Our human state is one of a continuous exploration, growth and discovery. When we land on the shore of discovery, the next beckons.
(10 minute read) Many presentations and articles in education and technology forums begin by saying that the world is becoming more complex than it ever has been before. Let’s pause to consider if this is actually true. By what measure is this assertion being made? What assumptions may underpin such statements? Is the world actually becoming more complex or are we just becoming more aware of the complexity that has always been present? What do we stand to lose if we assume the world is becoming more complex?
There is no doubt that global communication systems are becoming more interconnected and the number of people plugging into these complex networks is increasing so from this perspective, the world is indeed becoming more complex. However, the complexity of the world around us can be measured in many different ways. Continue reading “The world is becoming more complex” – is it really? Pause and consider this.
From “A Blueprint for Tomorrow : Redesigning Schools for Student-Centred Learning” by Prakash Nair
Inspired by our secondary students who have been using Booksnaps over recent weeks, I decided to make my own. The problem is that my #Booksnap grew to become a #BigBookSnap. I am definitely biased here but it often seems that the school library is an obvious place to support student centred learning through collaboration, supportive environments, technology, flexibility and opportunities for connection, since these have long been the core functions of the school library. This BigBookSnap picks up on some of Nair’s strategies and connects them directly with the library. This is not really in the spirit of the concise booksnap but here it is anyway.
Here is a brief introductory video to complex systems in education and here is what I have been reading about this topic recently:
For the mystical and esoteric read “Small Arcs of Larger Circles: Framing through other patterns” by Nora Bateson
To escape the mechanical and linear view of the world read Embracing Complexity Strategic Perspectives for an Age of Turbulence by Jean G. Boulton, Peter M. Allen, Cliff Bowman
On reinventing education from the ground up read On Reinventing Education in the Age of Complexity: A Vygotsky-inspired Generative Complexity Approach by Ton Jorg
On applying systems thinking – the “Fifth Discipline” – to escape from an industrial model of education read Schools That Learn: A Fifth Discipline Fieldbook for Educators, Parents and Everyone Who Cares About Education by Peter M. Senge, Nelda Cambron-Mccabe, Timothy Lucas, Bryan Smith, Janis Dutton
It is frequently the experience of librarians that a request is made to engage with a class in the process of research, either for a specific inquiry or to learn about a new database, to explore a new searching skill or simply to gain some research tips and tricks. This is the perfect time to stop to consider what this idea of “research” is. Why would we bother teaching it when access to information seems to be easier now than it ever was? Is it a passing skill and are other priorities taking it’s place? Continue reading What is research anyway?
(2500 words) Authentic and meaningful integration throughout the curriculum and the learning context for students is a perennial challenge for school libraries. Learning is non-linear, therefore, while mapping specific library lessons across the curriculum in a linear format is an enticing solution it is at risk of becoming disconnected from student learning. Continue reading Library curriculum integration through a Complex Systems approach.
It is a great relief that the digital versus print debate is becoming a thing of the past and our discussions are becoming far more nuanced. Siôn Hamilton has captured some important aspects of this nuance in an article he recently wrote for TheBookSeller.com, “What 15 years at Foyles taught me about the future of bookselling” (June 21, 2017). While retail and libraries do differ profoundly in purpose, philosophy and method, Hamilton brings a number of critical insights about the nature of human experience, discovery and the pleasure of reading a physical book, that are relevant to both book stores and libraries.
There is no doubt that digital technologies have shaken the publishing world to its core and transformed our reading habits. Gaming, social media, ebooks, online shopping, smartphones and tablets, home delivery, search engines, curation algorithms, advertising algorithms, big data, physical books, and most significantly, the almost infinite ways that all these media are interconnected continue to make change the only constant. Hamilton cuts through this swirling world of publishing and retail to offer some insights that have implications for libraries.
Lesson 1 : good design