#Something New This Way Comes

I like Friday’s.  No work leaves plenty of time to think about my goals while I check out Twitter and the interwebs and write some blogposts.  In-between dishes, washing and finding the other half of missing sock pairs.  Two go in.  One comes out.  Weird.  Anyways.

I’m such a fan of Twitter. I caught a tweet with a link to a blog post on one librarian’s experiences at the ascilite13 conference (@GeocachingLibn).  These conferences are run by the Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ascilite) and was held this year in Sydney, Australia.  Reading through the blog, ascilite13 covered many areas of interest for me: the increased use of mobile technologies in education; the shift towards a  more participatory model of learning; the use of gamification for engagement; and the value of networks and connections within the tertiary environment.  Had it been on my radar, I think I would have enjoyed this experience too.

Appetite whetted, I now have a potential non-library development opportunity for 2014! Better still, it actually relates to two of my goals: education and technology.  Even better than that, ascilite14 will be in New Zealand!  The theme next year is ‘Rhetoric and Reality‘ defined on their website as:

exploring the visionary rhetoric on educational technology and debating the imperfect reality of current educational practices

Next year there will be a section on the actual uses of emerging technologies and practices.  ascilite have specifically named examples including MOOCs, mobile technology, virtual reality and gamification.  Some of these topics were covered in the WISE programme I did with Dr. Michael Stephens in Fall, 2012: Transformative Learning and Technology Literacies, and again in the recent #hyperlibMOOC programme for LIS professionals (Dr. Michael Stephens and Kyle Jones).

We know MOOCs are already operating in the New Zealand tertiary education environment and my librarian-self has wondered:

How can we help support students within a MOOC?

Why would I wonder this? If the MOOC is attached to a higher education provider, there is a chance MOOC students may ask for library support.  It doesn’t seem to be an illogical connection to make. But is this the right perspective?  What if I shift my focus to that of an educator with a library spin.  So let me rephrase my moment of wonder to:

How can we maximise the popularity of MOOCs to teach members of our community about information literacy?

Is this the right question? Is there a need for librarians to work with educators to embed information literacy into a higher education MOOC? Are we already collaborating in that way? Is there a need for higher education libraries to develop their own MOOC?

And what about the other emerging technologies? How are New Zealand higher education libraries maximising virtual reality, mobile technology and gamification for educational engagement?

So many questions.  Yes, the conference date has been noted.


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