Reading routes

Mliteracy – Activities

Instructions for participants

Children’s classics can often be found on the shelves in our libraries. Some are beautifully bound, hardcover books, available on shelves. For many, these classic books are associated with the smell of paper or the rustle of a page being turned. Digital offers opportunities to access certain timeless titles for free.  Books, in the public domain, are no longer restricted by copyright laws.

For the facilitator

In groups of three, participants will

  1. Choose a classic book (see the Public Domain list).
  2. Explore one of the three different routes to these classic texts.
    1. Open Route – locate an ePub reader (either on your device or for download; I recommend the Bluefire reader).
    2. Proprietary route – download Kindle, create an Amazon account.
    3. Reading on a browser route  – choose a browser that allows you the option to read later (Opera or Chrome is best. )
  3. Download and open the e-reader needed to access such texts (the proprietary, open and web reader).
  4. Go to m.Gutenberg.org .
  5. Download the classic book that you chose in step 1.
  6. Open the book in the E-reader you installed.
  7. Answer the ebooks questions for your reading route.
Reading Routes

Hopes & Fears

Mliteracy – Activities

Instructions for participants

You are going to articulate your expectations (both positive and negative) about the introduction of mobile phones into the library. Please select two pictures from a bank of “Hopes & Fears Cards”  and explain how these images symbolize your hopes and fears with respect to the use of mobile phones in the library.

For the facilitator

If you have printed out the cards, then follow these instructions below. Otherwise use the images on the mLiteracy instagram site

Offer a choice

  • Identify a suitable and large enough surface on which you can place the 50 Hopes and Fears cards.
  • Lay all the cards out on the surface table. Remember to spread them out so that each picture is visible.
  • Set out a range of colourful felt tip pens for writing.
  • Give participants a set period of time to pick a card that summarises their hope/fear that they have for the project/issue/challenge.
  • Ask participants to write 1 or 2 words in the space that summarises their hope and fear.

Share & Listen

  • Decide what you want to address first, hopes or fears.
  • Bring everyone together to share their hope/fear. If group is too large then ask people to get into groups and share amongst themselves.
  • Repeat for the opposite.
Hopes and Fears

Credit: Adapted from the  @PolicyLabUK under the Open Government Licence

Share a Shelfie

Instructions for participants

Sharing photographs is a big part of the mobile experience. But transferring photos (or other files) between smartphones can be tricky as it depends on what models and types of smartphones you are using.

In this activity, you are going to share your shelfie pictures. The catch is that these shelfies may only be shown and shared electronically.

You might need to have access to SMS, MMS, WhatsApp, Email, FB Messenger, Instagram, Airdrop, DropBox, ShareIt (or any other platform) to show and share your shelfie with others.

For the facilitator

Depending on the level of experience and goals for the participants, it might be helpful to select one, several, or all of these file sharing and communication applications to practice connecting and exchanging information.

Digital Biography

Instructions for the participant

What do you think Google would find about your online self? Does your digital footprint represent you accurately? What does the web say you do? Is the information there beneficial or a potential drawback for your professional status? If you are found online, is your online presence accurate and up to date?

Digital Biography

You might have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google + account. On each of these accounts there is an option for you to complete a digital biography or bio   Your bio offers a golden moment to quickly and succinctly tell others about the work you do in libraries. If written correctly, the bio will offer you the opportunity to own your digital footprints. You are going to practice making digital tracks with a bio statement.

Bio Statement Formula

I’m [character Trait]/[Job Title]. “I help [target audience] [*verb phrase] using their mobile devices  that [expected positive outcome for target audience ]

Examples of Bio Statements

I am a kind and patient early reading expert. I help parents of pre-school children access early reading materials via their mobile phones so that they can read to their children and enter school ready to read.

I am a friendly reference librarian. I assist school children to find appropriate apps so that they can download books on their mobile phones in the library so that they can read these books at home.

I am a bit zany. I love introducing teenagers to reading apps that have been written and produced for a digital and connected young adult.

I’m gentle. I assist older patrons with their phones to locate and download public domain books so that they can access and enjoy reading classic literature on their device.

I’m a thorough school librarian. I help teachers by finding electronic resources that they can use in their classes on their mobile devices so that they can impart these new sets of skills to their class and make better use all internet resources.

For the facilitator

The Digital Biography presentation has a worksheet and exemplar that points out all the basic features of a social media profile. It also has a bio formula. This formula is not compulsory or magic. It simply offers a way to convey essential information to the person who wants to connect with a librarian.

Once the participant has watched the presentation, they should be able to

1. Select their own profile privacy settings
2. Choose their own bio pic
3. Complete the bio using the formula for writing a bio.
4. Decide on / identify a possible username
5. Update your status

 

Course production workflow

The escalator workflow

I’m comfortable using the escalator metaphor to picture the e-learning course production journey. From planning to evaluation, this moving stairway moves a course development team from start to finish between floors using a gentle set of hydraulic steps. I’m the handrail, keeping the team riding safely riding along their vertical journey. Descent is assured and my job is to make sure that all can step on and off the escalator when prompted.

Escalator course production

As the elearning escalator descends, the development team passes through a sequence of different stages, each a discrete part of a project.

Sometimes the stairs get busy, during peak commuter time, and the journey downwards on the escalator is a little more frantic, with crowds before and behind creating extra momentum. Usually, as the last few steps flatten out, the pace of the course riders hasten we finish off .

The escalator approach to course development had elearning is comfortable.  It works well when the authoring team is large, has lots of courses to produce and cannot always  move easily from stage to stage (or floor to floor).BUT

  • The phases that you pass through are fixed and you can only work as fast as your escalator travels
  • The quality of the ride can only be assessed at the end
  • Opportunities to run back up the down escalator are reduced the further you are away from the top.

Escalators are steady, but can’t go much quicker. Once they are moving with people on them, it becomes tricky to stop. If you want to return to the top, then a great deal of energy is necessary to return to the positioned where you started.

If a course development manager is interested in a faster and more efficient workflow, then maybe the escalator metaphor with a set of sequential stages might not be the most suitable way to picture the course development process.

River rafting workflow

Perhaps an alternate way of looking at the course development process is as a river rafting team navigating a set of rapids river. I like boating. Along a quiet stretch of water. The river becomes interesting when there are rocks in the riverbed and when this is combined with the degree of vertical drop.

The ability to navigate a crew through the safest or most challenging channels in a river depends on a guide’s skill. Shooting the rapids is risky, but possible when the rafter can  “read” the water, see what the river is doing and select a suitable route. The guides job is not to “memorize” a rapid, but to analyze its currents and features. Once a river has been navigated the guide becomes more skilled in reading the water quickly, competently, and accurately. A way finding pattern is established and once repeatedly tried and tested, the guide knows the way.

The same applies to course production. A course production manager who knows the organisational goals and target audience can “read” the waters. Navigating the waters depends on how hard it is to avoid obstacles. In river rafting these obstacles might be water volume, turbulence, waves , width of runnable channels, etc. Equivalent factors exist in course production.

In course development, patterns can be used to navigate the different stages of course production. Repeated patterns become a shell or templates and collected.  These collected patterns, shells and templates can be customized and re-used in multiple courses.

River rafting course production approach allows for

  • Continuous or parallel activities
  • Quality improvements (the QA team become involved earlier)
  • More engagement around development and implementation because this exciting phase relegated to the second half of a project
  • Quicker feedback is possible because the course is live sooner
  • Budgets are kept in check because it’s possible to make changes without incurring great costs

The adoption of a river rafting course production workflow can have significant (expected and unexpected) impacts on course delivery. Using such a workflow should allow an experienced course production manager and his/her crew, sufficient time to accomplish their task.

Participants Pledge

Instructions for participants

We, who are running the event, pledge to provide a meaningful experience for all participants. We will

  • Identify and address barriers that might affect meaningful  use of mobile devices
  • Co-create a curriculum that will equip participants with skills and meet their expectations
  • Freely share and distribute the toolkit as creative commons resources

You will be able to create, share, and connect with each other around topics that relate to reading, mobile devices and libraries. We’d like you to commit to involving yourself in this workshop by making a pledge to take a partnership role in this event.

Participants pledge

For the facilitator

You should decide how you want participants to express this pledge. It might take the form of a contract, or it could be more creative.

Contract Pledge

I ____________________(insert name) recognise my responsibility within this mLiteracy workshop to be an active participant, to take responsibility for my learning and to work in collaboration with colleagues and foster an environment where we all can expand our knowledge.

Status Update Pledge

Think about what you want to do after completing the mliteracy workshop. Write a statement of intent. Create your own motto or slogan. The post it to your social media status
Use the status wall and ask participants to update their status, where they describe how they are feeling about the workshop and their role in it.

Step 1 – What should go into the pledge?

You will have to decide whether you will be a participative workshop attendant.
• How participative do you plan to be?
• How valuable an experience do you plan to make this workshop?
• How much risk do you plan to take?
• What do you plan to do with your learning?

Step 2 – Draft your pledge.

How do you want to express your intention to participate in this workshop?
• Write a statement of intent
• Create your own motto or slogan
• Compose a poem, song or rap
• Take a picture

Step 3 – Post your pledge

Where do you intend to post your pledge?
• Via WhatsApp
• On Your Status
• On paper

Take a Shelfie

Instructions for participants

You are going to take out your mobile device and take a photo of yourself. But instead of simply taking a self-portrait, turn your “selfie” into a “shelfie”. In other words, make sure that your own portrait includes books or stories.

Take a shelfie

If you have completed the application form, you will automatically receive an invitation to take a shelfie photograph. If not, take out your phone, locate the camera icon and you are ready to snap a shelfie.

  • Capture it: Take a photograph of yourself with your books in the background.
  • Store it: Keep it in a safe place on your phone.

For the facilitator

Participants will be asked to take a photograph of themselves. But instead of simply taking a self portrait, they will take a “shelfie”. In other words, they will have a phone picture that includes books.

10 Creative Shelfie Ideas

  1.  Find a section of the library that you enjoy (Children’s section, reference, popular fiction etc). Take a shelfie.
  2.  Look for your favourite author and stack his/her books up on top of each other. Take a shelfie.
  3.  Think about your hobbies or interests (e.g. gardening). Find books that link to those hobbies and interests and add an extra non- literacy prop (e.g. a pot plant) to reinforce your hobby or interest. Take a shelfie.
  4.  Find an inspirational quote by an author, take picture of a book they wrote and use your phone to place the quote on the book background.
  5.  Take a shelfie that contains a picture of the same books in both digital and analogue formats (e.g. a page on kindle and a print version).
  6.  Take a remixed shelfie that shows your face superimposed over the covers of digital books that you like.
  7.  Choose books that all have the same coloured spine and wear an outfit that matches these colours.
  8.  Find stories for a particular day of the year, put on an appropriate outfit and take a shelfie. E.g Santa Outfit and Christmas books.
  9.  Find a book with a face on it and align your profile with that face on the cover. Take a shelfie.
  10. Take a normal shelfie and then use an app, like Snapchat or Instagram to add animated elements to your shelfie.

Shelfie Gallery

mLiteracy Online Application

Instructions for the participant

To join the two-day mLiteracy workshop, you will need to fill in an online application form. If possible, applications should be completed on a mobile device.

For the facilitator

The application form is an exercise to use before the workshop

  • The collected information is useful for further communication and activities.
  • If the exercise has been completed on a mobile device, then participants will have demonstrated that they are sufficiently familiar with their technologies to participate in the workshop.
  • Applicants can automatically be sent a reply which asks them to complete the next task.

Mlibrarian Badges

Introductory comments

Thank-you for the opportunity to present at OE4BW. I’m very sorry not to be there with you in person in Vipava. My family and I are on holiday in France this week. This has been a valuable mentorship experience. I’m grateful to Sandhya Gunness and Lance Eaton for working alongside with me. We made a good team. Acknowledgment and thanks to Mitja Jermol and Tanja Urbancic for bringing us together.

The project that I am going to talk to you about can be divided into three phases.

  1. The production of a mLiteracy toolkit intended as a basis for interventions in public libraries.
  2. A series of two day professional development workshops for librarians who want to enable better use of mobile devices in their library community.
  3. A set of mLibrarian badges to acknowledge and reward the community of librarians who implemented projects that involved the use of mobile devices.

Today I’m going to be presenting about the third part of the mLiteracy project – mLibrarian badges.

I’ll tell you a bit more about the process that we went through in producing these badges, the challenges that we faced and lessons that were learned. But before we get into this, a bit of background.

Introduction to the project

MLiteracy is a project that was initiated almost 3 years ago by the Goethe-Institut in response to the new opportunities for reading via mobile devices. Across the developing world, hundreds of thousands of people are reading full-length books on mobile phones. Reading in the mobile era, a UNESCO report, explored how mobile technology was advancing literacy and learning in under-served communities around the world.

Brigitte Doellgast, Goethe-Institut’s Head of Library & Information Services in Sub-Saharan Africa identified the possibility of combining this growing mobile trend with local social publishing projects. We conducted ethnographic research into libraries. We observed how the combination of mobile devices and free WiFi had attracted a new set of patrons to libraries. We also saw how some librarians had recognized this as an opportunity. They recognized a need to promote a positive use of mobile devices among their current and new patrons.

We also looked a reading initiatives that we driven by a mission, rather than profit. These projects (we refer to them as “social publishers) offer access to open access reading materials via the web. Those who are concerned about literacy and reading, but have limited access to print books, can practice reading skills with these materials. African Storybook, Bookdash, Fundza and Nal’iBali are some of the local organisations that distribute open reading resources in a digital format. Stories are licensed under Creative Commons They are often available in the local language or can be translated online. The materials are also contextually appropriate with local characters in recognizable settings.

The mliteracy project was not intentionally aligned with UNESCO’s sustainable development goals (SDGs). But as I revisited the project, I saw how it might contribute towards at least three of the SDG targets, namely innovation, quality education and equitable development.

Target Audience

The target audiences within libraries were

  • mobile enablers, interested in preparing libraries and their services for a connected world,
  • workshop facilitators, responsible for structuring a professional development workshops and
  • librarians, wanting to be able to better connect with children and their care givers who have access to a mobile devices in their library

We asked ourselves “how might we assists our target to leverage the use of inexpensive mobile devices to facilitate story telling and reading, particularly among children”. The first two parts of the mliteracy project went well. 40 activities were included in the toolkit and almost 200 librarians attended the workshops.

The big challenge was what happened after the workshops. I wanted to find a mobile friendly route to recognize the application of learnt skills and acknowledge the work of librarians who took what they learned in the workshop and implemented it.

Why Open Badges

Recognition is often paper based. Certificates are extremely popular in the local training circuit. Since this was a course about learning new things about mobiles, reading on mobile devices and the use of apps and sites on the internet,  I decided to avoid glossy cardboard and use web-enabled credentials.

I thought that an interesting possibility was open badges. The idea of micro learning in a workplace setting appeals. Open badges allow for micro-credentials, the have an infrastructure that is inter-operable and the open badging approach is widely understood and the backpack can be shared across different technology platforms. Open badges also contained meta data (a concept all librarians understand) baked into the badges, which meant that each credential could be interrogated.

 Developing Open Badges

I applied to join the OE4BW project and Lance Elton (USA) and Sandhya Gunness (Mauritius) were the two mentors selected by OE4BW for our team. We took the project from an Excel spreadsheet to proof of concept that contained  a structured collection of missions and reflections that led to three mLibrarian badges.

To explain the idea to librarians, I looked at Scouts, their badges and used the process of earning a badge as an analogous concept to explain how mlibraian badges would work. I explained that in a badge system, the organization

  • Creates a badge and issues the criteria that accompany the badge,
  • Judges the evidence that has been collected,
  • Endorses the effort and validity of the efforts of the individuals and
  • Issues the badges

The challenges

The challenge facing the whole mLiteracy project was how we would implement the this initiative where WiFi is erratic and and many employees adopt a  “train me” mindset to any technology intervention. To address this challenge, we opted to use What’sApp as the main channel of communication (most librarians had this app installed on their mobile devices and many were able to use it without incurring additional data costs). What’sApp groups were formed, so that even those who had a passive “train-me” approach could see what was being learned. Those who wanted to know more information could request assistance.

Open badges were developed in way that took cognizance of the limitations of free Wi-Fi and the widespread use of Whatsapp. Textingstory, a chatstory app that can be used for writing and recording text based communications, was used to author a scenario. These “chat story” conversations were intended to be sent to the mLiteracy WhatsApp group members. A copy of the text story conversation was also posted onto YouTube and accompanied by transcripts on Google Sites.

Communicating about mLibrarian badges (as a concept) was straightforward. Finding a way to explain how these badges can be displayed was more difficult. As far as I am aware, there are not many examples of open badges issuing via any messaging service. The Whataspp platform does not have an API that intersects neatly with the open badge infrastructure (OBI). The idea of a badges “backpack” does not translate easily into a mobile environment. The backpack concept might work well in a LMS or on a widescreen, but the concept of the badges “backpack” does not translate neatly into a mobile device.

The badges that you see in this presentation and online are at present, an expression of an idea. Collecting evidence, submitting it and the assessment of the evidence has yet to be attempted. The main reason for not implementing the badges with librarians yet is a lack of any formal endorsement. This endorsement of mlibrarian badges depends on an outside body, and until this endorsement is secured, the value accorded to these badges will be limited.

Lessons Learned

Mlibrarian badges require broader organisational legitimacy. Without the backing of management or the endorsement from a professional body that is recognized in the library community, the amount of effort taken to earn a badge will not match the reward.

MLibrarian Badges are primarily about demonstration and acknowledgment. They are premised on the relationships developed during the mliteracy process. The open badge infrastructure (OBI) offers a structure for the issue, validation and display of badges. The process associated with helping librarians become mlibrarians is far more important than earning a credential. A tangible reward, whether they be paper based or web enabled, is important. But a badge or certificate is not the key to being mliterate.

Conclusion

I learned that the mlibrarian badges need to be located within a community of librarians who are already familiar with using mobiles for reading. Becoming mLiterate is already a challenge. Getting librarians to the point of understanding open badges and the OBI requires even more effort and time. MLibraian badges cannot stand alone. They will need to be re-framed as a part of the community of practice. The badges and the activities around them need to be seen as an opportunity to continue with the the  conversational approach to professional development that was initiated in the face to face workshops.

The Mliteracy toolkit and workshops were well researched, formally conceptualized and refined. The mLibrarian badges are an attempt to demonstrate the feasibility of using digital badges as a reward system. But the mLibrarian badges have not been piloted. Open badges have potential to be used in the project, but are at present still a proof of concept.