Blogsters in school libraries via chat rooms

I had the pleasure this week of being the “guest” as part of an online school library course offered through Azusa Pacific University in Southern California.  The course professor, Dave Harmeyer and I attended a library event many years ago and have been doing this collaboration for many years.  Dave teaches the course, “Library Media Technologies.”  I was the guest via a chatroom.  It is important to know that although chat rooms are just text based, they still work very well for exchanging and sharing information.  One of the students coined the phrase “blogster” which you’ll have to read about below.  Are you a blogster?

The six students, who all work in school libraries, and I chatted about “school libraries, Web 2.0 and information literacy.”   School librarians need to become educated about Web 2.0 so they can begin applying these concepts and tools in every day school library life!

Enjoy the excerpts from the chat below:

Wednesday Mar 21, 2007 08:24:58 PM> Darrow: When I first started as a Library Media Teacher about 12 years ago in 1995, information literacy was pretty much about print.  When I took the “library tech integration/database course”, it was pretty much about cd-roms. Pretty amazing how far we’ve come in just 12 years.


– 08:25:58 PM> Darrow: Someone the other day told me that the term “technology” is used to describe the new technologies that happen while you are alive.”   For generation before most of us, TV was the “technology”.  For us “technology is the Internet and the web, etc.”  For kids, “technology” is MySpace while other things like the Internet have always been there. 
– 08:26:04 PM>St. 1: Our school library hasn’t changed that much in that time I don’t think.
– 08:26:16 PM>St. 2: And now we need to contend with my space, spam, and online chats!


– 08:27:16 PM> Darrow: So, now we are in what is called “Web 2.0” – what would your definition of web 2.0 be??
– 08:27:33 PM>St. 2: I am completely confused by Web 2.0 I don’t know what it is!
– 08:27:38 PM>St. 3: I thought I read that it is just another name for the internet
– 08:27:45 PM>St. 4: Me either.
– 08:27:54 PM>St. 3: But I don’t know

08:29:45 PM> Darrow: Web 2.0 is described by these words: collaborative, sharing, interacting, mostly free applications. Many would say this is any
– 08:29:54 PM> Darrow: “social media” like MySpace.
– 08:30:12 PM>St. 2: so, it isn’t really a “thing”, but a concept?
– 08:30:35 PM> Darrow: Well, Web 2.0 is a lot of things/applications as well as a concept.  Web 1.0 was what was called the “read” web while Web 2.0 is the “read-write” web.  Web 1.0 was simply posting web pages that people read.  And only certain people had the software and knowledge to post and update websites.
– 08:32:29 PM>St. 2: So, blogs and wikis are 2.0 because they are interactive?
– 08:32:44 PM>St. 5: It’s more exchange and participation then?
– 08:32:55 PM> Darrow: Now, with Web 2.0 are, yes, blogs, wikis, podcasts, picture sharing, etc. Correct, “exchange and participation”.  And because of the online software for blogs, anyone can become a web editor.
– 08:33:31 PM> Darrow: If there is a way for participants to interact with something on the web – by commenting or responding or voting – this would be web 2.0.
– 08:33:37 PM>St. 6: So, it’s basically describing our newest internet activities that are available?


– 08:35:52 PM> Darrow: Now, what information skills were needed to function in Web 1.0?
– 08:36:29 PM>St. 2: Logging on, reading, searching using key terms or titles, navigation
– 08:36:32 PM>St. 4: They need to know how to search and how to tell if information is reliable.
– 08:36:36 PM>St. 1: Looking things up on the web instead of books.
– 08:36:58 PM>St. 3: Knowing which sites to go to for relevant information.
– 08:37:38 PM>St. 5: keyboarding, accessing sites, understanding the language of the Internet
– 08:37:51 PM>St. 1: Knowing if information is reliable seems like one of the big jumps from just looking things up in books.


– 08:37:56 PM> Darrow: What were some of the ways school libraries reacted (and joined) the WWW?
– 08:38:21 PM>St. 6: Putting more computers in the library.
– 08:38:22 PM>St. 1: Getting funding for computers takes time.
– 08:38:23 PM>St. 2: Purchasing computers, setting up labs, putting their collections in OPAC, connecting to the internet
– 08:38:48 PM>St. 6: Hiring people who know how to teach the use of the internet.
– 08:38:52 PM>St. 1: Technical support is a huge problem, then and now.
– 08:39:19 PM>St. 2: I hope they also began teaching about web use and how to tell if sites are realiable, unfortunately, my school still doesn’t do this. 


– 08:42:16 PM> Darrow: So, what things would be good for us to do in school libraries with Web 2.0? What would be “interactive, exchanging and participatory” for kids?
– 08:42:38 PM>St. 6: Pen pal letters.
– 08:42:49 PM>St. 2: Or, online book groups
– 08:42:52 PM>St. 3: Maybe only restricted interactive sites, between on site classrooms
– 08:43:02 PM>St. 1: Every grade level would probably be different. I think.
– 08:43:13 PM>St. 3: Or within the same class or grade level
– 08:43:14 PM>St. 5: Share projects within their content area
– 08:43:16 PM>St. 4: I think first they should be taught to use it appropriately. I’ve heard some scary things.
– 08:43:39 PM>St. 6: Online school newspapers with “Dear Abby” type columns.
– 08:43:49 PM> Darrow: All good ideas. As with all technology, we have to learn it for ourselves. Put the fear aside. Kids are already there.
– 08:44:20 PM>St. 2: I realize we also have to be careful of kids’ identities. Perhaps the students could use login handles (is that the right word) that they register with the librarian
– 08:47:49 PM> Darrow: Oh, that is an important piece, most of Web 2.0 applications are free or ad sponsored.


– 08:48:32 PM>St. 2: I love the idea of posting my thoughts on stuff (what extravert doesn’t?!) Do people randomly stumble upon blogs or do they only find out about them from the blogster (is that a word?)
– 08:48:37 PM> Darrow: So, then I learned about podcasts and decided I should buy an ipod. It is amazing what people are podcasting…book talks, ideas from students, comments from conferences.
– 08:48:54 PM>St. 2: Is a podcast video or text?
– 08:49:27 PM> Darrow: I like it – “blogster” – yeah, it is something that you do to find your voice. You do this by writing, reading other blogs and commenting on other blogs. then, people will comment on your blog.  So I suppose a “blogster” could be defined as the way in which people begin to use blogs (this could be via an aggregator, another person or by finding a blog in a search and starting your own).


3 Responses to “Blogsters in school libraries via chat rooms”

  1. 1 Margaret Gutierrez-Gibson March 24, 2007 at 10:06 am

    I was intrigued by the definition of “Web 2.0” and wondered if you coined the phrase – nevertheless, the concept of the interactive web that was spawned from the read-only web captured my imagination.

    I am more aware of my own ignorance of blogs, and appreciate that you took the time to present information on it, and gave us the opportunity to participate. I am looking for ways to create them, but didn’t see anything obvious yet to do that on your site. I don’t actually teach in a school or library, I am the IT Educator in an upstate NY hospital.

    I have thought about blogs as a way for people to possibly talk about what they think of the treatment, care, and attention they (or a family member) received (or didn’t receive) at the hospital – I have seen websites that “score” college professors, and wonder if it would be something like that in the end, or if it could be a practical feedback source for hospitals, or conversely, ways to undermine them by “the competition.”

  2. 2 sylvia martinez March 24, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    The quote about technology is from Alan Kay in 1980.

    “Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born.”

  3. 3 Helen Murdoch March 31, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    Thank you so much for “chatting” with us in our online class the past two weeks. You’ve really got me thinking about starting a blog…and becoming a blogster! 🙂 I am kind of excited that my new word is taking off…I’ll have to see if it shows up in other places.

    I am hoping to become an LMT in the next year or so if an opening comes up in my district, but for now I am a classroom teacher who uses a lot of technology. I hope to implement Big6 in my classroom soon.

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