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Visions Going Forward Donald Beagle Belmont Abbey College February 23, 2005
My first visit to RTP: 25 years ago • • Governor’s Conference on Libraries Keynote speaker: Isaac Asimov “Of Past & Future Libraries” In thinking about “Visions Going Forward, ” I listened to my old cassette of Asimov • His predictions about the “library of the future”
Asimov’s Views • Some very acute; lasers were very new in the late 1970’s. Asimov saw potential for transmitting & storing vast amounts of information with modulated lasers • Some were more routine; Asimov predicted a vast library computer network that would put all knowledge at everyone’s fingertips, • However…
Where Asimov Missed the Mark • His network model was based upon the mainframe paradigm of his day. • His worldwide library network posited a central mainframe, presumably in Washington D. C. , no doubt at the Library of Congress. • He posited some august committee to determine what would be stored as “knowledge. ” Users would only download.
What Asimov thought: Mainframe model of knowledge: essentially passive retrieval from centralized storehouse [teaching] What really developed: Peer network model of knowledge: active and interactive shaping of knowledge growth through involvement [learning]
Critical Distinction • Underlies the reason for the development of the Information Commons • Generates the social and institutional dynamics that propel further development of the Learning Commons • Every campus has faculty who are early, late, and non adopters, • But every campus has some faculty who will buy into IC/LC development
“Information Commons” is currently being used to describe 3 things: • The “Creative Commons” • The “Virtual Commons” • The “Physical Commons”
Physical Commons: sections or floors within libraries designed to organize workspace and services around the virtual commons Virtual Commons: an electronic continuum of knowledge media accessed primarily via the World Wide Web Creative Commons: social, political, cultural, regulatory envelope surrounding free expression and scholarly inquiry
IC as Creative Commons • Social and cultural arena of free speech, shared knowledge, and human expression • Contained within the surrounding envelope of laws, regulations, commercial practices, and cultural traditions • David Bollier: "…a robust public "media space" of commercial, amateur and fringe expression"
IC as Creative Commons • ALA IC Working Group: • IC as “…a collection of processes for meeting the information needs of our societies… For example, some elements of the commons are embodied in ideas such as fair use and public domain. ”
IC as Virtual Commons • Variety of electronic resources and services can be accessed through a single graphical user interface • A single generic entity transcending local, regional, and national boundaries, accessed by many physical IC's • These act as portals to a specific subset of virtual IC resources, so that the boundaries and extent of the “virtual commons” appear different when viewed through the lens of each individual physical IC
IC as Physical Commons • A new type of physical facility or section of a library specifically designed to organize workspace and service delivery around an integrated digital environment • Typified by a cluster of access points to this digital arena, along with tools and trained staff to help users navigate its environment, query its resources, process and interpret its content, create their own knowledge, and package, publish, or present their creations.
IC to LC? As these spaces have evolved, some institutions have begun applying variant terms to describe more targeted second generation academic library IC's, such as Learning Commons and Research Commons.
Two levels of mapping: • The phased evolution from IC to LC can be based on two levels of mapping: • Mapping the IC’s continuum of service onto the constituent activities of ICT Literacy • Mapping the activities of ICT Literacy onto the cognitive skills and social contexts underlying learning theory
Continuum of service………………. • Identification & retrieval: [reference] • Processing & interpretation [research data services] • Packaging & presentation [media services]
Continuum of service ~ICT Literacy • Identification & retrieval: [reference] • Access: knowing about and knowing how to collect and/or retrieve information. • Manage: applying an existing • Processing & interpretation [research data services] organizational or classification scheme. • Integrate: interpreting and representing, comparing and contrasting. • Evaluate: judgments about the quality, • Packaging & presentation [media services] relevance, usefulness, of information • Create: generating information by adapting, applying, designing, inventing or authoring
ICT Literacy Activities ~ Cognitive Skills Underlying Learning • Access: knowing about and knowing how to • Knowledge/recall collect and/or retrieve information. • Manage: applying an existing • Comprehension organizational or classification scheme. • Integrate: interpreting and representing, comparing and contrasting. • Evaluate: judgments about the quality, relevance, usefulness, of information • Create: generating information by adapting, applying, designing, inventing or authoring • Application • Analysis • Synthesis • Evaluation I use Bloom’s Taxonomy (on the right) only as a representative example…
The IC & ICT Literacy “Is there a workspace in my library where students and faculty can carry to completion a project that entails all five definitional activities of ICT Literacy? ” • Access: knowing about and knowing how to collect and/or retrieve information. • Manage: applying an existing organizational or classification scheme. • Integrate: interpreting and representing, comparing and contrasting. • Evaluate: judgments about the quality, relevance, usefulness, of information • Create: generating information by adapting, applying, designing, inventing or authoring
Projecting a Service Profile • Access • • Manage? Integrate? Evaluate? Create? • • need identification query articulation strategy formulation retrieval transaction Libraries have traditionally projected a service profile emphasizing access, which is understandable given that access is an unexpectedly complex suite of activities
One way to project a broader service profile is to integrate areas of focus and functionality that formerly were highly differentiated
My own first attempt: 1986 88 • Co authored grant proposal with Howard Major, Director of the LRC at Jackson Community College in Jackson, MI • Proposed a Hyper. Card network based in an LRC lab that would bridge divisions between individual software applications, cd rom instructional media, and online searching. “JCC Learning Commons”
Apple Library of Tomorrow • JCC LC grant not approved, but led to my article in OCLC Microcomputing (1990) calling for a Hyper. Card shell to bridge information retrieval & manipulation • Recycled for successful ALOT grant for Charleston Multimedia Project, designed to create a supportive online environment for Clemson architecture students doing onsite research in Charleston, SC • Similar to City of Troy project
The Information Commons creates a synergy between the user support skills of computer staff, the information skills of reference staff, and production skills of media staff. Physically, it offers the flexible work space all staff need to apply their combined expertise adaptively to the rapidly changing needs of a highly demanding user community.
• "The delivery view of education assumes that knowledge comprises discrete pre formed units, which learners ingest in smaller or greater amounts until graduation or indigestion takes over. To become a physicist such a view suggests you need to take in a lot of formulas and absorb a lot of experimental data. But knowledge is not a static, preformed substance. It is constantly changing. Learning involves active engagement in the processes of that change. People don't become physicists by learning formulas any more than they become football players by learning plays. In learning how to become a physicist or a football player, it is not the explicit statements but the implicit practices that count. “ John Seely Brown
ACE: Typology of Change Initiatives http: //www. acenet. edu/bookstore/pdf/on change. III. pdf
IC as adjustment: computer lab with productivity software combined with access to electronic resources. Projects a service profile from print to integration and coordination of information and technology LC as far-reaching change active sustained coordination with other unit(s) faculty development center or center for teaching and learning. CMS, library electronic resources and virtual reference services integrated. IC as isolated change: computer lab with media tools and staff support to help user through a continuum of service (or the ICT literacy activities). This type remains library-centric; the IC aligns the library with other campus Initiatives, but is not inherently collaborative. LC as transformational change: framework of writing/authoring across the curriculum, cognitive immersion learning such as the "classroom flip; service profile(s) projected to support course authors, knowledge creators, learning coaches, and scholarly communicators
• “A learning commons…would bring people together …around shared learning tasks, sometimes formalized in class assignments. The core activity of a learning commons would…be built around the social dimensions of learning and knowledge and would be managed by students themselves for learning purposes that vary greatly and change frequently. ” Scott Bennett
IC / LC Offers Social/Digital Context: • unique opportunities for collaboration • platform for new learning models • student interactions with faculty • student interactions with students • student interactions with LC staff • student interactions with texts with “texts” meaning (sooner or later) widest possible range of multimedia
Significance of multimedia: • To build on Joan’s point about visual learners, & what we discovered with the Charleston Multimedia Project (1996): • If we do not adopt multimedia, multimedia will adopt us. • Already infiltrating our interfaces by way of data/knowledge visualization • Shown in the following examples: Aquabrowser, Grokker, Inxight, xrefer
Hyperbolic browser infiltrates an otherwise traditional OPAC!
Stanford’s project demonstrates the set theory roots of Grokker
Inxight offers a contextual view & modern interpretation of “tree of knowledge”
Xrefer is designed to explore & exploit next gen user interest in browsing as supplement to, or replacement for, searching…
My own research: Scholastica • The Scholastica Project at Belmont Abbey College, 2001 02, was designed to explore: • student visual learning in knowledge retrieval • student preferences for browsing over searching via a hybrid interface • Discussed by Stephen Abram in numerous presentations and articles (NCLA/SELA)
When I presented Scholastica at the Santa Fe AISTI conference… • A researcher from Los Alamos asked: “Is LCC –or any classification necessary? ” • My answer: “LCC is not optimal, but it is available, and • Offers a huge experience base • Crucial to distinguish between LCC captions, and LC Subject headings
Why Belmont Abbey? • Benedictine abbeys can be viewed as an organic outgrowth of “branch libraries” within a systemic tradition of knowledge transmission dating back 1, 500 years • (even older than UNC Chapel Hill!) • This tradition is long enough to provide important hints about aspects of “knowledge universals” that transcend temporal or cultural specificities Next month, March 17 th, I’ll be speaking at Deutscher Bibliothekartag 2005 in Düsseldorf, and will co-present with Izabella Mierzejewska of the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. St. Gallen is another Benedictine abbey, and we are discussing a joint research project to explore multi-century traditions of knowledge transmission…
One universal: visual interfaces • Not a new concept • Can be traced back to – Cave art – Astrological symbols & the zodiac – Shamanic markings on trees • Monastic tradition: 12 th 16 th centuries • Key point: early visualizations were intended to help people learn the shape, context, and structure of knowledge
The Metaphor of the Tree • Was intended to help students learn a vital aspect of the social or community organization of knowledge; • That it was something cultivated, nurtured; • That it was trans generational; • That it was a common resource.
Metaphor of the Tree • Captures branching aspect of knowledge • Captures sense of organic growth • Links back to shamanic tree rituals – Tribal knowledge of plants & medicines – Tribal knowledge of calendar & seasons – Tribal knowledge of animal migrations & behavior patterns • Links forward to the forest as “commons”
Metaphor of the Ladder or Stair • Relates memory to mastery of knowledge – Early monastic text preservation – Transmission of classical thought • Connects knowledge to learning – Metaphor relates to early universities – Lays basis for idea of “progress” • Ladder leads to “house of wisdom” – Elements of classical philosophy – & medieval theology
Metaphor of Concentric Rings • Ring segments representing faculties or aspects of the intellect • Rings independently rotate, like the TV series “Stargate, ” here forming a portal to knowledge • Knowledge represented by the internal geometry of the center of the diagram • Links to exploration & navigation
Semantic Web Visualization • Existing emphasis on machine handling of meaningful data, such as: • an ontology based search engine that employs its ontology when evaluating the user’s query • But it could also used to enrich the presentation of the resulting list to the end user, e. g. by replacing the endless list of hits with a navigation structure based on the semantics of the hits. • Can/should visualization of library’s “knowledge space” be differentiated from rest of semantic web space, & in a way that imparts social context?
Spectacle/Cluster Map • Ontology-based Information Visualisation • Christiaan Fluit, Marta Sabou, Frank van Harmelen • http: //www. cs. vu. nl/~marta/papers/VSW 02 Book. pdf
Cat a Cone • Marti A. Hearst, Xerox PARC • Chandu Karadi, Stanford University • http: //www. sims. berkeley. edu/~hearst/c ac-refs. html • [in my opinion, the most potentially powerful visual interface I’ve studied]
Semantic web and dynamism • My key point in is that visual interfaces must become more dynamic, and they must embed social linkages • To capture, reflect, and facilitate that aspect of knowledge growth stated at the outset: Peer network model of knowledge, (communities of interest; sociotechnical networks): active and interactive shaping of knowledge growth = Learning.
Online writing labs/blogs: my current research • • Monologue Dialogue Discourse Model developed by psycholinguist Josephine Harris • California Institute of the Arts 1970’s(!!!) • Taught writing to painters, sculptors, poets, musicians, dancers, film makers
Monologue. Dialogue. Discourse model = multiple intelligences • Does not matter whether one accepts theory of multiple intelligences per se • Research clearly demonstrates multiple learning styles rooted in perceptual proclivities • Traditional classroom is designed around an instructional style, not a learning style, and certainly not multiple learning styles • Should we not have an environment on our campuses designed to accommodate, and even facilitate, multiple learning styles? =LC?
Cognitive immersion learning • Where digital meets social • Example: nursing course in clinical diagnostics, where goal is to help students learn not only what a diagnostician knows • But how a diagnostician thinks. • Tools: multimedia, self paced tutorials, saved searches, “online agents” • “Classroom flip; ” see my recent article with Betty Ladner, RUSQ; Summer 2004.
What is the classroom flip? • Lecture [theory] is asynchronous • Homework [practise] is synchronous Credit to Ed Barboni, Council of Independent Colleges
The “classroom flip” in action… • Some students want to follow the asynchronous component on their own, • But others prefer –and will learn better– sharing the asynchronous component in a networked group environment • Since by definition this component is no longer offered in the classroom, where might these students go? =LC?