Social computing in LIS education: Teaching what we do, by doing what we do

Michelle Kazmer, Paul Marty, Candy Schwartz, Julie Hersberger, Brad Hemminger, Michael Twidale

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

In keeping with the conference theme of social computing and information science, this panel session will explore the use of blogs, wikis, podcasts, virtual reality, and other social computing technologies (SCT) in LIS education. Panelists, all of whom are active users of SCT in their own classes, will discuss the different ways in which SCT have revolutionized LIS education, including teaching about SCT, using SCT for pedagogical purposes, and preparing students to implement SCT on the job to meet the needs of their information organizations. The use of web 2.0 and social computing technologies has enabled educators to involve their students as active participants in the educational process (Alexander, 2006; Downes, 2005; Sreenby, 2007). An increased familiarity with and improved understanding of the role of SCT in LIS education is critically important given the significance of SCT for information organizations (Bates, 2006; Baumann, 2006; Bradley, 2006; Stephens, 2006). The roles and responsibilities of information service professionals in the 21st century are shifting dramatically as consumers of information resources take on active roles as producers of information resources as well. To prepare students to work in today's information organizations, LIS educators need to know not only how to teach about SCT or how to use SCT in their classes, but also how to prepare their students to use SCT in those information settings in which they find themselves working. A number of researchers and educators have been performing innovative work on the use of SCT in LIS education (e.g., SLED list and wiki). The use of SCT in online education, for example, has enabled LIS educators to expand educational opportunities beyond the classroom walls and offer greater opportunities for interaction (Haythornthwaite, 2006). Implementing SCT allows on-campus students in traditional face-to-face courses to expand their interaction possibilities and their access to resources; implementing SCT in online, distance, and hybrid classes increases the interactive and collaborative opportunities for those students. The proposed session will take an innovative approach to the panel format, using a talk show interview style where the moderator introduces topics and questions the panelists, encouraging them to describe their experiences and offer their opinions about the use of blogs, wikis, podcasts, virtual reality, and other social computing technologies in LIS education. In keeping with the talk show format, audience members will also have an opportunity to ask questions and raise issues for discussion. Not only is such an approach in keeping with the social computing theme of the conference, this kind of dynamic give-and-take encourages audience members as well as panelists to participate as information consumers and producers, thereby addressing critical concerns of importance to panelists and audience members. The key idea behind this plan is to apply the theme of social computing to the session itself, such that the entire session becomes social constructed, in real time, by the moderator, the panelists, and the audience. All the panelists have used a wide variety of interactive, web 2.0 technologies in their classes, and so rather than prescribing set topics in advance, our idea is to let the topics arise naturally, based on current events and audience needs, and relying on the expertise of the panelists, all of whom are leaders in the field applying new information technologies to LIS education. Drawing upon this diverse expertise, therefore, the emergent nature of the panel's content will reflect the diverse culture of user-created content inherent in web 2.0 and social computing. As a special addition to the typical panel presentation format, this proposal also proposes a follow-up demonstration session (which could be held in conjunction with a poster session later that same day) where the moderator and available panelists will demonstrate the latest examples of how Second Life, an online 3D virtual community, is being used in LIS programs nationwide to teach courses and build community among LIS students. At this demonstration session, conference participants will be able to take turns experimenting with Second Life and interacting with other avatars online to get a hands-on sense of how collaborative virtual environments can be used in LIS education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASIST 2007 Proceedings of the 70th ASIS and T Annual Meeting - Joining Research and Practice
Subtitle of host publicationSocial Computing and Information Science
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume44
ISBN (Print)0877155399, 9780877155393
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007
Event3rd Electronic edition of the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science and Technology - Milwaukee, WI, United States
Duration: Oct 19 2007Oct 24 2007

Other

Other3rd Electronic edition of the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMilwaukee, WI
Period10/19/0710/24/07

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences

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