Report about Real Learning Workshop: A CMLE Scholarship

The following report was submitted by a recipient of our new CMLE scholarship program.

Real Learning for the Real World

Submitted by Laura Mackenthun

What does it mean to be a “librarian” in the 21st century?  How do we explain our positions and responsibilities to our administrators, teachers, public?  How do we share/collaborate with other media specialists?  How do we learn, keep up with, integrate all of the new information that is available?

At the Real Learning for the Real World workshop held in Alexandria on January 25, Buffy Hamilton, a practicing school media specialist from Canton, Georgia  suggested multiple technologies that may address these questions: podcasts, rssfeed aggregators, twitter, social bookmarking, social networks, wikis, blogs, flickr, ning, video/webstreaming—-most are free or minor cost.

One of her strongest suggestions for media specialists is that we create a Personal Learning Network—using Google Reader/iGoogle–to collect resources to from which we can find information, resources, and inspiration from the many people who share their “worlds” online.    With the Google Reader or another rss reader, one can find multiple perspectives from many diverse voices for anytime, anywhere learning.  When others update, among other things, their blogs, web pages, or wikis, the Google Reader will aggregate all of that information into one easy to read location—taking out the time it takes to go out and check for newly added information.

Buffy’s web site provides a vast array of information on ways to get started building ones own Personal Learning Network and also ways to consider integrating Personal Learning Networks for students.

Her web site also lists many options for creating Research Pathfinders for use with students/classes.  These allow a variety of types of online information to be displayed on one page.  Some of the online resources presented to use as Information Portals were Pageflakes, Google sites, and netvibes. Examples and instructions for each of these are also available at Buffy’s web site.

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