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Insights

December 9, 2006

The year has been very busy so I haven’t been as active as I would like to be, but yesterday I read a post by Jeff on The Thinking Stick in which he states:

“No longer do I have to learn something just in case, but instead the skill of being able to find information when I need it is what I need to learn how to do.”

and

“We need to help students and teachers build these networks of findable knowledge and quit teaching just-in-case knowledge. Your network will gather the information for you…you just need to know how to find it.”(Offloading Knowledge post)

Both of these statements got me thinking about what I do as a librarian and how this is my job. To teach my students how to find the information. In many aspects, this also relates to what I’ve been telling teacher’s about project-based learning. Through project-based learning, students find the information rather than simply being given the information by the teacher. This is a skill they need. My husband and I were talking about this last night on the way to a Christmas party. He related how in his job, he doesn’t necessarily need to know everything because he can very easily look up that information in a manual or even on the Internet. He has people call him all the time to help with problems because they know he has the expertise to help them. Just like we know to go to a mechanic for help with our car. We need to be able to identify those individuals who have the knowledge and tap into that. Students need to know this and be able to utilize this. The old saying of “it’s not what you know, but who you know” has taken on a whole new meaning in the digital environment. Jeff takes this even further with his concept that in today’s Web 2.0, we can easily tag and identify where to find the information when it is needed. He is right in saying that our teachers don’t need to know everything just who or where to go to find the information. This is such an important skill in this day and age of information overload. Jeff also mentions a book by George Siemens that I am definitely going to look for.

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