This chapter presents a case study research over three years into the operation of a distance education program using Web 2.0 tools to create an online collaborative project environment for trainee teacher librarians. Charles Sturt University in inland Australia specialises in distance education. The entire School of Information Studies operates on this basis. To achieve high standards and truly global learning, use is currently being made of Web 2.0 technologies — particularly wikis and blogs as part of this program. One particular subject requires collaborative construction of a Blog or PowerPoint via wiki negotiation by teams of geographically separated students worldwide. This is a very practical exercise in distance communication and collaboration and one that is very relevant to students in the course, most of whom will become the only staff of widely separated library establishments. One intention in using technology to build ‘communities’ and encourage collaboration across traditional boundaries is to grow confidence among future teacher librarians in the use and power of technology as a means of developing their own learning communities — to better prepare them for the workplace. Built on a student portal developed over many years, the new technology is currently used by several hundred students from many different nations and cultures who meet as small workgroups on their wikis in order to negotiate and construct a team project. Based on this three-year case study, it does appear that collaborative projects can be moderately successful over distance, and that they can play a useful part in the pre-training of educational practitioners — teacher librarians in this case. There is strong evidence that this process works very well in terms of encouraging positive attitudes towards distance collaboration and interactive web technologies. It also appears to encourage a feeling of ‘global’ community reaching beyond traditional library boundaries.
Winzenried, A. (2012), "Chapter 4 From a Distance: Teacher Librarian Training by Distance Collaboration", Spink, A. and Singh, D. (Ed.) Library and Information Science Trends and Research: Asia-Oceania (Library and Information Science, Vol. 2), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 69-91. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1876-0562(2011)002011b006Download as .RIS
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