How it has been implemented!

Finally sent out

The platform circulated to accessible people via  e-mails was sent out to  peers/experts including other elementary international school library teachers/librarians from my e-account. It has started receiving some responses, yet still far to see users interact with each other by commenting on another person’s comment.

To get it really kicked off on line, I had asked my connected people around the world, and this worked for the first two or three weeks. However I could not see any constant reactions inside the blog furthermore. It  is very hard to be spread over. What is the reason behind it?

Interesting feedback

There are library volunteers in our library, to whom also I sent out the link as my role of the secretary of vigorous four initiators. (My students actually wrote the invitation messages, which were cited directly to the e-mail sent out to my connected people.) However no ones have left any comments yet. I had a consultation with one of our students’ parents, who loves reading so much!!! because she should have a plenty of recommendations in her head, which should be shared with us. In addition, she loves talking to anyone what she has read so far.

Giving pressure….

However her reflection on the link was not what I had assumed. She  said that  it would be very pressure thing to give comments  to especially the viewable on-line page, at which everyone would have a look to refer to a book s/he would look for to be read or read. It is very much ok to give suggestions or recommendations, yet s/he would have to think of the grammar/editing/careless mistakes/right or proper views on books, which would bother her posting.

In particular, she emphasizes on the fact that she is not native speaker or so(although her English or the command of language is superb, and for me she is a native speaker.) Moreover the platform in the blog looked educational purpose, which would also prevent her from posting any recommendations as casually or freely as she wants(even though I said to her not to care for those small things.)

Valuable suggestions

Then this is what she has suggested to invite more participants to the platform.

1) There should be no open-ended format designs on the comment space.
2)If it is possible, it needs a table or survey format inside the comment space, which just let them click on the appropriate/relevant check boxes having all sorts of answer examples/selections/range ready.
3)This would make it much easier and comfortable enough for accessible people to leave recommendations as casually as they want.

Weebly template

Weebly’s setting for the design of comment space has been already formatted and the whole design needs changing eventually if that voice is reflected on the platform maybe by way of using the HTML language. However she highlighted  the very core of a problem that no parents except a few of parents previously asked had left any comments yet.

Mouth to mouth

On the other hand, as my students discussed with each other including myself that this platform should not be like a communication tool for us to push someone to do. The most ideal style or approach is that this should be spread over to one person after another naturally.

Always there are very good social sites or interaction places or public spaces or even for community places such as shops/restaurants/cultural activities, where customers/users are driven by the information they get from their friends or neighbours. According to the natural selection, no matter if it is a bad or good thing, things selected by users stay long or sometimes for a while and without any assumption it is gone all of a sudden depending on if/how it has the right taste of the necessity that it is demanded within the current environment. The core of popularity leads to the fact that the recognition should be spreading by mouth to mouth.

QR code

I had a consultation with 4 initiators(as 4 students) how to promote the platform in/outside of this community.Promoting the platformThey came up with the idea that they would make a poster to introduce the platform, which is just efficient/effective way to get other students’ attentions. One of initiators also got the advice from her classroom teacher to put the QR code on the poster, which can be scanned through mobile phone. This impressed me so much since  I had absolutely no idea how to make the code(a kind of a square size of barcode). It has been posted along the corridor wall with the approval of our principle since this site has nothing to do with our school educational sources, which is the hardest part in this project to get an approval for each action beforehand especially since I am not in a position to teach them.

Their connections throughout the world

That student also said that she would spread the news to her friends living  overseas since of course they are all international school students, who have already got their friends in the other side of this world. They said they would invite their friends to this site.

In addition the other student said she would consult with her classroom teacher to give them an opportunity to introduce the platform since some of them have not noticed the poster yet.

I don’t know how it will turn out to be, yet they have got their own strategies already in their minds. They are creators as well as press center people. Their methods to promote the site looked to me so professional.

Now and then

On the other hand, Mrs I as one of our parents’ valuable voice should be notified. She was  actually the motivator of this project since she gave me the right moment to motivate me to start thinking this platform, which is not only for students but also for parents/teachers extending to peers/experts outside of this community.

When I had a consultation with her, she gave me the right path, which I have also been thinking of.

Sustainability

Her question is how it could be sustainable in the future? Since this is the student-centered driven force activity, its design/content should be controlled by initiators although I supervise it. When I also had talked to Hiromi to get her feedback before this project started, she had been concerned with who on the earth would control it eventually.

Since eventually the initiators go to middle school in the next school year, their interests would not stay although they would like to keep their eyes on it even if they go to middle school, which has more other things to care for.

Our current initiators could find or appoint the second generation. They can teach them the mainstream, or/and our library volunteers could monitor or supervise it constantly since the concept of this platform should be no borderline between students and parents/teachers/peers.

No chances for the poor users of non/verbal communication?

Difficult society?

One of the commentators, whose occupation was the sociologist and the essayist said on TV last week in the Japanese documentary program relating to ’Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)’, that

we were living in this modern society, where the communication is heavily relied on / focused on and every company or social institution values people, who could have an excellent communication skills and collaborate/connect/socialize with others efficiently/effectively whereas there was a time prior to the advent of information era that it was ok to be a wordless person.

 

This is because there were all types of  labour/occupational opportunities available even for people, who don’t necessarily like to communicate with others in contrast to the mode of the current society. For one of  instances, almost everything is now automatic, which creates less human labour grounds whereas more jobs  for craftsmans existed in the early 20th century.

 

Because of the social trend,  this type of human-beings in Japan were largely accepted in our society especially during the time without any technology introduced to our society, and sometimes they were highly valued type of males respected by females.

 

Hence for those minority people or what we call ‘clumsy people’  the present era is more difficult to live in since we are in a society ,where the communication/social relationship is a crucial key element to create or/and make something happen. (For instance, IT enterprises, entertainments and social network systems.)

 

People, who have ASD are likely to be more outstanding and recognized than ever since they did not have so much difficulty to live in prior to the the advent of hyper-connected world. There were positions available even for less communicative competent people.

 

(I summarized her comment, which was interpreted into English.)

Connectivism as savior

Then would they be segregated by or left behind by hyper-connected society after all, where only highly communicative competent people are demanded?

As I read through the article: ‘Collaborative Learning for the Digital Age’ by Cathy N. Davidson,

Title: The Collaboration Pyramid. Attribution: By oscarberg Oscar Berg.

it makes me realize that they should not be so disappointed at the current trend. Moreover all about concepts/ideas behind connectivism, MOOCs(Massively Open Online Course), global collaboration  should support the deficiency that we are limited in our capability to receive all of the information and do the processing perfectly/efficiently since we are anyway unperfect organisms.

In my understanding for the definition of connectivism, since we are exposed to the hyper-network society, we are living in an environment, where other set-standards of notions(such as behaviorism: ‘reality is external and is objective, and knowledge is gained through experiences.’ ; constructivism: ‘reality is interpreted, and knowledge is negotiated through experience and thinking.’ and cognitivism: ‘reality is internal, and knowledge is constructed.’) are getting less appropriate to our understanding of current native digital students/citizenships, and we have been shifted to being or developed to have become  world-wide connected people more than ever in terms of time and space.

This would affect us in a way of thinking, sensing and learning anything of the outside of ourselves. For instance, within the idea of constructivism, the everything in a society can be learnt in or followed by a set-up standard of systematic vision/framework, which is constant and absolute. In our current society, we could find this idea difficult to be correspondent to our hyper-networked society, where every moment new information is in/out and facts are revised/edited/rewritten because nothing stays the same as before.

Supplements

Since thanks to the social network systems we are so connected to each other, we could help/substitute/supplement each other (, which result in some collaboration). For example, Massively Open Online Courses(MOOC) like University of People in the world might give us  an option or a clue for bridging a gap between passionate learners(, who are eager to know/learn the outside of their world) and reluctant learners(, who are negative to interact with outsiders).

 As for positive learners, our face to face learning is also a crucial thing. In our last workshop for course4, we again confirmed each other that interacting with others in an offline learning space had meant a lot to us too. I don’t think we could only rely on online learning environment, where each student does not have to come to schools/institutions.  Offline human relationship with others is inevitable,  so is online connection with others. Either interaction is not perfect, and each could cover for its deficiency and its limitation. Hopefully ‘poor users of non/verbal communication’ could be supported/supplemented/substituted by excellent communicators in on/offline environments.

Credentials:

  • “Collaborative Learning for the Digital Age” by Cathy N. Davidson. The Chronicle review. August 26, 2011. The Chronicle of higher education. Online. 2012.
  • “Connectivism-A Learning theory for the digital age” by George Siemens. elearnspace-everything elearning. December 12, 2004. elearnspace-everyting elearning. Online. 2012.
  • “MOOC: Massive Open Online Course” by . Open education news. July 30, 2008. Open education news. Online. WordPress.com. 2012.

  • “Autism spectrum” by Wikipedia-the free encyclopedia. 2012. Online. Wikimedia Foundation. 2012.
  • “The Collaboration Pyramid” by oscarberg Oscar Berg. Flicker. March 2, 2012. Flicker. Online. Yahoo! Inc. 2012.

The library report in infographics

The lifetime usage of our library in infographics

The statistics of our library are usually required and utilized by the insider to make us informed of the current status, which relates to the inventory. Based on this information, we could develop our constructive collection although the statistics do not give all answers to the improvement. However at least we could know the trend of our library, which could tell us what to do next.

Statistics are also normally submitted to the business office once a year for an auditing reason. However the transparency could be not only good for the development of our library but also convenient for our library users, who could tell how useful or suitable our library could serve for their needs.

In this open-minded environment, users would get more interested in areas, which they have not explored yet. As Alison Circle in ‘Telling your story with visual power’ mentioned, in whatever styles visualized texts are, they are less paid attention to and are easily skimmed or skipped. Too many explanations or expressions of our library information are likely to be annoyed or ignored if we don’t know how to inform users of our information.

Here is my plan using the best use of infographics.

1) Every 1-3 month, how many our library resources are checked out depending on each category, how many new books are in/out our systems, how many books are circulated, and etc.. …could be shown to users in addition to the basic big questions: Circulation; Budget; Registered users; Visits to our library; Visits to our library web site; Computer use.

2) The statistics above  are created through our operation system.

3) They will be visualized via ManyEyes hosted/created by IBM.

4) Once our infographics are ready, the link of URL is copied and pasted it to Zoom.it to make our infographics enlarged as readers like since normally all texts with even visual graphics look smaller than you think.

Since the issue of appearance or readability to any users or viewers could not be ignored, Zoom.it could serve for the solution. As for a trial, the link of infographics about OCLC, which Alison had reformed was pasted to Zoom.it. In this way users could easily zoom out/in the information.

Many thanks to what Alison has shared with readers, there are a lot of benefits to learn from the report of OCLC in graphic style(via power point), which could be an applicable good model case to our library’s infographics.

If our library could have a TV monitor installed in front of our main door, the infographics, which need to be upgraded regularly could be displayed and also embedded with our library homepage. If there are ways to upgrade the infographic data daily with automatic methods, it could save our time.

Credentials:

  •  ”Five Cool Tools for Creating Infographics” by Richard Byrne. School Library Journal. June 1, 2011. Online. Media Source, Inc.. March 2011

Intuition

No matter how closer to the information we are now today than the past through the web, it is still likely to be our intuition that we rely on to get relevant information in the most efficient /productive /qualitative way.

'The Unwinding of the Cosmic Clock Spring' by esaruoho

Attribution: By esaruoho on Flicker. Image: No. 3 of Harp String Series - The Unwinding of the Cosmic Clock Spring.

We cannot simply rely on the web as the best tool to reach out to the exact point that you truly would strive for. No matter how much information you see on the web, it is ourselves who select and think critically which data or even which tool/s is/are crucial for our best needs.

Almost two decades ago, one of the topics covered in educational text books was how to manage quantitative information and everyone was concerned about what would realistically look like for us to live in the age of information era. Especially no ones could give the right answer to that question at that time since what we have now today as our present efficient communication tools were unrealistically unattainable commodities, which were made in inapplicable wish-list for our house hold appliances at that time. How many people at that time could actually imagine today’s reality, where we have mobile phones, which are smart enough to give us instant information spontaneously/simultaneously or connect each of us with other people whenever/wherever/however we want in our hands? This leads to another question, which is that to what extent human-beings have capabilities to deal with or enjoy so much information or many social relationships in all media.

Because of the technological invention, we do have so many accessible and available ways to get to the information in this world, and we should be much easier to handle quantitative information, yet the truth is that the more convenient it becomes for us to reach out to the information, the much closer it approaches us autonomously. We do not want to be overwhelmed by such information, and thus the skill to deal with it has been noted to people since then.

The article of ‘ Six Degree of Separation’ makes me think this point further that although we cannot tell how it comes to the clear point that we know by any chance how to access to the best information we want at any stages, we never seem to be completely overwhelmed by or trapped by tons of information. The interesting point, which appeals to me is that the more information there are out, the less time you tend to spend to reach out to the exact info you need. This is nothing logically or mathematically explainable, yet it appears to be that something unstructured is happening as the information grows.

Since our society is what is called postmodernism, this world is now growing or evolving from the bottom without any acknowledged framework, and we are moving towards the unpredictable direction of  ‘being continued….’, which has no goal set.

Attribution: By BhumiJoshi on Flicker. Image: Inspiration Pics.

There are no maps on our hands to search the most relevant information for us, yet we are managing ourselves somehow to find or select the best materials for our best needs in spite of other flowing (sometimes distracting) information. When we want to find the information, we rely on the media, yet we still rely on ourselves to select and do the information processing inside or outside of ourselves.

The technology always helps us to organize the flow of information for our best comfort, yet it is actually each of us who manages the loads of information somehow. We are capable of ignoring irrelevant information, skimming the data and picking up the most relevant information, and this is not the same way as the computer process does for us. This unpredictable way for us to look at the flow of information inside of our brain might reflect on who we are now. It is not a matter of how much the information is flowing but that of how we perceive it. We are living in such a hyper-connected information society, yet all the information does not distract you from finding the right one since you are the best person to know what you need or not, which is applied to your inspiration or intuition.

We think therefore I am.

‘We spent a good deal of time thinking about how accident, disruption, distraction, and difference increase the motivation to learn and to solve problems, both individually and collectively.’

The article : Collaborative Learning for the Digital Age by Cathy N. Davidson makes me think that  collaborative work itself could challenge the limited feature of the human brain, whose performance level is usually or relatively low when it has to deal with multitasking assignments. The conceptual breakthrough, which does not limit our ability due to the result from the experimentation described in the first part of this article is a lesson for me not to get depressed easily because of the negative consequence, which refers to ‘attention blindness’. Collaborative learning could be a savior of the insufficient inherent capability.

We are living in this world to enable an individual knowledge to be replaced with his/her community. An individual brain would be no longer more valid or highly valued than what it is now or it used to be, rather its collaborative mode would be appreciated or recognized to be an authentic qualification for human intelligence.

‘I think therefore I am’by Descartes is manipulated by ‘iPod therefore I am’, which could also be replaced by ‘We think therefore I am’. However this does not mean to say each person could learn less than before ; on the contrary s/he would learn more being motivated to enjoy further studies. Online collaborative projects, which I went through could therefore persuade me to think that the underline concept of competency lies in her/his connectivity and collaboration with outsides. The value of what is meant to be intelligent enough to cope with all issues of this coming era differs from that of definition without social network system.

How the World Wide Web has changed the world from DigiTeen Projects based on Flat Classroom Projects and WorkshopA from The 1001 Flat World Tales Project certainly not only show us the new process of learning in the 21st century but also give us the solution to challenge side effects of social network communication system. They could refer to how we can possibly manage or control the massive flow of information ; how we can be confident that what we are doing is on the right path ; how we could easily or efficiently live in the digital information era.

Things should be getting more convenient for us to learn, yet at the same time we have additional or extra burdens to be overseen and monitored constantly. Whether it is controllable or not also seems to rely on the potential of collaborate learning.

These projects running in the world premise not only save time and space but also give another credit to his/her own idea, which used to be owned by his/her exclusive confidential copyright since this would reflect his/her personal assessment. The more cooperate or collaborative you are, the better reflections you could expect from your society.

These projects remind me of the lyric of the song ‘Heal the World’ by Michael Jackson : ‘Heal the world to make it better place for you and for me…’ . Could we start making the world better place by means of having a collaborative project for you and for me at a micro level at first, which we would hope to extend to the globally created product?