#1 Learning about Learning 2.0

Learning about the ‘Learning 2.0 Program” turned out to take much longer than I had originally planned.  The original programme by PLCM took place in 2006 so I thought I’d have a look at some of the programmes that have happened since and what the most common changes were.  The original 23 things are available on the Learning 2.0 Blog and participants were given 9 weeks to complete them.  Although this seems like a mammoth task, not all of the 23 things involved learning and using something completely new.  Each week had a theme and sometimes one of the things was simply discovering the new tool and having a play.  Participants were required to set up a blog and record their progress on the blog and often the ‘thing’ involved posting their thoughts or uploading something they had found.  The key idea is that this is learning not training and that learning should be fun.  It’s not about finding the correct answer but exploring a new idea or tool and thinking about how it might be useful.  Obviously this is the sort of learning that some people love and others hate – a marmite style perhaps?

To look at how the programme had developed I headed over to the full list of learning 2.0 libraries on delicious and had a look at just some of the 265 libraries who have registered.  Many of the basic tools appear throughout, Bloglines is popular even in later programmes probably because it is so easy to produce a public view to share feeds although Google Reader is often mentioned as an alternative.  What surprised me was how much some libraries packed into the programme.  Introducing 2 or 3 new tools a week may not sound too bad if you’re already the sort of person who enjoys playing and exploring online but if you have never looked at blog before, only have 30 mins a week at work and don’t have a computer at home I can see how you would soon be overwhelmed.  Orange County Library System offered different levels of learning – eXplore activities for each week which were mandatory for anyone who wanted the completion prize and then additional Adventure activities which were optional and rated according to difficulty.  The Orange County programme also covers topics such as music copyright and creative commons and has obviously been designed to appeal to frontline public library staff but I’d be interested to know how much time they expected each topic to take.

Wake County Public Library ran their programme over 9 weeks but only included 13 things and although participants were told how to create a blog they only had to leave comments each week to qualify for a chance to win a prize.  This programme had a more relaxed feel to it and it was made very clear what people needed to do ‘for credit’ as opposed to optional exploration.

Apparently I’ve chosen a good time to look at the Learning 2.0 idea.  The latest issue of Library & Information Update (December 2008) appeared in my letterbox today and on page 6 I discovered an article about Lewisham Libraries and their Library 2.0 training!  Unfortunately the article is only available to CILIP members but the Lewisham Web 2.0 Blog and Lewisham Web 2.0 Wiki are publicly available.  In addition Lewisham have a presence on Facebook and MySpace, images on Picasa and even a YouTube channel!  The article mentions that the team chose to provide more support for learners after hearing about low completion rates for some 23 Things courses and they are offering 1.5 hour training sessions on a variety of topics.  I loved the quote from Information & Heritage Manager Julie Hall “Staff are eager to learn and want to develop Web 2.0 skills, but need support.  Start small, keep it practical and let people go at their own speed and don’t be surprised when they come up with better ideas than you have on how you can use Web 2.0 in your service.”  The best part is that this isn’t just being seen as an isolated training programme.  Julie mentions the idea of Library 2.0 champions drawn from staff across the service and developing ongoing projects.  Hmmm, wonder if I could commute to Lewisham…

So how do I decide what my 23 Things are?  I’ve decided to follow the themes of the original programme and refer to a couple of other programmes for activities.  I’ve started a ‘Life List’ on 43 things and number 1… is done!


5 responses to “#1 Learning about Learning 2.0

  1. Pingback: Library & Information Update blog : How to train staff for 'Library 2.0'

  2. Hi Sarah,

    I’m glad you liked the news piece I wrote about Lewisham’s Library 2.0 training.

    When its organiser Julie Hall got in touch, I found what she was up to pretty inspiring – and asked her loads of questions. To which she gave detailed and even more inspiring answers… 😉

    I’ve just this morning blogged about your own blog post about Lewisham, Web 2.0 etc on our Update blog too.

    Do take a look:

    … and feel free to comment if you have a moment 🙂


    Matthew Mezey
    (News Editor, Library and Information Update magazine)

  3. Hi Matthew
    I read your post in my RSS reader this afternoon and will head over and comment in a moment. I was very excited to see web 2.0 training in a public UK library mentioned in Update and it sounds like Lewisham are not unique in picking up on this idea. Looking at recent issues of Update and popular training sessions run by CILIP and others it is obvious that web 2.0 is something people want to understand and know more about but where do people start? The Learning 2.0 programme is a great way to get to grips with the web 2.0 idea in general and some of the specific tools that have become mainstream. I’ll be keeping an eye out for other similar programmes and look forward to seeing more in Update!

  4. Hi Sarah,

    I’m back from the Online Information conference and have added a response to your comment suggesting that CILIP offer a Library 2.0/23 Things-style course.

    Which certainly sounds like it might be very inspiring!

    Here’s my new comment:

    At the same time I responded to an Update blog reader who e-mailed wondering where to find out more details about 23 Things or a downloadable training package.

    I don’t know a great deal about 23 Things – do you have any further suggestions for him?


    • Hi Matthew – I’ve responded to your comment on the Update blog and copied my reply here…

      To answer your reader’s query I’d recommend Helene Blowers’ blog http://www.librarybytes.com – her email can be found in the About section and she encourages people to get in touch if they’re interested in the programme. The original programme is certainly the first place to go http://plcmclearning.blogspot.com/ but as far as I know there is no ‘downloadable’ training course. I believe most libraries have used the original programme as inspiration and then adapted it for local use.

      The obvious problem is that you need someone reasonably confident with all the technologies covered to be able to put together a local version and help people through it. Having attended a couple of web 2.0 courses I don’t think it really is something you can learn in a few hours at CILIP HQ, you need to try things out for yourself and play!

      It’s very interesting to see comments here and on my blog about web 2.0 training programmes being developed in the UK and I wonder if there’s some way all this work could be brought together…

      PS I couldn’t find your article in Update about 5 Weeks to a Social Library but readers might be interested in the text of Anne Welsh’s talk to CILIP London last year. She covers the ideas behind 5 Weeks and goes into the practicalities of setting up the project and how it worked in practice. Her post includes a very useful list of links and articles http://annewelsh.wordpress.com/2007/04/10/cilip-in-london-social-libraries-talk/

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