For the Times They Are A- Changing

In reflecting on my activity as a learner I would like to begin with media that I found on what has been a very credible resource, The Wall Street Journal.  It is this notion of trusted and credible resource that I would like to begin my reflection since when I was in high school my experience were much different then those of todays adolescent students in our media centers. I appreciate our course starting off with giving us a moment to reflect back on the environments we have experienced in those years or with experiences of youth. After viewing the clip below I was wondering if Tom Davidson from EverFi is living in the same environment I am learning about in this class.


At URI I am in the Library Media program and I am trying to focus on being a successful practitioner at the high school where I currently work. Earlier on this year Dr. McCarthy, the head of the SLM program showed us this powerful media. Although it is 7 years old it brings to our attention some key concerns we have been addressing in our LSC531 class.

Upon reflecting on the reading of Kathryn Zickuhr I am left feeling that todays students have very powerful tools but fending for themselves to use them for their purposes. This notion has been reverberated by our last reading by Frances Harris. Lisa Tripp informs us of the opportunity that exists with new media and David Lankes delves into the issue of find the right approach to dealing with this often out of control system of what many in the field call information overload.
I am thankful that despite all the dire warnings of confusion and shouts of concern that there is a voice that brings rationale and methodology to help us tackle the task called upon by Lankes. Like others Dr. Hobbs agrees that students of all ages, including members of this course need to be exposed and molded to utilize all that exists in the vast expanse of both digital and media literacy.
Our online classroom serves as a learning lab for us all. It provides an opportunity to collaborate in real time through the weekly Google Hangout as well as other publishing tools such as TitanPad, Flipgrid, Twitter and WordPress, YouTube and more. We learn in a collaborative approach where we are encouraged to comment on each others Tweets, posts, videos, etc rather than just post our own work. By having us work outside the Sakai private environment, Dr. Hobbs is encouraging us to be part of the larger conversation that is taking place, and is what we essentially want to do with those we come in contact within our media centers.
Currently, in the school where I serve as LMS there are various limitations regarding the use of publishing tools that can be used. However, the high school is in the process of revisiting the social media policy. Harris pointed out that there are many conflicting issues going on all at once. Her comment regarding teachers creating their own self guided filters through pathfinders has caused me to evaluate if the use of pathfinders/libguides, as we have been encouraged to create is a right approach. In the Harris Flipgrid assignment Alison pointed out to something she has seen in her high school and that I see as well in mine. This is the inconsistent message students are getting from their teachers regarding approaches to research or evaluating web resources. I guess on one hand it’s good to know that I am not alone in facing these issues but that as noted in our reading it is part of a wider issue.
I must admit that I appreciate Dr. Hobbs insisting on having us comment on Tweets of others or, as in LSC 530, commenting on videos created by others. I know the rationale behind it and I feel that behavioral change cant happen overnight. Becoming an active contributor is something that needs to be practiced on an ongoing basis. Aside from this class I, as many other do, am used to commenting or reply to a post. This class it seems we spend time analyzing what was said. I believe that perhaps this too is part of the skills needing refinement within media and digital literacy skills.
Even though the school I am at has certain social media limitations, still much of the course material and content we have addressed is relevant to what I am currently doing with faculty and students. The school is following Lankes approach by expecting all students to be part of ItsLearning (learning management system). It is the same as Sakai. By using this very versatile tool students will become adept to utilizing the same process that is commonplace in most business environments. Working with students and teachers on refining approaches to research can be challenging when coming in to a new environment mid year. However, I feel that I am trying to apply what we are exploring and looking at ways in which I can gain some headway even at this time. As part of the progress I have introduced more ebooks on multiple platforms since only 15 Nooks were available however they were not out on display. I have made a display and have already had a few checked out. I have had positive conversations with the school principal in regards to establishing a blog for each student that will enable them to track their progress over the 4 years they are with the school, essentially creating a digital portfolio.
I have already made a request to teach literacy skills to students for next year. However since I came in Mid March and course suggestions are accepted in February, I have to wait. I was told by my direct supervisor that she does like the idea of what I wrote for description. In the meantime for September, if I secure this position, I will be starting the year off, trying to utilize what we are currently discussing regarding the issues of assessing credibility and helping students develop proper skills with evaluative tools, as we have seen from our readings and video examples.
When I look back on the approach of those who are with me in this class and the previous class of LSC 530 I believe there is a better spirit of collaborative learning in this non traditional open online environment than was in lsc530. In retrospect I believe that Bob Dylan captured it well when he wrote the lyrics to this song. I am sharing it here since I believe when you look at the words you can see the message is appropriate for those of us in the media centers, classrooms, administrative offices, legislative offices, parents and students alike.
ome gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who that it’s namin’
For the loser now will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’

Copyright © 1963, 1964 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1991, 1992 by Special Rider Music



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