Perhaps typically for a librarian-scholar, my immediate concern was that I should keep a bibliography of any reading I do for this Teaching Artist course. How and where to keep it, of course, is an interesting question.
I use Mendeley for my bibliographic records, as a rule. And I use Diigo for saving weblinks, appropriately annotated with keywords. If everything I read is online, then I could use Diigo for the lot – using a specific folder to keep them all together. It’s not exactly a bibliography, but it would do. Whichever method I choose, readings made accessible va the VLN are in ‘secure storage’, inaccessible to people not connected with the Teaching Artist course. But that’s understandable.
The problem is, Mendeley doesn’t record bibliographic data for all websites. It works magnificently with Copac (the union online catalogue of all British university and national library holdings), but less systematically with other websites. I could, of course, get round this with bibliographic data entered ‘manually’, ie by me. However, I can’t share my Mendeley list with more than a very few associates, unless I want paid access to it. I don’t really want to subscribe just for the privilege of sharing my bibliography!
I could also keep a bibliography on this very blog, of course. That would be accessible to anyone, and I can copy and paste from it as I require. Maybe that’s the best answer for now. Additionally, anything I put in Diigo can be tagged “Teaching artist”, going in a specific folder as appropriate. That would aid keyword retrieval.
So, what have I read so far? I followed Andrew’s suggestion to look at Eric Booth’s website this evening – I’m impressed by the results of El Sistema music teaching, even though that’s not the kind of teaching I do. I sat up and looked when I got to comments about children learning national melodies and ethnomusicologists transcribing them so as to record a repertoire. (That’s interesting, considering my interests in historic song-collection.) There’s a lot of admirable work in the El Sistema movement – it’s really very impressive.
The other piece I’ve read this evening was Gregor P. Kennedy et al, ‘First year students’ experiences with technology: Are they really digital natives?’, in Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (2008), 24.1, pp.108-122. In a nutshell, the authors found Marc Prensky’s 2001 paper on Digital Natives (the generation believed to be familar and competent with all forms of digital technology and learning) – and Prensky’s subsequent writings – to be an over-simplification of the status quo, with students more likely to use a few basic technologies for ‘living’, and some – but not all – technologies for ‘learning’. It follows, then, that we shouldn’t assume students to be uniformly competent with all digital technologies. I can well imagine that if a digitally cautious tutor is hesitant in recommending digital resources to a class, then the uptake is not necessarily going to be that enthusiastic.
It’s quite late – I’ll add these two readings to my Resources page, then sign off for the night!