Saturday, February 3, 2007

Information Stimulation

I overheard a conference attendee complaining of information overload yesterday. I think overload is an attitude. Yes, every year I come to the conference I hear about all sorts of new and sometimes mind-boggling ideas, and the synapses sparking away keep me awake at night. But instead of interpreting that as overload, I like to think of it as information stimulation. What I try to do is to take those big ideas home with me, investigate further, learn how, make the connections to school library programs, and do my best to help others put ideas into practice.

So, here's my information stimulation so far for this conference:

Stephen Heppell has me thinking about teaching and learning for the 21st century. He has me thinking about a constructivist approach to learning in a knowledge-based economy. He has me worried about how we can get there, when our school system was designed for a nineteenth and twentieth century farming and manufacturing economy. He has challenged me and all of us, who he says are perfectly positioned in the school library to achieve this, to go ahead and demonstrate to decision-makers that this huge shift is vital. Hmmmm.....

Glen Murray has me inspired about how he sees culture and knowledge as the economic engines of our global cities. He and Ben Heppell have me thinking about the design of learning spaces. And they have me hoping that sometime in the not-too-distant future knowledge and culture will be valued far more highly in our society - a welcome change for a clarinet-playing school library consultant!

Cory Doctorow has effected a huge lateral shift in my understanding of digital copyright issues, and has me trying to sort out how I'm possibly going to get my colleagues at work to understand all of this.

Michael Rosettis' session on hot issues in school libraries has me blown over by the momentum that continues to build for improvement in the Ontario situation. A couple of years ago in a moment of despair, I remember OSLA Council almost believing that we had lost the battle. Hard to believe now, with so many positive developments!

And then there's technology. Yahoo Answers, flickr, you name it, I'm thinking about it. I've been flirting with flickr for quite some time now, and have resolved to take the plunge. I'm fascinated that there are quite a few people, it seems, blogging the conference, putting conference photos in flickr, and otherwise engaging in Web 2.0 to converse about it all. I'm thinking about how social networking could be applied to libraries, and am excited at the thought of Knowledge Ontario's Connect Ontario project going in that direction.

All of this, and there's still the top tech trends session this morning. Don't think I'll be doing a lot of sleeping this week, with all of those firing synapses!


grievingrl said...

I have to say that I have been busy today searching through Stephen Heppell's site. I too am wondering how I can move my school/board along the path towards his vision of learning. He is correct about the "buzz" and energy of the conference and about how we have to effect change.

What impressed me about the conference was the message about web 2.0 and our net gen students need us boomers to get on board! Also a recurring theme of developing communities of learning, building learning through interaction in virtual environments and allowing children to negotiate these environments rather than locking them out. Much to consider, and much to work on.

TL-in-TO said...

I love the distinction you make Anita between "overload" and "stimulation". Maybe this is why this blog may still prove quite useful days after Superconference is over - it will provide a chance for us to discuss some of the sessions, mull over some of the concepts (sounds like I'm going to regret missing Harpell's [sp?] talk) and figure out how to bring back some of the things we learned back to our workplaces.