The See Also Literature and technology Book Club discussion

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The Fuzzy and the Techie > Strategies for education children in libraries.

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message 1: by Eric (new)

Eric | 36 comments In chapter 6, the book discusses new strategies for educating children, how might libraries play a role in this?


message 2: by Nina (new)

Nina | 18 comments The author talks about the benefits of blended learning, but the schools that offer this type of education are not widely available to everyone. Libraries can help to bridge that gap somewhat by giving students the opportunity to experience self-guided learning. The increasing popularity of makerspaces can give children the chance to plan their own projects, learn how to use the tools they’ll need, and hopefully create something that is worthwhile to them.


message 3: by Amy (new)

Amy (puzumaki) | 45 comments Some libraries are coming forward to fill that gap, such as maker spaces like Nina mentioned, although I strongly dislike how I've seen most of them implemented. There's a lack of good solid mentorship in maker spaces, to teach usability, accessibility, and so forth, and while some people feel that's a "good to figure out down the road", I'd argue it's important to know BEFORE going down any road. And this is a huge gap everywhere.

Libraries are a "safe space" to bring the experts, tools, and space together, so right now they can play a critical role if they plan and make themselves flexible enough to make those spaces available. Programming-oriented classrooms (not traditional style speaker in front of class, and allows modifications of the OS to do development work), testing labs (to see how different Internet devices respond to code), maker spaces, electronics building spaces... but we can't just be okay with them not getting proper training on how build for others (that's a hard lesson to learn!). And they can't simply be teen-oriented, which is a huge drawback to current library approaches.

Libraries need to partnership with external non-profit organizations more, where expertise can be provided but space/technology is needed. I'm talking about girls coding type efforts, or ones that try to bring tech skills to low income children or unemployed adults. It's one thing to teach basic technology skills, but to truly understand why privacy is important, or why you really should think about people not in perfect health trying to use it, that's not going to happen without bringing in and partnering with experts.

And it needs to be a permanent part of the mission! Not these "oooh, makersapaces are so in right now, let's give them $3k and see what happens". It needs to be a critical part of the curriculum a la the mission (not only to give access to the tools but teach them how to understand what/how the tools should be used to help others).

Not sure if that makes sense. TL;DR - libraries need to play a role, but they haven't stepped up their game enough to take the holistic approach that is necessary to create mindful technologists.


message 4: by Eric (new)

Eric | 36 comments I think the part of the budget that allows for more guided learning in makerspaces is the hard part. We can allocate staffing but the skillset has not caught up with the cheaper technology. As new hires come on board we can start addressing this. We have one person on our 90 FTE staff that knows how to use the 3D printer. Not great.

I remember being introduced to technology in the library (and it was hardly guided) and it simply being there was beneficial.


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