The Online Learning Journal – evaluating my experiences in INF506.

Evaluating my experiences

The blog post My Second Life (https://pdlearninglibrary.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/my-second-life-adventures-in-a-virtual-world-olj-inf506/) is based on my own encounters with Second Life (www.secondlife.com) in during this semester, supplemented by case studies from the literature, and demonstrates my understanding of social networking technologies. This post reveals my developing understanding of Multi-User Virtual Environments; their culture of participation and how they might be used to address information needs such as learning about new environments or learning new languages. I critically examine the features and functionality of SL when I discuss my experiences as a new user using the programs interface for the first time and experiencing the different environments. My conclusion that although Second Life is being used in collaborative learning projects in many educational settings that technical issues can interfere with its effectiveness, demonstrates my understanding of the both the educational and technical management issues that exist and that should inform policy decisions on the use of Second Life.

In developing my “Reasons why libraries should be on social media” blog post (https://pdlearninglibrary.wordpress.com/2014/05/24/reasons-why-libraries-should-be-on-social-media-olj-inf506/) I compare three regional public libraries. I critically examine the different ways that each library used social media and showed an understanding of how different strategies might suit different libraries; a library may choose multiple channels to communicate with users; or just one or two. I demonstrate an understanding of how Web 2.0 technologies are both effective marketing tools and an important way for customers to communicate with service providers. I indicate that Facebook (www.facebook.com) and blogs that feed onto web pages can be effective ways to highlight library events and provide appropriate and effective information services such as reader’s advisory. I also outline how services like Pinterest (www.pinterest.com) can also be employed to improve the discoverability of resources. In discussing the ways the libraries invited and displayed Facebook comments, reader reviews and tagging, I demonstrate my understanding of the theory and practice of Library 2.0 participatory web service (Maness, 2006).

The blog post More Shift Happens (https://pdlearninglibrary.wordpress.com/2014/05/24/more-shift-happens-five-key-trends-that-will-impact-our-media-landscape-olj-inf506/) demonstrates my understanding of social networking technologies by highlighting the impact of social media in the coming shifts. I indicate the importance of the the changes brought about by increased presence on social media and increased reliance on online information. I show my understanding of Library 2.0 concepts by highlighting the expectations of library users to have more of a say in how libraries work. I consider the opportunities and challenges that all the five trends, mobile devices, eBooks, Social Searching, Finding/Discoverability and Big Data trends will provide to libraries. In discussing how the five trends will change users expections and consequently drive policy I demonstrate an understanding of the social, cultural, educational, ethical, and technical management issues that exist in a socially networked world.

Reflection

Although I came to this subject as an “experienced” social networker (having been on Facebook since my introduction to it in 2007 and (irregularly) blogging just as long) my studies in INF506 have helped me develop a broader perspective on the potential uses and abuses of social media. As a result of having “permission to play”, I was able to try out new technologies and more freely experiment with those I had already been introduced to. In my post-INF506 life I am planning to try platforms such as Google+(https://plus.google.com/) and DeviantArt (www.DeviantArt.com) to share my artwork and other creative work and to expand my use of Twitter (www.twitter.com) for professional and creative purposes. I particularly enjoyed my excursions into Second Life and will also experiment further with creating a virtual gallery there. And I hope learn more about MUVEs including Minecraft (https://minecraft.net/) so that I can communicate more effectively with tween patrons!

My confidence in using Social Media has increased and I have noticed a change in the way I use social media, particularly Facebook, which I attribute to being part of the INF506 group. I am using it in a more “professional” way (even for my personal postings) so that I have been sharing material more related to my work as an information professional. It seems I have become conscious of projecting my personal “brand”. I have also begun to add more comments to my “sharing” posts; making more of a contribution to the conversations in and around our work as information professionals.

Other learning in this subject came from our practical assignment. My case study into online book clubs and young adults brought up some interesting data and some ideas worth following up in our library service. Many of our young patrons are passionate about books and reading but don’t have time for conventional book club experiences.

Using the OLJ as a way to develop as a social networker worked well for me. The activities were varied and interesting – some were a  lot of fun. In preparing my blog posts More Shift Happens and Reasons why libraries should be on social media I gained an appreciation of some of the more difficult policy areas related to privacy. The recommended readings and resources I discovered in this area will help me to provide more a more cogent input into decisions we make in our service on these issues as well as being able to provide more coherent advice to patrons encountering social media.

My experiences on Second Life, reading about Wikipedia and watching other information professionals on YouTube have made me more aware of the educational possibilities afforded by social media. Working in a public library I may have less opportunities to use social media directly for education but will now have more confidence in using it for our training. I am particularly interested in developing some technology resources for those of us running public training on mobile devices using the wiki model (Maness, 2006).

The Personal Learning Network activity gave me an insight into how I could use social media more effectively and develop my Personal Learning Network by connecting to more information professionals. It also alerted me to the possibility of gathering more focussed news via Google alert feeds. During this exercise I was particularly struck by Bethany Smith’s (2008) statement on adding to other bloggers’ work with comments and other contributions. Although I have been something of a “sharer” on both my blog and Facebook I have not hitherto thought about my social obligation to comment further than “Like”.

One important aspect of the PLN exercise that struck me was the idea that we need time away from social media. Our classmate Renate shared Gary Turk’s poignant video poem “Look up!” which emphasised the point that we should not let “being connected” consume us; we need to take time out for ourselves to be with our loved ones and really connect.

I think the implications for my development as an information professional are clear; social networking and the assiduous use of social media will underpin my continuing professional development. I will continue to boldly go exploring and sharing on social networks and social media; making a regular commitment to Professional Development via Feedly, Google alerts and my blogging, experimenting with other platforms but making sure I balance that with time away from the network for myself and my family experiencing life and each other.

References

Maness, J. (2006). Library 2.0 theory: Web 2.0 and its implications for libraries. Webology, 3 (2), Article 25. Available from http://www.webology.org/2006/v3n2/a25.html

Smith, B. (2008). Creating an online personal learning network [Presentation]. Available from http://www.slideshare.net/bethanyvsmith/creating-an-online-personal-learning-network-presentation

Turk, G. (2014). Look up [Film]. Available from http://youtu.be/Z7dLU6fk9QY

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My Second Life – Adventures in a Virtual World (OLJ – INF506)

I first heard of Second Life (http://www.secondlife.com) over five years ago; it was while we were discussing the impact that technology and in particular social media and Web 2.0 technologies would have on education and our role as educational publishers. After I left publishing to study my Masters in Library and Information studies I began to hear about SL more often and but it wasn’t until I took this subject, INF506 (my final one) that I decided to finally try it.

Before the appointed meeting time I downloaded the software and created my avatar. When that was finished I went looking for my classmates. Guided by our lecturer we went on excursions to sites developed by CSU and other educational institutions. It was an effective and fun way to explore how educators are using Virtual Reality as an educational tool. The comments on Facebook afterwards reflected our enjoyment.

The experience as a whole I found to be very fun but frustrating. I can see how people could become very absorbed in exploring and encountering new people and places; but found the interface to be somewhat complex with its numerous palettes and menus (and I am considered to be technically very able). I also experienced some technical problems (no sound on my second visit) related to the age of my computer and its operating system.

The real buzz about virtual worlds and their potential for education seemed to peak about seven years ago when Gartner predicted that 80% of users in 2012 would be engaged in MUVE (Multi User Virtual Environments – like Second Life) (Gartner, 2007). The following year technical issues had taken some of the gloss off those predictions (Gartner, 2008). Hype aside, educators have been experimenting with using VEs for collaborative learning in various settings and have found easy to use tools are required for even the most basic collaborations to occur and that engagement with both the project and each other is needed for successful outcomes (Livingstone, Scullion and Creechan, 2013).

Virtual Environments may be best suited to learning languages (Berns, 2013) or developing other skill sets that are best learnt in immersive environments (Helmer, 2007). Examples in information services could be for any training that would normally involve role playing or for site orientation prior to beginning university or a new job. Other uses might be creating virtual exhibitions, writers festivals and seminars. And it doesn’t have to be high tech; one Virtual Environment that is definitely thriving amongst tweens and teens is Minecraft (https://minecraft.net/)(Precey, 2014) and many educators are capitalising on its popularity to engage learners inspite of its “low tech” look and feel (Schifter & Cipollone, 2013. Lastowka, 2012).

My verdict – Fun, has potential – use with caution!

References

Berns, A., Gonzalez-Pardo, A., & Camacho, D. (2013). Game-like language learning in 3-D virtual environments. Computers & Education, 60(1), 210-220.

Gartner Inc., (2007, April 24). Gartner says 80 percent of active Internet Users will have a “Second Life” inthe virtual world by the end of 2011 [Press release]. Retrieved from http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/503861

Gartner Inc., (2008, March 11). Gartner says organizations should carefully consider deployment of virtual environments [Press release]. Retrieved from http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/619513

Helmer, J., & Learning Light. (2007). Second Life and virtual worlds. Learning Light Limited, 2007 [Technical Report]. Available from http://www.norfolkelearningforum.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/virtual-worlds_ll_oct_2007.pdf

Lastowka, G. (2012). Minecraft as Web 2.0: Amateur Creativity in Digital Games. In Amateur Media: Social, cultural and legal perspectives. Available from http://works.bepress.com/lastowka/6

Livingstone, D., Scullion, J., & Creechan, G. (2013). Learning about Collaborative Virtual Environments by Creating Collaborative Virtual Environments. Proceedings of European Immersive Education Summit, 3, 149-161. Available from http://europe.immersiveeducation.org/sites/default/files/documents/3rd_European_Immersive_Education_proceedings_2013.pdf#page=166

Precey, M. (2014, March 7). Minecraft gamer’s YouTube hit ‘more popular than Bieber’. BBC News. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-hampshire-26327661

Schifter, C., & Cipollone, M. (2013). Minecraft as a teaching tool: One case study. Paper presented at the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2013, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. http://www.editlib.org/p/48540

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More “Shift Happens” – Five key trends that will impact our media landscape (OLJ – INF506)

The video Did You Know? (based on the original “Shift Happens” video) identifies a number of shifts or trends that will have a profound influence on how we behave as digital citizens. In this post I outline 5 key trends that will become expectations on the part of our customers and thus have policy implications for public libraries like my own in South East Queensland.

  1. Mobile devices – expectation that everything can be accessed from mobile device
  2. Reading online will become the norm – eBooks/eNewspapers/eMagazines.
  3. Social media searching – as more people engage with social media, more and more information seeking will begin with searches on social media.
  4. Finding rather than searching – increased sophistication of search engine technology
  5. Big Data – as technology to analyse the vast amount of data collected about our lives online becomes available this will enable “fine grained” personalised services with resultant trade-offs in privacy.

The mobile revolution has seen the library develop a mobile app to streamline access to the OPAC, however the first consideration needs to be that home pages will run effectively on any device. The library offers training on mobile devices for members of the public and staff members are able to borrow mobile devices. As a customer I expect the library to support my use of mobile devices by offering a wi-fi service to library users and the loan of eReaders and other mobile devices to patrons. As a library we need to develop policy to support this access (Rubin, 2004).

Those who read on portable devices are among those who read the most (Australian Council for the Arts, 2013). The library recognises this and in common with many libraries in Australia offers Ebooks and eAudioBooks through services like Overdrive with plans in the near future to offer access to eMagazines through a similar service. As a user I would expect this to continue and for more titles to become available. Systems providing access to eNewspapers should also be explored. Collection development policies need to reflect this trend by lending more weight to acquiring eLibrary resources.

Everyday information seeking behaviour now encompasses Social Media searching (Lampe, Vitak, Gray & Ellison, 2012) with many using social sites to answer health or “how to” type questions. As a user I want reliable trusted information sources such as those available at libraries to become more visible through social media. Library policy initiatives should aim to improve discoverability of their resources through these channels.

As the technology behind searching becomes more advanced it will become even more important to “enhance the information experience” (Abram, 2007); libraries need policies around how they will provide access to their collections to assist finding of information rather than searching. As a user I expect a search engine to offer me alternate or “correct” spellings – as a library we need to offer an interface to our collections that provides this.

The Big Data trend is something of a two edged sword. As a customer I expect to be able to sign up for customised suggestions but am cautious about giving up my privacy. Libraries do need to collect more data if they are to provide services like readers advisory (such as that provided by amazon.com) but policy needs to take account of individuals’ rights to keeping that information private. A balance needs to be struck (Dearnley & Feather (2001). Libraries’ role as advocates and educators in the realm of digital literacy need to be matched with appropriate policy.

More reading on Trends? Try the following

Stephens Lighthouse – Mobile, social and big data; the intersection of the internets three defining trends [Blog post]

Forbes’ Shama Kabani – Top 5 digital trends for 2014 [Blog Post]

Policy Horizons Canada’s MetaScan 3: Emerging technologies (also Envisioning’s great graphic representation of this at http://envisioning.io/horizons/)

References

Abram, S. (2007). Out front with Stephen Abram: a guide for information leaders. American Library Association.

Australian Council for the Arts. (2013). A changing story: trends in reading amongst Australians [Fact sheet]. Retrieved from http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/resources/reports_and_publications/artforms/literature/fact-sheet-trends-in-reading-among-australians

Dearnley, J. & Feather, J. (2001). Information policy. In The wired world : an introduction to the theory and practice of the information society (pp. 60-93). London: Library Association.

Lampe, C., Vitak, J., Gray, R., & Ellison, N. (2012, May). Perceptions of facebook’s value as an information source. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 3195-3204). ACM.

Rubin, R. E. (2004). Information policy as library policy : intellectual freedom. In Foundations of library and information science (2nd ed.) (pp. 179- 215). New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers.

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Reasons why libraries should be on social media (OLJ – INF506)

Yarra Plenty Regional Library (http://yprl.vic.gov.au), City of Gold Coast Libraries (https://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/library/) and Moreton Bay Region Libraries (https://library.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/) all use social media and/or social networking sites to meet organisational goals. In comparing how these libraries use social media (see table below), I created a list of (interrelated!) reasons why libraries should use social media.

Reason 1: Our customers are on Social Media. Young, old and everybody in-between uses social media to communicate and connect (Cowling, 2014). All three libraries are on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com) the most widely used social networking service (Cowling, 2014) with Gold Coast utilizing the most platforms. As pointed out by Burkhardt, “You’re missing out on a lot of eyes if you eschew social media” (2009). (See Reason 2!)

Reason 2: People who aren’t our customers, are on Social Media. Sites such as Facebook and YouTube are becoming more frequently consulted for information queries (Lampe, Vitak, Gray & Ellison, 2012). If we want new customers we need to be where they are, offering the information services they need. Gold Coast’s GC Media Lab blog offers great information on how to use new technology in video and 3D art. (See Reason 4!)

Reason 3: Social media enables us to provide a more effective information service to our customers.  Farkas (2007) says the “mission of any library is to meet the educational, informational and recreational needs of its service population.” One public library service admirably suited to SM is “Readers Advisory.” YPRL displays a “feed” of reader comments on new titles with links through to the catalog to enable reservations, tagging and ratings. MBRL uses Facebook postings and tiny url links to its catalog for the same purpose. GCCL’s BookCoasters (http://gcbooks.wordpress.com/) blog provides extensive reader’s advisory information (also with catalogue links). (See Reason 1!)

Reason 4: Social Media enables us to market more effectively to our customersand our non-customers!  Marketing is crucial for libraries (Kenneway, 2007) and using SM tools like Facebook and Twitter “creates momentum of activity toward the organization’s web presence and strategic services” (Breeding, 2010). Gold Coast uses Pinterest to highlight access to databases and popular new novels; Facebook features library events. Yarra Plenty Library keeps information current by running a feed of its events blog on its homepage. (Rancourt, 2009). (See Reason 5!)

Reason 5: Social Media enables us to CONNECT more effectively with our customers. Web 2.0 technologies can enable our patrons to provide direct and informal feedback that assist us to understand them better and improve service delivery (Burkhardt, 2009. Casey & Stephens, 2009). MBRC has 2785 Facebook likes, GC BookCoasters has 770 followers and Yarra Plenty hundreds of shared comments on books. GC’s Instagram site has over 100 followers. (See Reason 3!)

 

  Library →Web 2.0 activity↓ Yarra Plenty Gold Coast City Library Moreton Bay Regional Libraries
Own website Yes – News and Blog feeds are displayed. Yes but strongly tied to council Yes strongly tied to council but has own look and feel.
Blogging Yes for news and sharing book related news, reviews and tidbits. Also branch blogs and special interest blogs including blogs for kids Yes – BookCoasters (see below in online book clubs) and GC Media Lab (http://gcmedialab.wordpress.com/) which highlights technology activities and training offered by GC Libraries No
Facebook, MySpace, Google+ Facebook – Used for promotional and sharing to promote brand – ie fun place to be activities related to reading eg National Simultaneous Storytime, news, reviews and tidbits about writers and readers (sharing links from news sources and blogs) Facebook – Used for promotional and sharing to promote brand – ie fun place to be activities related to reading eg NSS, news, reviews and tidbits about writers and readers (sharing links from news sources and blogs) Facebook – Used for promotional and sharing to promote brand – ie fun place to be activities related to reading eg NSS, news, reviews and tidbits about writers and readers (sharing links from Huff Post Books and other news sources and blogs)MySpace – Used for young peoples’ programming “Mash it Up”
Mobile apps Customised version of Bibliocommons app Bookmyne app (which is SirsiDynix LMS app) MBR Library app developed specifically for Moreton Bay Libraries
Twitter Yes No Only as part of council events such as disaster preparedness
RSS Uses eNewsletters Uses eNewsletters
Tagging etc customising catalogue Comments, reviews and ratings can be added by patrons SirsiDynix links to reviews – not necessarily local includes Library Thing etc Comments, reviews and ratings can be added by patrons on a local level and Library Thing reviews accessed also
Online Book Clubs Summer Reading Club for kids. Delivered via a blog called Bookcoasters located at http://gcbooks.wordpress.com/Also Summer Reading Club online version (SLQ sponsored) for kids Summer Reading Club online version (SLQ sponsored) for kids
Pinterest Available from http://www.pinterest.com/citylibrariesgc/
Vimeo/YouTube Vimeo – Author talks and other information YouTube as part of Mash it Up program for young people.
eNewsletter General library newsletter only. Several available – general “What’s On”, Book Clubs Update, Writers’ Update, Out There (paranormal and/or urban fantasy readers) & Next Reads (which is Library Aware service split out into genres/categories)
Ask a Librarian/IM -Chat Email a Librarian is available in two places but not obvious from home page Not actually a chat facility; uses a web form A general “contact us” email address is featured on the library web pages
Instagram http://instagram.com/gclibraries#

References

Breeding, M. (2010). Taking the social web to the next level. Computers in Libraries, 30(7), 28-30.

Burkhardt, A. (2009, August 25). Four reasons Libraries should be on Social Media [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://andyburkhardt.com/2009/08/25/four-reasons-libraries-should-be-on-social-media/

Casey, M. & Stephens, M. (2009, March 15). You can’t afford not to do these things. Library Journal. Retrieved from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2009/03/future-of-libraries/you-cant-afford-not-to-do-these-things/
Cowling, D. (2014). Social media statistics Australia – April 2014. Retrieved fromhttp://www.socialmedianews.com.au/social-media-statistics-australia-april-2014/

Farkas, M. G. (2007). Social software in libraries: building collaboration, communication, and community online. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc.

Garoufallou, E., Siatri, R., Zafeiriou, G., & Balampanidou, E. (2013). The use of marketing concepts in library services: a literature review. Library Review, 62(4/5), 312-334.

Kenneway, M. (2007). Marketing the library: using technology to increase visibility, impact and reader engagement. Serials: The Journal for the Serials Community, 20(2), 92-97.

Lampe, C., Vitak, J., Gray, R., & Ellison, N. (2012, May). Perceptions of facebook’s value as an information source. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 3195-3204). ACM.

Maness, J. (2006). Library 2.0 theory: Web 2.0 and its implications for libraries. Webology, 3(2). Available at: www.webology.ir/2006/v3n2/a25.html

Rancourt, L. (2009). Mashing up the library website. In Engard, N. C. (Ed.), Library Mashups: Exploring New Ways to Deliver. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc. (pp 73-86).

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Creating an online Personal Learning Network (OLJ – INF506 – Module 3)

A Personal Learning Network is made up of people, ideas and the connections between them. The process of creating such an online learning environment is one way to engage in ongoing professional development. Bethany Smith emphasises the importance of contribution and sharing as part of your PLN; I have been using both Facebook and my blogs for this rather than social bookmarking sites such as delicious; however Diigo has some exciting possibilities I think with the ability to notate pages!


I used an application called iMindMaps (http://app.iMindMap.com) to create the concept map of my PLN above. I decided on three branches; people, news and views, and sites, and created connections between them. I was pleasantly surprised to find out how extensive it was but I did identify some “gaps”. These gaps are people; I would like to include more local professionals from the information services area who communicate regularly within my network, and also new sources of ideas and information. To remedy this I plan to broaden my news sources by setting up Google Alerts to go into Feedly (http://www.feedly.com) (Webb, 2014) and use Twitter (http://www.twitter.com) and LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com) to connect with more people.

Jeff Utecht's idea for “stages” of PLN adoption; “immersion, evaluation, know it all, perspective and balance” (Utecht, 2008) echoes some well recognised educational/learning stages (Dreyfus, 2004) and as such can provide some insights into the process. However as Utecht notes himself his stages are not necessarily consecutive and, on reflection, I feel that I have experienced elements of different stages at different times. My early exposures to Web 2.0 were very immersive as I grappled with learning new technologies and sought out gurus to follow. As I moved from my career in educational technology into information studies my network of friends and mentors in the profession made recommendations of who to follow in the field ; people like Meredith Farkas (http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/) and Stephen Abram (http://stephenslighthouse.com) amongst others. I underwent a second “immersion” following many blogs and subscribing to many industry newsletters and group discussions discovered via LinkedIn . Many more than I could regularly read! Like many others I am missing the “at a glance” sense of perspective that iGoogle, Google Reader and RSS feeds afforded me (Webb, 2014) but find that a combination of email alerts, reminders and Feedly are coming close.

If I were to nominate a stage it would be that of perspective. Whether it is because I am still studying or if it is something inherent in “lifelong learning”, I find that as I encounter new concepts that interest me I add them to my collections and then refocus. As each study session ends I begin to regain my perspective and then re-evaluate the new concepts and ideas. This refocussing is a constant thing and I think that these stages could be revisited again and again as circumstances change (such as changing jobs!).


References

Dreyfus, S. E. (2004). The five-stage model of adult skill acquisition. Bulletin of science, technology & society, 24(3), 177-181.

Smith, B. (2009). Creating an online personal learning network. [Presentation]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/bethanyvsmith/creating-an-online-personal-learning-network-presentation

Utecht, J. (2008, April 3). Stages of PLN adoption [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://www.thethinkingstick.com/stages-of-pln-adoption/

Webb, A. (2014, February 18). How to curate content with Feedly and Google Alerts [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.spiderworking.com/blog/2014/02/18/curate-content-feedly-google-alerts/

 

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The challenge of finding authentic information in a socially networked world (OLJ INF506)

The challenge of finding authentic information in a socially networked world.

Although Giles findings about the accuracy of Wikipedia articles have given Wikipedia increased credibility (2005), Garfinkel (2008) is not alone in his concerns about both the ubiquity and veracity of Wikipedia (Townsend et al, 2013). Any discussion with an educator that touches on referencing inevitably lights on whether or not Wikipedia is a valid source. Garfinkel's assertion that Wikipedia's idea of truth is problematic is not such a problem in disciplines such as History where it can be regarded as just another source (McIntyre, 2010). As pointed out by Rosenzweig the problem is not with students using Wikipedia – rather with them using Wikipedia as a starting point and not moving on from it (Rosenzweig, 2006). The take home message for information professionals and other educators here is to engage with students use of Wikipedia and other Web 2.0 technologies (Wittenberg, 2007) and utilise it to develop skills in information literacy. As information professionals we need to be part of the debate around authenticity and Wikipedia's own transparent processes (Garfinkel, 2008, p85) provide many avenues for discussing the nature of truth, verifiability and the credibility of sources.

Session's (2009) study of the phenomena of “MySpace Angles” highlights the inherent mismatch between online personas and physical realities. Seemingly naturalistic photographs taken at certain angles may be considered as inauthentic and not representing a person's “true” appearance and are “policed” by others on the social networking site MySpace and post comments or use satire to denigrate the practice. Computer mediated communications certainly allow an individual a measure of control over how others may see them (Ellison et al, 2006); but participating in social networking is a “two edged sword”. The choices people make in representing themselves online can have unforeseen consequences. Once an image, video or comment is shared it can't be taken back. As information professionals we need understand the importance of our own personal “brand” as well as that of the organisations we represent. While social networking can be an important way to “sell” our brand we need to ensure we protect its integrity and authenticity. By having a trusted brand we can become an information channel of choice.

 

References

Ellison, N., Heino, R. & Gibbs, J. (2006). Managing impressions online: Self–presentation processes in the online dating environment. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, 11 (2). Available http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol11/issue2/ellison.html

Garfinkel, S. (2008). Wikipedia and the Meaning of Truth. Technology Review,111(6), 84-86.

Giles, J. (2005). Internet encyclopaedias go head to head. Nature, 438(7070), 900-901.

McIntyre, A. (2010). The “Truthiness” of Wikipedia: An Examination of the Open Content Encyclopedia as a Valuable Vehicle in Developing Critical Thinking in the Classroom. Access to Knowledge: A Course Journal, 2(1).

Rosenzweig, R. (2006). Can history be open source? Wikipedia and the future of the past. Journal of American History, 93 (1), 117-146. Available http://chnm.gmu.edu/essays-on-history-new-media/essays/?essayid=42

Sessions, L.F. (2009). “You looked better on MySpace”: Deception and authenticity on Web 2.0, First Monday, 14(7), 6 July. Available http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2539/2242

Townsend, S., Osmond, G., & Phillips, M. G. (2013). Wicked Wikipedia? Communities of Practice, the Production of Knowledge and Australian Sport History. The International Journal of the History of Sport, 30(5), 545-559.

Wittenberg, K. (2007). Credibility of content and the future of research, learning, and publishing in the digital environment. The Journal of Electronic Publishing, 10(1). Available http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=jep;cc=jep;rgn=main;view=text;idno=3336451.0010.101

 

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Teens and Young Adults and Online Book Clubs

I am collecting data for a case study into teens and young adults and book clubs. You don’t have to be a member of a book club but I do need you to be aged 12-25. Please feel free to invite friends in the age group to take the survey. You can take the survey straight away – I will now be closing it out on midnight April 14 due to popular demand!  Please click here to take survey

I am also interested to hear from people who have run or coordinated online book clubs for this age group.  I would like to know which technology you used and whether it helped you fulfill the objectives of the club.

Please feel free to respond via comments to this blog or via a link to “interview questions” here.

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