360 Degree Videos to Curate

By Digital Resources, General, Media Literacy, Media Literacy & Information Literacy, Virtual Reality No Comments

There is a tsunami of information available in the world. As librarians, our key role is finding and matching the right information with the right reader or inquirer. This is becoming increasingly important and an added asset to the education system today. Teachers are using differentiated instructions to help students learn, communicate, create through collaboration and critical thinking. We as librarians are partnering with teachers to help students become successful. Therefore, our role as curators of information, supporters of information – seekers. (Teachers & Students) This compels us to learn about new content that will serve the needs of our clients.

Librarians are curators, we curate lists of titles for teachers, students, and parents. We are constantly reading and learning about new books, eBooks, eZines, articles and videos to help teachers deliver their lessons effectively and help students learn and enjoy the gift of reading literature.

Presently, librarians curate list of titles embedded with youtube videos and teaching materials to help students.  Recently, librarians are including 360-degree videos. According to Wikipedia, “360-degree videos also known as immersive videos or spherical videosare video recordings where a view in every direction is recorded at the same time, shot using an omnidirectional camera or a collection of cameras. During playback on normal flat display, the viewer has control of the viewing direction like a panorama. It can also be played on displays or projectors”.

Here are some examples for you to check out Ancient Egypt Temple, National Geographic 360 degree Videos, virtual 360 degrees tours from Nasa, Explore India 

Add these to your list when you curate resources for your teachers or students or simply evoke a discussion with your students about Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, show them one of the above resources and ask them how they could use these tools in education, how could they use them in the world, what are the benefits and drawbacks of this kind of resource? How are these videos made? Could you make one? These will make your class interesting, and engaging, nudging students to think and wonder.

Other resources for you:

5-Minute Film Festival: Teaching With 360-Degree Videos: Check out these immersive 360-degree videos you can use in your classroom—no special equipment needed.

Other 360 Degree Channels on Youtube

A blog post on the benefits of 360 virtual reality videos in education

And, how to find the best educational videos

Teaching Research Skills

By General, Media Literacy & Information Literacy, Professional Development, Research Skills No Comments

Research Image by Gifer under Fair Use Guidelines

Recently, a fellow librarian from a local Indian school asked me – How can librarians teach and support students research skills? How can librarians engage and collaborate with teachers?

I believe the local curriculum in Indian schools have always encouraged project work, and I believe that librarians can seize this opportunity to teach students how to research explicitly. They can collaborate with the subject teachers to teach research skills to the students in a systematic manner, encouraging higher order thinking. The open-ended questions will help students to think and write rather than copy and pasting information from Wikimedia or other websites. The question often asked of me is – what research model can I as a librarian use and recommend? There are several research models, and they can be found on the internet. One of them is the Super 3 for lower elementary students and the Big 6 for older students.

I would recommend one to look at various models and select the one the one that best suits your students. You can always tweak/adapt a research model to meet your needs. Each of the research steps needs to be explicitly taught and practiced through mini-lessons.

Here are the research steps that you may want to consider:

  1. Framing open-ended questions
  2. Locating information and selecting appropriate print and digital resources
  3. Evaluate the sources using CRAAP or CARS
  4. Using information by reading, taking notes and paraphrasing
  5. Synthesizing the information
  6. Citing the sources used in the research
  7. Presenting and sharing
  8. Finally, reflecting on knowledge and presentation

It is during inquiry or project time when librarians can help students develop the 21st-century skills of collaboration and teamwork, critical thinking, research skills and communication while learning through the transdisciplinary approach.  Should you be looking for handholding sessions to help you demystify this process, please email me, and we can work together.

How do you know your news is fake, real or filled with bias?

By General, Media Literacy, Media Literacy & Information Literacy One Comment

News From Different Sources Photo Credit: Sollok29 Source: Wikimedia Commons Under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

How do you know your story is fake, real or filled with bias?

Well, it is challenging. The news comes in many different forms – from Newspapers, Whatsapp Messages, Facebook, Television and of course from other forms of social media. But how do we recognize real news from the fake news?

Here are key features to keep in mind when reading the news as well as coaching this to our students or patrons.

  1. Consider the origin of the news: Where has news item come from? Who is the author of the article? What are his/her credentials? If there is no author, I would ignore the message.
  2. Go beyond the headlines: Check if the headlines match the content of the article.  The headlines can often be misleading, and the headline could only tell you half the truth.
  3. Check the dates of the article: Sometimes, news stories are repeated, that doesn’t mean they are irrelevant, it just means you need to know if the story has been told before and is misinterpreted in present contexts.
  4. Look for biases: If the article has a leaning towards a particular viewpoint – then you know that it leans towards the left or right. Bias articles often don’t give you both views. Always check the links of the stories and see where it leads. If it evokes strong emotions, know it could be biased.
  5. Check the urls of the websites: Sometimes the news websites do not match the URL’s you may at this point want to check the “About us” page to tell you about the authenticity of the website.
  6. Slogans and breaking news items evoke many  strong reactions, check the URL, whole story and of course the author/source of the item.

There are few Fact Checker extensions that you can use to check for the authenticity of your news. One such one is First Draft News Check that you can download on to your phone or your computer.

This is short video and article from Swachh Digital India by The Quint

 

Are Librarians Relevant in Today’s World?

By General, Information Literacy, Librarian's Role, Media Literacy & Information Literacy, Professional Development 3 Comments
Computer Communication

Literature, Information and Media Literacy – Computer Communication –  CC0 Public Domain

Are Librarian’s relevant in today’s world? What’s the role of librarians in schools? Do we really need librarians in schools and colleges? Or are they only keepers of books?

Libraries are the central hubs of learning. Libraries have been a storehouse of books and been synonymous with knowledge. And, therefore, to gain knowledge a student goes to an educational institution and visits the library to build on their learning experience. Now, things are different! Learning is happening everywhere.

With the advent of the Internet in 1986 in India and growing connection in every Indian state, we have come a long way with the acquisition of information. Information is now available at the fingertips of every individual who owns a smartphone. So, the question we need to ask all librarians is – Are Librarians obsolete in today’s world? Do we need a library or librarians to help us find information?

The answer to the questions is YES!  But, how can we as librarians, reinvent ourselves to stay relevant and feel accomplished in our job? The only answer is to LEARN. Find ways to stay relevant. Choose autonomy and courage to try new lessons with our students and equip ourselves. Today, as librarians we need to be Meta Literate. As librarians, we must have five primary objectives to guide our patrons, whoever they might be.  Tom Mackey & Trudi Jacobsen,  advocates Metaliteracy.

6 Primary Goals recommended are:

  1. To help individuals, evaluate all content critically and understand differences in articles, blogs, reprints, wikis, media products and websites
  2. We must learn and support personal digital privacy, encourage information ethics and protect intellectual proper in our technology environment
  3. Library Hubs or Learning Commons must provide a participatory environments for people with similar interests work collaboratively, and learn from each other through interest groups
  4. Another key role is to help learners with research strategies to help them in their personal, academic and/or professional inquiry.
  5. Support learners to become better communicators of information through reading, writing and/or creating media or infographics to convey meaning.
  6. Develop the art of reading and craft of writing for you and for other learners.

Dr. Albert Ryan an educator and a freelance writer, says, it is very important for students to learn about information and media literacy. Anubhati Yadav,  an advocate of media literacy claims that media literacy in schools is a must.

In my belief, since Librarians are the experts in curating, sharing and knowledge experts, it is therefore critical, for us to take this opportunity to update our skills in learning Literature and Writing workshops. And, learn about Information and Media Literacy in our new educational environment.

So, how we do that? There is no formal training in India for librarians or teachers to learn about Information and Media Literacy. It is urgent in our present scenario. There are many free courses of Information & Media Literacy available on Coursera,  UNESCO – Information and Media Literacy, AUB and other MOOCs Online There are several Massive Open Online Courses -free cost available.

All we need is to develop a mindset of growth.  We need courage and openness to learning. We want the consumers of information and media to make informed choices and not be carried away with propaganda and misinterpretation of media and news. All information gatherers learn not only from print but media, graphs, infographics, audio recordings, videos and a combination of all of the above, thus making them Metaliterate. This is one of the goals a librarian must keep in mind in supporting the learning community.

5 skills for today’s librarians

By Librarian's Role, Media Literacy & Information Literacy One Comment
Creative Commons: Disha Aswani

Supporting information and media literacy

Education in India is evolving and changing. Teachers are imbibing new ideas and strategies to impact student learning. It’s time for librarians to evolve, change and grow.  With a growth mindset for change and desire to be relevant, there are 5 skills for librarians to learn and build upon:

1. Learn a new tech tool or skill to help all learners, both adults, and students

2.  Skill to  curate, evaluate and use information ethically

3. Skill to decipher fake news from real news

4. Skill to critically evaluate media

5. Skill to create flexible schedules and lessons to support relevant information and learning in a digital world to all

Libraries are meant to be the center of learning and not a storehouse of books. Librarians are no more ‘keeper of books’ but supporters of learners. In this digital age, learning goes beyond the textbooks. Learners use the internet, youtube, and social media to learn about their hobbies, their interests, their queries and for entertainment. So, in today’s times and more than any other time that librarians need not only talk about change and read about the modern changes happening around the world, and take an active part in upskilling their role and positively impact learners.

Information and Media Literacy

By Media Literacy & Information Literacy No Comments

Learning together about Information and Media Literacy

This week I had an opportunity to meet with a group of librarians through MISA – Members of International Schools. We, Librarians, talked about the importance of Information and Media Literacy and how important it is for us to think analytically and critically about the information and media that we consume every day. Right from waking up in the morning, we are drawn to our mobiles for the WhatsApp messages, our Facebook or Instagram updates. Soon, after that, we turn our TV sets for our regular spiritual gyans, news or simply our private channels that we subscribe to. Our children are silent or active consumers of our morning routine. Each one of us, children and adults are then off to work or school and are continually bombarded with advertisements on buses, billboards, and trains, basically, our media-saturated world. Before we are misguided or misinformed, we must learn to understand, analyze, evaluate media and information, so that we are able to make informed choices. According to Center for Media Literacy, we need to be asking 5 questions: Who created the media?  What creative techniques have been used to create media?  How might different people view this message, differently from me? Why is this message sent?  What lifestyles, values, and points of view are represented in; or omitted in this message?

Asking these questions helps us navigate the busy media world in a safe way, Asking questions can help us make informed decisions about money, health, government, and work. We need to think about our beliefs, what is important to us and how we can make informed decisions that will help our family, friends, and humanity at large. Having diverse perspectives and multiple perspectives can help broaden our beliefs. What we must be careful of not being skewed in our thoughts, ideas, and beliefs. This happens when we begin to only view, read, and move to a direction of what we want to learn or continue to believe it. When we do this, we must consciously try and seek different perspectives so that we have a better understanding of a topic. Take for example” Raj adopted a Vegan Diet and his life changed for him. He was suffering from a Migraine,  now, he has few headaches. He insists his family move toward a vegan diet for good health.  He shares his experiences, his knowledge, and correct information about a vegan diet to all. Should I adopt a vegan diet, should I not analyze my lifestyle, my belief, and knowledge of other diets to help me make an informed decision that suits my physical and mental state of the body. Thus, learning to get a variety of perspectives from information and media can help me make informed choices.