MOOC MOOC reading from bell hooks, some more after-action thoughts, and preps for the coming week

Part two, after action report. and preps for next week!

After the weekly reading for MOOC MOOC, it dawned on me that my series of scenarios only includes men, not women. I can fix that by merely adding a couple of scenarios involving women as subjects of study and discovery, not just men, and especially not just old white men, which I have already studiously avoided. But there is something in the bell hooks reading that gives me solace on the whole subject of conflicts across the racism-sexism divide. She writes,

“. . . I want to say that I felt myself included in Pedagogy of the Oppressed, one of the first Freire books I read, in a way that I never felt myself – in my experience as a rural black person – included in the first feminist books I read, works like The Feminine Mystique. In the United States we do not talk enough about the way in which class shapes our perspective on reality. Since so many of the early feminist books really reflected a certain type of white bourgeois sensibility, this did not touch many black women deeply; not because we did not recognize the common experiences women shared, but because those commonalities were mediated by profound differences in our realities created by the politics of race and class.” (hooks, 1994, pp51-52)

So, getting back to the subject of library instruction, this week’s reading of hooks combined with last week’s reading of Freire helps us to approximate what should be the true critical pedagogy for library, and hence, information literacy instruction at a regional comprehensive university, which I will continue to incorporate in plans for my classes this week. The workshop will continue to cover conducting basic searches from the library home page search box. It will continue to stress the importance of using appropriate search terms for both recall and precision of search outcomes. The workshop will show students how the library search box, with all it various functionalities, works nicely in coordination with searches on Google and Google Scholar.

Moving away from the technical aspects of the search, I think including a task that has students look up events involving students their own age, whether of political activism, or sports, or the arts, or whatever, helps students deal with the identity questions that they may be experiencing, contributing to self-actualization of both students and instructors. A couple of tasks incorporating local content, i.e., the great progress in the arts and in education that had its origin in local movements, develops in the student at a regional university a sense of place, of space, and a sense of her/his role in effecting change at the local level that can have national consequences. A task involving some aspect of library history, library science, information and communication usage helps to fix in the mind of the students the place and role of the library, in the university setting and in the greater community. Finally, a task with an international twist exposes the student to the bigger, outside world and their place in it as well.

But back to this week’s bell hooks reading, Teaching to Transgress, chapter 2. I took these notes, in no particular order, but as points to consider further:

1) The importance of self-actualization, and the significance to the students that just as they are growing and learning, so also is the instructor on a similar path of growth and learning. In fact, it is, and this is important, “acknowledged” mutual self-actualization. (hooks, throughout).

2) Students don’t need teachers to be therapists, they already have therapists in many cases. hooks points out that students want and need from their instructors and professors “…an education that is a healing to the uninformed, unknowing spirit. They want knowledge that is meaningful.” (hooks, p. 19).

3) Instructors/professors must embrace the challenge of self-actualization, not resting on their laurels, not content to be the “sage on the stage,” but aware of the learning that takes place for them as well as for students in the classroom. (hooks, p. 22).

4) Hooks makes a reference to an engaged pedagogy where students learn and where teachers grow and are empowered. (hooks, p. 21)

5) Finally, a conversation outside of class, especially in the library or at a university function, can serve as an exchange that reinforces engaged pedagogy. (hooks, p. 20).

OK. A lot to think about. This coming week I have workshops with two sections of sophomore English and two sections of social entrepreneurship. Hope to incorporate elements from this great libguide on online search and syntax (   Should provide lots of opportunities to hone #critped and #critlit tools.

LSC 555 Blog #4b: Database tutorial dot@mac

Database tutorial. dot@mac

It may seem a bit strange to blog about an online tutorial, except that I am also taking LSC 644, Information Literacy and Instructional Design, and one of our term projects is to produce an online tutorial.  So blogging about this one gives me the opportunity to open up the hood and see the inside operation of the engine, so to speak. 

The first frame has a banner identifying the topic, an advanced organizer with learning goals, and the estimated time required to complete the tutorial.  The first frame also introduces the navigational system for moving back and forth, arrow at the bottom directing the user to the next or the previous page.  The multiple choice challenges are good, especially the “pick all that apply,” and the immediate feedback really helps to maintain the user’s attention and he/she proceeds through the tutorial. 

On the content side, the tutorial does an adequate job of decomposing databases into records and records into fields.  The explanations for database types stick in the mind, especially after being reinforced with graphics and short multiple choice sets.  The segment on keyword searching is instructive and entertaining, with the mouse-over effects and putting the correct key works in a book instead of in the garbage can.  The quiz at the end has just the right length to keep the user engaged and yet provide adequate reinforcement to drive home the learning concept.  Nice graphics!  Good ideas for techniques I can implement in my own tutorial.

October 27, 2013 – Library Student Day in the Life

October 27, 2013.

Up early on a Sunday morning, playing catch up with readings from 551, Organization of Information.  This is not the class I should have fallen behind in, this is the stuff I really like because, as we all know, the devil is in the details.  Anyway, I am catching up, ploughing through the readings, intent on making the first of several Blackboard submissions before I have breakfast and dash off to meet the Poetry Group at the American Art Museum.  Later, volunteer duty at the Arabian Sights Film Festival, which should actually be fun, then back home to plow through some more 551 readings.

Sunday is a good day to ponder on all the upcomings of the week.  Job Fair at FSI Tuesday, Megabus to New York on Wednesday for Power, Privacy and the Internet conference, How to Establish a Consulting Practice panel Thursday morning, online tutorial project due in Information Literacy and Instructional Design (644) Thursday night (better have the bulk of it done Tuesday or no New York trip!), Tech@State Friday morning to meet the president of Coursera with ModPo buddies, wrap-up, photos and reception end the Job Search Program course Friday afternoon (better dress up for that).  Gotta check in on the research project I have neglected these three weeks (I think folks understand that this is and has been, like, hell three weeks in the education village, but still, it is good and right to talk).

Working (mentally, just an internal conversation right now) on a new poem about the future reaching back to determine the present.  Sankofa.  It’s an African philosophical and psychological construct.  Mother Africa.

Enough for day -1.