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One New Thing
Monday, October 31, 2005
One New Thing:Thoughts on changing teaching methods, and libraries.

A new-to-me blog I stumbled on tonight (following more links from Teach and Learn Online) is Dave's Educational Blog. Looks like a good place to go if you are interested in thinkings and theories of education and e-learning. As a librarian I’m intrigued by Dave’s idea of the feedbook. We already have the technology, and judging by the blogs, Wikis, and wikibooks that are already being constructed by experts in their fields, this is the kind of proposition that could be put into practice any day now.

In any library, could librarians be involved in the selection or dissemination of information provided via this or a similar model? It bears a vague resemblance to a scholarly journal: one “publication”, multiple authors. In the same way that online provision of course reading lists, lecture notes and assignment topics has made it easier for academic librarians to find out what resources students need access to throughout the year, imagine being able to quickly access exactly what they are covering in class on a day-to-day basis. Imagine, in fact, “books” where the information is up-to-the-minute. (Imagine a bibliography where timestamp is a required annotation!)

I can think of many impacts on libraries when would-be library patrons can have more direct access to information straight from the experts – widening of the digital divide, information literacy needs, fee vs free publications - all of which we are already aware of and will probably hear a lot more about as technological and pedagogical opportunities present themselves.

I hope the librarians, educators and IT staffers in institutional environments are chatting to each other about…possibilities. :)

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