Saturday, October 29, 2011

Is this an excuse you use? "You don't learn that way"

"Excuse: You don’t learn that way. - Babies all learn the same way, trial and error. - They try, fail, and try again until it becomes second nature. - Anyone with an infant learning to stand, walk, or crawl right now will tell you their kid won’t stop, regardless of the number of times they fall on their face. - Babies don’t get the luxury of learning via webinar, audio, or having the process of written out. - They see others do it, and try it themselves. - As a former baby, I can say being receptive to any and all learning will greatly improve your ability to do anything you want." - From 106 Excuses That Prevent You From Ever Becoming Great by Tommy Walker. ( 106 Excuses guest-posted at Chris Brogan's blog I couldn't resist quoting this. It's a great fit with a discussion I was having with Steve Gilbert about optimal learning situations. There are undoubtedly some optimal situations, but we did agree that people can learn under some less-than-perfect conditions!

Thinking about the whole person

The American Life focused on middle school today. Teachers talked about how 12-14 year olds are distracted by hormonal changes and learning their place in the world. It can be difficult to get through. They were talking about psychological and physiological development. One commentator pointed out that even Maria Montessori suggested that this age group might be well-off in an Erdkinder (Earth School) type program. The program reminded me that we ought to remember to incorporate some things about the psychological and physiological development of people - childhood through adolescence through adulthood. I've been reading too many things about "technology vs. x" and "gamification vs. method x" and "online vs. face-to-face," "STEM vs liberal arts"; "Khan Academy for math or method x"; "higher education vs. no higher education" - too many dichotomies! Seems like at some points in life, what sets up a good learning situation might include an environment that includes some empathy, sympathy, just plain kindness. That comes through to me with Global Kidsprograms. They have their goals,etc. but I always get a sense that there's some fun going on and lots of respect for young adults. This article by Sharon Mizrahi - a 17-year-old The Future of Education mentions "warm guidance of Global Kids staff". She describes some exciting projects guided by caring adults. How do we foster more of that?

Friday, October 14, 2011

More on libraries sending users to affliate sites

British Library's library catalog platform is from ExLibris and ExLibris is linking users to Amazon - much to the consternation of rival companies. Will libraries be required to link to all book sellers?? No book sellers??

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Libraries as bookstores - Affiliate status for libraries

A recent OverDrive press release sets up libraries a gateway for ebook purchases. "For every retail sale referred from a WIN (Want It Now) Catalog, the library will earn a credit for the entire affiliate fee." OverDrive handles library ebooks for 15,000 libraries worldwide creating quite a potential for a large customer base! Ebook checkouts are way up (200 percent from 2010) so patron interest in ebooks via libraries is there. I'm dying to hear how this is going to work out for the libraries involved. Will it work? Seems like a better kind of privatization than off-loading librarians and library staff!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A MOOC - Oprah's Lifeclass

A MOOC: Oprah Lifeclass is starting this evening on the OWN television station. It will be on Monday evenings 8pm ET Oprah is teaching life lessons based on her 25 years broadcasting the Oprah show. The first session has to do with ego. The course includes the following components: Broadcast content (supported by commercial advertising); a live question and answer session after the broadcast; an interactive web site; questionnaires; a guided workbook for daily work; a space on the web site for My Notes; a Facebook page 14213 people had checked in to today's class (when I checked about 8pm) 9537 people had signed in for the interactive session. 2000+ people had already logged in 38 minutes before the Q&A is to start. 11 million people around the world took Oprah's first course. It will be interesting to see how this course shapes up. Will the reviewers like it? Will the students stick with the course?