Aitken, T. (2017). 1:1 initiative for individualized learning. Teacher Librarian, 44. Retrieved from http://web.b.ebscohost.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid =d1d3c80a-4ad0-4e4a-99f9-9f99a20a9f6e%40sessionmgr101&vid=33&hid=125
Summary: This article describes the role of the library as Future Ready Librarians. It focuses on the Future Ready Librarians’ Framework and the library’s role in Personalized Student Learning. The article relates the specific works of the librarian to the elements therein. The message is the librarian can and should be instrumental in the integration of technology that is part of a 1:1 initiative that supports individualized student learning.
Evaluation: The Future Ready Librarians Framework provides a context in which librarians can see the relevance of their work in the academic world of 1:1. This framework also serves as a means by which librarians can communicate their role to others in the educational fields.
When reading The Shallows, Nicolas Carr referenced the work of Van Nimwegen & Van Oostendorp (2008). Basically, Van Nimwegen & Van Oostendorp show that the more a tech interface guides a user to do a task, the less the user actually internalizes and learns the task. In other words: the easier that technology makes a task, the less the learning “sticks” in our brains. Or, to use the term in the title and the term Dr. L. prefers: the more technology guides us in a task, the less ability we have to transfer what we learned in that task.
I think this has implications for education technology and for information literacy. When designing learning experiences for students, we should be mindful of the danger of having students do things that simply do not require much thinking, much internalization. And as to information literacy, we should be careful to let our social media feeds to our thinking for us when it comes to what information to perceive as valid/invalid.
Technology is fantastic, but we still need to think for ourselves.
Carr, N. G. (2010). The shallows: What the Internet is doing to our brains. New York: W.W. Norton.
I loved this talk (and visualization) so much that I went to the RSA website and purchased a digital PDF of the final visual. It cost me One British Pound, and I had it printed out on a poster printer we have at my school–I still need to find a frame for it.
Sir Ken Robinson, deliverer of one of the most popular TED Talks: Do Schools Kill Creativity?, delivers a talk here about how our education system was built on a model of industrialization, which has led to a host of problems as we move beyond that model. The video delivers visuals to accompany Robinson’s ideas, leaving the viewer with a greater understanding of the context of the development of education as well as the flaws with the current system.
Julia Galef’s blog post is is also the topic of a TED Talk:
Galef does a great job explaining motivated thinking. This is another source that helps us see that we are not as logical as we like to think we are. The implication for information literacy is to be mindful of how our worldview colors what we choose to believe and what we choose to discard.
Galef, J. (2017, March 9). Why you think you’re right, even when you’re wrong. Ideas.TED.com. Retrieved from http://ideas.ted.com/why-you-think-youre-right-even-when-youre-wrong
|Carr, N. G. (2010). The shallows: What the Internet is doing to our brains. New York: W.W. Norton.|
I am a strong supporter of the idea that technology can amplify learning. From that perspective, when I started reading this book I did so very much against the grain. I had heard about this Nicolas Carr, who apparently opposed technology and the flow of inevitable progress that technology promises. However, I tried to be mindful of my bias so that I would be able to afford Carr’s ideas a fair chance. As Daniel Kahneman would say, I recognized that the information in this book might not fit into my perception of reality, so I activated my “System 2” in order to more objectively weigh the ideas Carr’s book presented.
While I didn’t agree with everything Carr wrote, I have to admit that Carr makes some very useful observations about how technology is evolving compared to how the human brain functions.
Carr’s most memorable observations:
- Our interaction with information online is… wait for it… shallow. We don’t get deep into ideas online.
- The web interface is distracting–it taxes our cognitive load. For example, all those notifications and ads as well as the constant influx of information, all those each add a little more to our cognitive load. Carr explains a little bit about cognitive load theory, specifically, that our ability to comprehend and evaluate information effectively becomes diminished the more our attention is divided (and the online world divides our attention significantly).
- Technology–the online interface–rewards very shallow interactions: the share, the like, the retweet. Those shallow interactions with information are often substituted for actual understanding and evaluation. But the human brain LOVES this kind of interaction. The brain enjoys seeking patterns. And the pattern of posting or re-posting something that other people like and share and getting notifications on that behavior… our brain just loves that. Moreover, this is part of what leads us to gravitate toward like-minded people and information sources online. This is part of how we develop our social media filter bubbles. “Look how many people within my social media circle liked and shared my post! I must be right, everyone agrees! Anyone who disagrees with this idea must be a fringe, outsider who doesn’t see common sense.“
- Humans anthropomorphize technology. We have a dangerous tendency to give human-like qualities to non-humans. Without sounding too much like a paranoid conspiracy theorist: the goals of technology are not necessarily the goals of humanity. For now, technology is our tool. But if we continue to develop the ability of technology to think for itself, and combine that with our tendency to think of technology as living and thinking, then we face a future where we are the tools of technology–rather than the other way around.
- Finally, the most alarming observation by Carr: The human brain adapts to the tools it has available. The theory of neuroplasticity says that the brain changes to better function within its environment. This is a primary reason why we developed as the dominant life form on our planet. However, Carr makes the claim that technology is causing our brains to adapt in ways that are rewarded by technology: technology encourages us to adapt to shallow interactions with information.
Kahneman, D. (2011).
Thinking, fast and slow.
In short, there is a flaw in how we process information. To state it briefly, we form models of reality, our brains work to confirm that model of reality by making choices concerning what information to accept (information that confirms our reality), and what information to discard (information that uncomfortably challenges our model of reality). Of course, that isn’t to say that minds never change. They do–often! However, the amount of cognitive focus required for our minds to always evaluate decisions and beliefs objectively, fairly… well, our brains simply did not evolve in a way to make that kind of thinking easy for us. It’s much easier for our brains to develop worldviews, biases, heuristics that usually seem to be right. And then, proceed to make decisions based on those heuristics.
Daniel Kahneman’s provides a fantastic framework for better understanding how people make choices and how the brain works. He goes into great detail concerning the many ways that humans simply do not make logical choices. We are not high quality information processors!
For the purposes of how Kahneman’s work relates to information literacy, I would suggest focusing on part 3 of his book: Overconfidence. Kahneman does an excellent job describing his research into the ways we are overconfident concerning what we believe. In many ways, the world makes a lot less sense that we pretend it does, and we are a lot less logical than we like to think we are.