Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Week 7 Thing #16

Wikis. Ok, my first knowledge of a wiki was Wikipedia - a site that I hated my students using - after all, why use something that anybody could post on! Where's the authority? Once I told my students that anybody could go in and add or change the post many of them did - especially the post about our hometown! They also discovered that Wikipedia was monitored and was changed back - although who was the authority of our hometown, it was derogatory piece of info I'll tell you that! Well, it served to illustrate to the students that wikis may not be the authoritative resource of choice, but I also taught them to triangulate, ie if they were getting the same information from 2 or three other reliable sources then they could use the Wikipedia source. So that's my experience with wikis.

However, after reading Valenza's post
Ten reasons why your next pathfinder should be a wikilooking at the various wikis from the assignment and taking a web conference through the Ontario Library Association on using wikis with Loertscher's Ban Those Bird Unit research models, I can see the potential here for pathfinders, research projects and library pages. What I am not so clear on is how this will work with our firewalls at schools. I like the fact that with pbwiki (this is from my web conference - we were shown how to use pbwiki to create a space for student collaboration on various projects) you an password protect it and keep it private if you wish and that you can track the edits via student log ins.
I really want to start a wiki and use it as a pd tool - not sure where to start though.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Week 6 Thing #15

After reading the articles on the Future of Libraries, I felt slightly overwhelmed but certainly agreed that libraries need to be very aware of today's patron needs. So how does that fit in with our school libraries? There are a few thoughts:

1. Our secondary school libraries need a major weed - there is too much old stuff on the shelves and students can't see the good stuff due to the 'weeds'.
2. We need to create pathfinders for our secondary students and if we do this district -wide then it will reduce the labour (collaborate). Joyce Valenza suggests a wiki - that's next week's lesson.
3. We need to start using blogs with our students and set up our own library blogs that students and staff. I like the idea of blogging as students progress through the research process - what an opportunity for some metacognitive processing.
4. We need to do more outreach to let students and teachers know of the Virtual Library available to them on our board's reference portal. Too many rely only on Google.
5. Our province has funded databases for all publicly -funded schools and libraries. This has provided very valuable resources to our staff and students and has made the library accessible 24/7. It's part of an initiative called Knowledge Ontario
6. Our public library and the Knowledge Ontario initiative both have initiated an Ask a Librarian service so students can get help whenever they need it.

We're getting there but we have a long way to go.