For libraries to become something other than a large depository of old books they need to adapt to the different needs of learners in the 21st century. Beyond the obvious, and that is the move towards E-books, what additional value might libraries bring to 21st century learners? You may wish to consider the idea of what would be lost to society if all libraries were closed down?
Libraries tend to be central to the community that they reside in. Public libraries are usually located centrally in a town or city; school and university libraries are often located in the heart of the campus or building. They are places that community members who might not normally interact with each other can come together in a place of learning. I believe this is crucial for the development of ideas. Although we can do this to some degree via digital technologies I continue to think that there is great value in people coming together face to face.
Some people describe the current period of time as the Information Age. Perhaps it might also be described as the ‘Distraction Age’. Increasingly we are observing people finding it a challenge to concentrate for sustained periods of time as they are distracted by the exponential growth and access to information. The value that libraries bring is a quiet space where concentrated reading and reflection can occur with far fewer distractions. After all, how many other places can you think of where there are as few distractions?
As we think about the future of libraries we also need to consider the role of library staff. Recently I had a discussion with a journalist friend of mine. He commented that they are having similar discussions within the television channel that he works for when considering the point of television news. After all, why would someone tune in to the 9 o’clock news when this information can be accessed almost immediately via a digital technology? Librarians and journalists can help us to think about information in a way that we may not have without their input. We can access information without their help, however we must be able to think about information critically and from multiple perspectives if we are to make deep and conceptual meaning.
In my view libraries have a significant role in the future of learning.
Interesting video as we think about the Future of Learning ( FOL2013) .
As school leaders we are often bombarded with new initiatives and research. Recently I completed a paper that examines three big ideas in education and questions the reliability of the research behind these. You can read this at https://principalthinks.com/can-school-leaders-trust-research-and-does-it-matter/.
This afternoon the faculty of the Future of Learning ( FOL2013) will participate in a virtual planning session. This summer institute continues to evolve as we think about how changes in digital technologies, mind and brain, and globalisation will shape the future of learning. I am wondering what Web 2.0 tools participants might find useful. This comprehensive list is worth checking out http://edjudo.com/web-2-0-teaching-tools-links
Currently I am working with my own school community to design a new, meaningful and inspiring vision statement. After exploring multiple school websites I have found it difficult to find one which is evidence of simplicity but reveals an underlying complexity. Last week during the IB Regional Conference Ben Walden led a plenary on ‘Inspirational Leadership’ where he used the Shakespeare play Henry V as a context to consider leadership. During the session, Ben emphasised the importance of vision and within this described how in many situations those who are supposed to be influenced by such a statement struggle to remember (forget about take any actions as a result of) the words as they are overly complicated and filled with jargon. Waldon shared the statement below on vision. I wonder what the most effective vision statement is that we can find on school websites?
Vision is the core of Leadership
Vision is seeing the potential purpose hidden in the
chaos of the moment, but which could bring to
birth new possibilities for a person, a company or a nation.
Vision is seeing what life could be like
while dealing with life as it is.
Vision deals with those deeper human intangibles that alone give
ultimate purpose to life.
In the end, vision must always deal with life’s
qualities, not with its quantities.
William Van Dusen Wishard
At the Future of Learning institute this held at Harvard University we asked participants to consider the learner of the future. As part of the process to design a new school vision, mission and learning principles, learners from my school kindly shared their thoughts in response to this concept. I wonder how these connect with perspectives from learners around the world? I would welcome some comments that could stretch the minds of the young people in this video. .
Currently I am reading ‘Creating Innovators’ by Tony Wagner which was a gift from Rod Rock, a good friend, talented educator, thinker and leader. Other than being a thought provoking book it also uses a Microsoft Tag app for readers to access video content. If you are interested in contributing to a research project exploring innovative learning and teaching practices then you may wish to take a look at http://www.itlresearch.com/. I am wondering what other influential books those who are interested in education are currently reading? Also how much time are teachers and school leaders giving to professional reading?