Archive for February, 2014

Kicking the Tires on MOOC’s and Library Planning

The MOOC’s offer unique opportunities to educators, librarians and leaders.  They offer a rapid deployment of educational resources, challenging the ways higher education will function in our times.  The MOOC’s are possible because of the availability of a networked world that is now mobile as well as connected.  They offer services to unmet and unsolved educational needs.

At ALA Midwinter, a panel discussed the advances in MOOC’s and higher education.  Bryan Alexander, Anya Kamenetz, Ray Schroeder, Cathy De Rosa, and Skip Prichard discussed the impact of the MOOC’s and libraries.  Cathy De Rosa, OCLC Vice President for the Americas and Global Vice President of Marketing, shared OCLC collective insight research.  Bryan Alexander author of the The New Digital Storytelling also provided insights.

In traditional education, MOOC’s mean giving over authority and control of the classroom.  However, according to Georgia Tech, Alumni Magazine “Kicking the Tires on Tech’s first MOOC“, 113,668 students enrolled in the Universities first computational investing MOOC class.  Over 70,000 students watched a video from the course.  The numbers are astounding; the size of the audience is very large.

The library world understands that local-ness is especially vital in times of rapid change. In other words, they are organizations that can achieve coordination, synergy between higher education offerings and the wider public.  The possibilities of higher education exist; now it is time to develop finders to help our local community improve educational conditions.

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Libraries are Inspiring Places

Libraries are unique cultural and educational places that offer collaborative learning opportunities.  The library is a set of service concept(s) that provides opportunities for activity, help and engagement.  According to Harvard Business Review “IDEO’s Culture of Helping,”the knowledge worker or users needs a culture where help is embedded.   They need libraries for brainstorming and collaborative / project based work.

According to the Pew Internet – “How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities”, 67% percent of respondents would be personally impacted if their library closed. The patrons that use the library know its value in terms of the space.  There are computing, socializing and areas to check out books.

It is a challenge for librarians and educators to show how “collaborative generosity” can be the norm in your community.  The secret is to provide your community with a library that has enough seats for all potential learning activities.  The increase in the amount of space for each new learning activity (reflective, collaborative, social, etc.) will enable opportunities for collaborative support.

At ALA Midwinter (#ala2014mw), librarians and educators discussed how to assess the under-served population.  The dialog created some confusion over whether it was right to study non-user populations as well as user populations.  Libraries need to study their communities strengths first.  Collecting data about how the 29% of users who believe not having a library would make a big impact on their lives will deliver a wealth of data to help build future strategies.

WARM UP EXERCISE: Daniel Dalton in the Buzzfeed community developed a web page that captures some quotes as warm ups for planning and programming. The link includes 28 beautiful quotes about libraries.

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