Tuesday, August 14, 2012

IFLA #wlic2012 23 Things as transformative learning

Another post from the IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland. In one of the sessions, Michael Stephens talked about 23 Things as transformative learning: promoting confidence, curiosity and communication via library staff professional development. He pointed out that this movement is now 6 years old. If you don't know what "23 Things" are: people learn (usually) about Web 2.0 applications by following weekly blog posts. Each lead post describes the application and sets a task. Participants blog their own progress on each "Thing", and it is a great mode of on-the-job learning (though I also used it with my students last year, see my link at the end).
Stephens has surveyed people who started 23 Things programmes in Australia, and found (for example) that even if people didn't finish the programme, it wasn't necessarily a "fail" as they might still have used what they did learn, or return to the programme later on. Also a strong majority of those who completed said they felt confident exploring and using new technologies: confidence and curiosity were identified as partcularly notable outcomes. Therefore, the personal benefit emerges first, and organisational change may and can flow out of that. Stephens advocated ongoing organisational commitment to communication after the programme finishes, to get the most benefit.

The full paper (which obviously also covers things I haven't mentioned e.g. what he means by "transformative learning") is here: http://conference.ifla.org/sites/default/files/files/papers/wlic2012/150-stephens-en.pdf and the powerpoint linked from here: http://tametheweb.com/2012/08/12/links-for-my-ifla-presentation/

I will also mention the presentation I did about 23 Things in December 2011: http://www.slideshare.net/sheilawebber/reflecting-on-23-things-using-23-things-in-an-information-literacy-class

The picture is of a cute creature in cafe Taikalamppu, Helsinki, as the picture I took of the IFLA session was too awful to use.

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