include more work space. I also want an exploratory zone where children can learn through direct physical inquiry ie we always have a digital microscope set up, magnifying glasses, things to handle and touch that change regularly and inspire children to explore and learn.
A good year on the whole…looking forward to the challenges that the next one holds.

Read The Book Whisperer this week. Inspirational! Go out and buy it as it is a must read for teachers. Donalyn Miller’s ideas make so much sense and I love her book lists. She makes me want to go out an read them all. Hopefully this will feed into my next module on children’s literature ETL 402, I think.