Blog Post 11


Weekly class takeaway: Workshops are fun.

Even after watching three and running one with my group, I didn’t feel I’d been inundated with too much information. I also was not bored. Lula may have slept through most of it, but she had a busy day. Everything related to ethics. It seems like when you get two hours of ethics slammed down your throat, you wouldn’t want to come back for more. I did. And I think I know why. Each group had a slightly different set-up with slightly different activities.

There was something dynamic about going through several different workshops at the same time. Given, I’m not sure if this is how it works when one is no longer a baby librarian. Librarian librarians may only do one at a time and they may be longer. So, the workshops I went to last class were fun. I will reserve judgment on the real world of workshops.

I myself got a bit too caught up in the information being presented, rather than the way it was actually presented. Instruction is so different from the way I have processed information in the past. The way I have interacted with instruction involves taking things in, processing it, and then presenting it in some format. The presenting of information in a format being a very clear written instructional or argumentative paper. Basically, the presentation is not verbal. The preparation is rather loosey-goosey; just haphazardly collecting information in bits and pieces. While this may be the best way to instruct me, it is not the best way to instruct others. I will most likely end up discussing this little epiphany in the individual section of this assignment. Luckily, I now have a good reference point and know what to focus on in the future.

Speaking of needing a reference point. Let’s talk about the webinar I watched. It was put on by ACRL and was called Teaching Information Literacy Threshold Concepts: Lesson Plans for Librarians. As it turns out, it wasn’t a presentation/discussion about the topic. Instead, it was basically a really bad teaser trailer for their book. The first 20 minutes discussed their inspiration for the book over the past 3 years in which they have been developing it, after which there were five slides (including some blank ones) for the last 40 minutes. They went over two of their Threshold Concepts, which did not even seem like a threshold. One section titled, Information has value, basically stated a fact. The slides accompanying this section was an image capture of their book with highlighted sentences and bullet points on the side. The worst part was that I did not even know why I was there or the purpose. On top of that, no one was allowed to ask questions until the end (about 5 minutes..). The lack of participation effort or any instructional tropes made it difficult to get involved witht he conversation at all.

Which is why I am very happy that this weeks reading focused on Effective Teaching. I’ve recognized when different techniques are being used in class and I even understand why, but deciding what kind environment will be effective remains elusive. This harkens back to chapter 6, which provided background about how the goal of education has changed and the rise of learner-centered environments. The broad strokes followed what I had recognized, but the specifics of chapter 7 was very helpful to solidify my understanding.

Teaching as coaching is such an effective analogy. The facts matter just like the skills do in a sport. What matters more is an understanding of the game; passing a soccer ball with accuracy is useless if you don’t understand offsides. Ultimately, you have to understand the game and then apply the skills to the game. Just like how one educator took a week to define the framework of the historical subject matter before they applied the facts. I have had plenty of good teachers and good coaches (bad ones too), but I had not realized what they had in common. An effective coach helps his players understand the game itself, just like an effective teacher takes instruction beyond historical facts, computation, and scientific formulas.

That said, it comes down to what the goal actually is and speaks to the importance of understanding what your field is and how people can learn it. I’ve had coaches that do not understand the game and others who believe winning rather than understanding is important. The teacher’s idea about the nature of learning history affected how they taught and what they wanted their students to achieve. I’ve seen the same thing in coaching.

Be a Coach Furstenberg, not a Coach Jamie.

Be a Ms. Kelsey, not a Mr. Barnes.

And remember, you are never finished learning.





Blog Post 9

 It’s not about you

Ask, do not answer. Facilitate, do not direct. Flow, don’t curtail. Prepare, don’t lead. Fun, not frigid. And above all, food.

My mantra from last week resulted in varying degrees of success when it came to the implementation of the book club on The Hitchhiker a few weeks ago. Things got super interesting, I wanted to contribute, and I forgot mantra rule number one. It was such a wonderful rich discussion that the conversation turned to things that no one person in the group had perceived in their first reading. It isn’t so much that I broke the rules of the mantra as I didn’t put quite enough emphasis on the more important aspects and needed a few additional guidelines.

Ask, do not answer. It is a very key principle of being a leader in a book club situation. Things were going really well, I had refrained from answering or prompting when things started off a bit slowly. Then, the tone of the discussion changed. With that change, I had things to say, contributions to make, and insights to share. I couldn’t quite resist. So instead of ask, do not answer, a more appropriate saying might be: be a leader, not a participant. 

Prepare, don’t lead. It seems that I did not prepare entirely in the right way. Going into the book club meeting, I had read the short story over multiple time and taken notes, the questions had been prepared, and our cookies were set out on napkins. The difficulty came when the unexpected arrived. Our questions lead to a place I had not anticipated; we were unprepared for the conversations directions and so, unsure how to facilitate the discussion further. Instead of focusing on preparation, it would have been more effective to build flexibility into the questions. That would allow for the same question to apply to multiple situations with only small changes. I would change this to remain flexible. 

Above all, food. Luckily, the cookies were delicious. No change necessary.

Where my motivations were a successful book club meeting and my self-evaluation focused on improving the next one, it is unclear from where the Silicon Valley’s desire to develop a code of ethics stems. Altman’s motivation is to agree upon shared values that relate to political issues to unite Silicon Valley. Ethics seem like more than having shared values tied to the government.

The Code of Ethics for Nonprofits is about values, such as honesty and transparency. It is a broad statement about what a certain nonprofit stands for, not tied to something as concrete as government. The latter seems to focus on civil issues and the other ethical ones. In fact, many of the questions relating to these Silicon values are directly political in nature. At the same time, Altman wishes to “transcend political parties”. The mixing of values like providing unlimited leave for political action and the ethical values mentioned in the Code of Ethics for Nonprofits.

Where the Code of Ethics for Nonprofits and Altman’s views meet is in the area of attracting employees and judging the organziation as a place worth working at or investing in. The purpose is accountability. Yet, Altman is not committed to being accountable to anyone. In fact, faced with no consensus there is nothing that has to be done. It seems that it is likely given the scope reaching all of Silicon Valley. It may be better to encourage company level codes that draw upon the discussion of the industry. That way they can all be accountable, but in a way that is more ethically motivated than politically.

Blog Post 8

Questions. The who, what, when, where, why, and how. We ask these and more whenever we doubt a fact, interpretation, or evaluation. It is curiosity and confusion combined that seem to make our voices rise in pitch at the end of a sentence. In a book club, the leader picks up on the moments of doubt in the book that lead to a combined interpretive effort by the participants who answer them. It is for the participants that we do this so that they can actively think about what they have read, learn from it, and apply those skills to other areas of their life.

It isn’t all about the who, what, when, where, why, and how. It is the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the who, what, when, where, why, and how; basically, the questions you ask yourself when writing questions. It is the Question-Book Club collision. Are we questioning? Facilitating? Both? One of the best parts of our class discussion was differentiating between facilitating and directing – respecting the participants choice of response, question, and direction of the discussion. Where I get mixed up is digressions.

I am totally for new directions and natural flow of the discussion. In fact, I think digressions may be one of the best things about book club. Similarly to how we talked in class last week, where the book club may not even be about the book. What strikes me as key is the degree to which a leader keeps a balance between the digression and discussion.

It would be so easy to use them as a way to redirect conversation with a quick “Don’t you think that…”. Asking leading questions would allow a book club leader to anticipate the direction of the discussion or even to redirect away from digressions. Obviously, that is not the goal of a book club.Which is why preparation is so important. If the idea of reading twice from class applies to participants, then a leader may want to read thrice, but quicker; establishing several interesting segments of interest to be ready to pivot.

In many ways planning a book club strikes me as similar to a type of evaluation I took during undergrad, where we would be presented with multiple prompts before the exam. If you did a good job studying, you prepared a response to all of the prompts even though only one would be asked on the test. Similarly, the job of a leader requires preparing for all possible directions in conversation so that one can understand and consider the ideas presented during a discussion.

My mantra this week is it’s not about you. I do have a favorite alternative to that that goes into more detail:

Ask, do not answer. Facilitate, do not direct. Flow, don’t curtail. Prepare, don’t lead. Fun, not frigid. And above all, food. 

Blog Post 7 – Feb 14

With all the readings this week, it seemed prudent to split these babies up and tackle them separately. Inevitably, I will be unable to resist and make connections between sections as I go along instead of a grand summary. So, here we go!

In the 21st Century, Let’s Ban (Paper) Books – Marc Prensky

I will begin by saying that I very much dislike absolutes. I will also concede that I own a kindle. I only read my for pleasure/brainless/escape/nonintellectual books on it. Rather than buy a less expensive textbook for that kindle, I buy the actual book. Banning nonelectronic books would lead to a great many migraines, among other issues.

Fully integrated materials? How does that make it more integrated? Integrated like teaching from the textbook? Why not ban classrooms and do everything online.

Just because you have access to more information does not mean it will necessarily be useful (Hamlet with all notes from actors, scholars, contributors and links to Youtube) Enhancements, build in questions for discussion

Moving education to the future, really? Books are not artifacts, like papyrus, scrolls, clay tablets. We even preserve those for use in study. Yes in some cases they are digitized, but sometimes it is the study of the actual object, not just its content. Just like rare book rooms.

As an incentive to scan all books? Update intellectual property rights? These are good things, but not way to do it. Connect knowledge and ideas is good – liberate ideas though?

How are ideas held captive by the printed page… People write papers and draw inspiration from books. I reopen them all the time. Who is to say that I wouldn’t delete a book I just read off of my tablet to free up more space and never get it back from the cloud again?

A Closer Look: Literature Circles Defined – Harvey Daniels

So I am fairly certain that my third-grade teacher read this book…

Management, preparation of students, enacting principles of group dynamics. *Effective collaborative learning too

Kids and teachers approach easily and safely. Goal to “grow the club” to reallocate big chunks of class time to genuine student-led small-group book discussions.

  • Four ways of getting started
  • Student-led discussion groups quick and successful
  • Long run management
  • Solidify/deepen role in curriculum across grade levels

Putting the control in the students hands – “for reading to become a lifelong habit and deeply owned skill, it has to be voluntary, anchored in feelings of pleasure and power” – genuine choice and self-direction

  • Ideas for how teacher could suggest books or ensure enough students pick the same book?
    • Compromised, by limiting to school/public library, ability to provide copies. Can start with a single book or limit choice to a few books.
  • Problem of students picking based on friend groups rather than interest.
    • Not problem as long as reading, participating, and geting into book.
      • Similar to adult who decide what they want to read together and have book at center of gahtering
    • Secret ballot

Choice is integral component of literate behavior*

aim for open and natural conversation that allows digressions and open-ended questions and formation of personal connections

  • No questions, worksheets, study guides
  • Ownership makes a big difference
    • Students in charge of their thinking/discussion
    • Require rather than letting permitting allowing
  • Value is based in self-directed practice – different paradigm of learning beyond learning literary terminology or identifying specific theme.
    • Not aimed at covering material/teaching subskills

teacher is the facilitator, evaluation by observation and self-evaluation

  • Use a complete, put-together outcome = joining in small group thoughtful conversation about literature
    • More time to collect qualitative form of evaluation
    • Self-monitoring by students, key in reading process of book selection, record keeping and evaluation of LC activities.
      • Regularly asked to write/talk evaluatively about their own goals, roles, perfomances in LC

Balance in reading/language arts program:

  1. student-directed and teacher-guided
  2. individual vs. small group vs. whole group
  3. extensive vs. intensive = types of social interactioins


The Evolving Book Group – Beth Dempsey

New format of ebook –> New opportunity for libraries to take lead in transition ans show library’s brand in books – no matter format – to fullest advantage through ever-evolving ever-engaging book groups

Transformative experience of using the library, transformative book discussion, and transformative book format

  • Book evolves, book groups evolve, libraries evolve to reach new markets
  • Discussion comes from differences in how we interpret what we read
    • How we understand the beahvior of characters and their choices
  • Libaries putting twist on a predictible program to align with civil initatives/engage audiences that are underserved.

Tool for engagement, to attract new users

  • Not your ordinary book group – meets in physical library monthly/connects daily through a blog.
    • Whether they read the book or not, no pressure just fun
    • Chosen by online vote that is finalized in person
  • Virtual component
    • Flexibility wihtout loss of community
    • Older members learning how to blog and join in
  • Focus on no pressure!
  • Graphic Novels book club in Austin

Reading the Crowd -paying attention to patron needs/interests

  • Whether it was changing time/location
  • Colorado found way to discuss lit in stimulating but nonintimidatin environment
  • Maine had Jane Auden book group, that ended after one month.
    • Changed focus in response to patrons
    • Don’t give up after a rough start!

Finding resourcesis a struggle, remove faciliator with Book Group to Go kits

  • Publisher support with dicsusison guides
  • Unique require librarian expertise
  • Online less challenging than first glance – email and google friend connect within blog
  • increasing online communities faciliattion


Socratic Seminars – Lynda Tredway

Students develop ethics and critical thinking -actively and cooperativly . Involving students actively in learning process to relate activies to own experiences, engaging on emotional level

Why: bare facts toward motivation and emotions (metacognitive activiees)

Socratic seminar does this: structured discoures about ideas/moreal dilemmas

  • Evaluate positions and make decisions, explain their decisions
  • Through doubt and systematic questionng of another person, one gets to ultimate truth

Enage in active learning – explain, muster evidence, generalize, apply concepts, analogize, represent in new way.

  • Intellectual discourse, with students observe to see what kinds of conttributions are made, how they are supported and questions asked yeild several others withing to speak
  • No raising hands, body language, eye contact and mutual respect
    • UMMMM??

Tie to other educational objectives like vocab, interpretive/comparative reading, and text analysis. Also synthesis and evaluation

Use compelling texts – substantive allow explore relationships with others and gain intellectual/emotional maturity, build self-esteem thorugh competence

Confront moral conflicts, work out solutions, test ideas?

Teacher facilitator and participant

  • guide to deeper/clarified consideration of ideas
  • respect viewpoints
  • adhere to process

Spills out into whole schoools instructional climate??

  • Trust own reasoning take tests better
  • schooling connected to won experiences likely be more actively engaged
  • Practice habits of mind/heard that further the individual and society

School fulfils purpose of preparing thoughtful citizens for active involvement in democratic society…

Class Last Week: Revisited those sheets.

Blog Post 6

Last week in class, we had a discussion about formative and summative assessment. The fascinating thing about it was the simultaneous aversion and need for summative assessment. In our world of standardized tests to evaluate performance, it seems that a teacher could easily become disillusioned; it cannot be easy seeing a bright student torn to pieces on a summative assessment of their skills. There are other ways to evaluate student performance and provide feedback. Yet, what impetus would there be for students to put in the effort without grades?

Where I went to elementary school, we were not graded on every assignment. Our “grades” at the end (and halfway point) of the year were based on our progress throughout that period. It was a very simple system, a score of one to three was given in a variety of categories from writing to our qualities. That report was given to my parents. I did not even know we were being evaluated until I looked back through all the old Boxes of Broghan in high school. What prompted us to do the work and put in the effort if we were not being directly summatively assessed?

I believe that our feedback was purely formative, like Broghan you did so well with that cursive B but your S’s could have a little more space between the lines, so why don’t we try together. Another thing I believe was stressed in that learning environment was transfer. When we learned cursive, we then had an art assignment where we had to integrate that learning into our project. It was like the skill linked the two disciplines together. As the text points out by citing Broudy, we were not trained. We were educated.

As I read through this chapter, it is like I am diving into the minds of the teachers at my elementary school. Every lesson built on the one before with the design to spread the net from one skill to more and more diverse and complicated tasks; we were set up to naturally transfer farther on our own. This is the idea of combining the different types of transfer from vertical to near to far. The same section warned about negative transfer.

What interested me the most about the idea of negative transfer was the way that same net that extends a skill to new disciplines and opportunities could crumble. It explains just how important the initial learning phase is to students overall success. For instance, I learned the English and French alphabet at the same time. In French, G’s sound like J’s and J’s are pronounced like G’s. Unfortunately, I absorbed the French sounds more than the English in that initial learning phase, resulting in my writing G instead of J when we moved from alphabet writing to word writing. It has wreaked havoc on a variety of almost finished posters and remains an everyday event. While a fairly innocent example, it does show the consequences of a failure in the initial learning phase. Luckily, most of my other transfer cases are positive.

All of this points to the necessity of deliberateness in an educator’s curriculum and everyday interactions with students. Not only do they need a plan for initial learning to stick in a students head by using contrasting cases, they need to convey the implication of that learning. However, the most important part, in my opinion, is instilling a motivation to learn. Or as I always say, a love of learning. Armed with that motivation to move to the next step, a student may begin to transfer their knowledge beyond even the planned out bounds.



Blog 5

It is possible I am the very last person to notice this but here it goes anyways. In class, I have noticed that we are not only being taught about instruction but being instructed through the instructive techniques that we are learning. While in our first week we slogged through with an inopportunarrangementnt of chairs that yielded stilted conversations limited to the students’ immediate are, the third week in class was characterized by intimate discussion among small groups stemming from several squares of island-like tables. I was happy for the serendipity of developing these thoughts about class the same week we read about the design of learning environments in How people learn. 

The purposeful arrangement of tables in class was a very physical concrete phenomenon; it was not a theoretical examination of learning environments, but real-world actions that lead to real-world results. We see observation reflected in the chapter that distinguishes learning theory from the design of an effective learning environment, where the former “does not provide a simple recipe” for the later. For someone new to the instruction of others, this was a foreboding sentence to read. On one hand, I know that a simple change can drastically alter the tone of a classroom. On the other hand, I do not know and neither does education theory what type of environment derives from a specific choice or even choice based on theory.

Following How people learn, it seems like there is a step missing in this discussion or a more appropriate focus. I first saw the change in our classroom format and then the change in the classroom’s atmosphere. If we start at not only examining the atmosphere that we want to create but the atmosphere we should create as instructors, then we can figure out what real-world actions can realize it. It does not start with a theory, but rather the question of how theories have impacted the priorities of the educational environment. For instance, new developments in the science of learning are examined and represented in theories. These theories suggest the need to alter or examine the characteristics of learning environments, but how?

There are so many more important aspects necessary to mold in a learning environment than the seating arrangement. In fact, it is suggested that a learning environment need be both learner, knowledge, and assessment centered. There are many different ways to establish or work toward the understanding over memorization learning implicit to the two formers, but the latter seems to require addition procedure to implement. Where creating understanding in each individual learner is focused on ways instructors can form learner and knowledge-centered environment for the students, “effective teachers” must continually learn from their students and seek out opportunities to provide formal and informal feedback.

Our second reading from Greenstein proposes three essentials for an assessment-centered environment, suggesting formative assessment be student-focused, instructionally informative, and outcomes based. These are much more concrete steps then theory about how to be an assessment-based instructor from the previous paragraph. These essentials seem like that essential step between theory and practice. The theory says to continually learn about how your students are learning, but not how. Here the question is answered, by being student-focused. Further, the answer is further broken up in a very no-nonsense way that confers the necessary practical information; a guide containing information about what instructors need to know to nurture an assessment-centered environment.

My favorite part of this guide is not the way it breaks up each bit into manageable bites, but the way it both reminds and provides guidance for teachers on how to maintain a balance amid formulary assessments, centered environments, and theories. Oh my! Taking all of the information in from these readings, an instructor might not know where to start. The simple reminder that it is not formative assessment is n ot summative assessment telling what students have learned, but rather how they learned.


Blog Post #4

Last week’s discussion of information literacy was really thought-provoking for me. It is so important to question knowledge whether it falls into your lap or you seek it out, regardless of if you are in a library or not. In fact, it seems like it is even more important for information literacy to grow outside of libraries; for it to be embedded in more than just a child’s trip to a library or a teenager’s search for their first quality source. Yet, as we discussed in class information literacy has been slow to gain traction outside of our librarian bubble.

Why is that? There is so much attention given to curriculum in schools, why have the majority of references to information literacy come from outside organizations? It seems like even if a teacher wanted to address the concepts beyond “not using Wikipedia”, they would be corraled by the curriculum. For instance, the CCSI_ELA Standards only require that students be able to gather, “integrate, and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem”. This seems to imply that students must be able to evaluate a source’s content in relation to a problem, rather than its reliability.

It appears that people have begun to look beyond the school system to develop this skill. The News Literacy Project and to a lesser extent the Standford History Education Group’s publication seek an effective way to teach students how to evaluate the reliability of sources. I have a few problems with this approach. For one, the Stanford methodology was created to be purely evaluative. Even if used as a teaching tool, there is the problem of diversification.  I had to teach Lula how to sit multiple times, repeating the process on a variety of surfaces.

The issue with the Stanford group’s methodology as an evaluative tool is that it could only account for one type of fake news at a time. It requires repeating the process indefinitely, showing students the issues with one tweet or website, before moving on to showing different issues present on another tweet or website. Just like Lula needs to know more than how to sit on the carpet,  students need to know how to identify the reliability of all tweets, not just one. At a glance, the New’s Literacy project seems to better account for the wide variety of situations a student would be required to evaluate for reliability. However, it is offering a service at a cost. Is that enough to make it suspect as a learning tool?

Is a learning tool even necessary?found myself having difficulty separating the two concepts of information literacy and critical thinking during class last week. At its root, information literacy seems like a buzzword for using prior knowledge and thinking about where a piece of information came from. Instead of searching for learning tools, wouldn’t be better to focus on learning curriculum to allow for more exploration of knowledge and development of critical thinking skills. Obviously, this isn’t going to happen anytime soon, but it seems like moving away from the “musts” of CCSSI_ELA and to the “support” of C3 might be a good first step.



Blog Post 3

Broghan “Fly On the Wall” Sagers.

Last week I attended class virtually. It was soo much better than missing class. I could see everyone, hear voices, identify the speaker, and follow the conversation. It was a really nice thing to have on a day when I was unable to be physically in class. But it got me thinking about many library masters programs take place solely online. After my class attendance via the interweb, I do not know how much can be gained beyond the steps of a reference interview or the history of the field through those programs; the facts are there, but what about the interplay.

Our discussions are essential to broadening my understanding of the expanding and evolving the field of library and information science. It is the give and take, the tangents, and shared experiences that generally yield the inspiration, ideas, and new directions. What the most difficult part of being virtually present in class was that I could not contribute to that interplay. I was unable to really tune in and pick up on those ideas that peaked my interest. You could say that the Standard Framework for Learners was interrupted. We included me the best we could, but I was separate.

My participation was limited to listening.Even if I did write a message, it would be a very scaled down and travel through a game of telephone, rendering it a bit flat. All I can say is thank goodness we have this blog so I was able to discuss all of the things I wanted to mention in class. My cohort is so lucky. In my experience with online courses, the limitations on participation were even more severe. From no discussion participation where students simply listen to a lecture to messaging to replying to response papers, each option lacks something essential to the interactive dynamic discussion. The collaboration aspect of learning is warped.

It is difficult to see how something as essential as information literacy could be taught through the online model. How can one be cognizant they are entering a conversation when the conversation takes place through a different form of learning? Our classes here (especially the LIS/ARM ones) are based on conversations, both in the literature and our own. We have been taught to seek out conversations taking place and to value our place as contributors to these discussions. Information literacy is taught, but it is also embedded in the way we are taught.

I wonder how the concept of metaliteracy could be applied to online courses like it has been applied to collaborative online communities by Mackey & Jacobson. An online course ranges from self-paced to a strict course time with due dates. With self-paced courses discussion are being picked up by successive generations of students passing through there is much more a resemblance to social media, while a more traditional online course format is structured. This seems to suggest that between being physically in class, being in an online course, and being self-paced a varied conception of information literacy is required. In our in class discussions, perhaps a different skill set of literacy is required than in an online course. The concept of metaliteracy, if learned and applied, could increase the quality and instances of discussion in online courses.

This week, I will be very thankful to be in class.


Cleaning up messy data with Open Refine

[Start of Transcript]

Errors are everywhere in datasets. Today we are using OpenRefine to clean up a messy dataset that contains historical restaurant menus. Simply download the spreadsheet from the data page and upload the file to OpenRefine. Click next, give it a name and click Create project in the top right corner.

Now we are ready to start cleaning, which is basically organizing by putting like things together. We are going to work the event attribute. To work with an attribute you select the down arrow to the left of its name. Facet to text facet, which creates a list of all the values in our 17545 rows and the number of times they are used.

Scrolling through you can see that Dinner is written different ways, some with question marks and some misspellings, like diner. Cluster will group like words together regardless of punctuation or capitalization. It is important to scroll through and see if there are any synonyms. To me, supper is dinner. We can merge the supper and dinner groups by selecting merge and giving them the same name: Dinner. To finalize this, select Merge Selected and Re-Cluster.

To see the results, close the cluster screen. On the left side, change the sort by to count. DINNER now has 2270 occurrences.  To undo this clustering, click Undo/Redo and click 0. Reselect Facet and you can see that there were originally only 1827 mentions of DINNER.

The way data is cleaned changes the conclusions that can be drawn from it. If I use facet -> timeline facet on the date attribute, I can exclude all rows without a date by deflecting the box next to blank. This makes the data usable by someone who is interested in drawing conclusions from the data based on date. Another person cleaning the data could choose to keep rows with a blank date attribute.

The exclusion and inclusion would lead to two different inferences from the data. Including the blank dates results in 4 instances of Fruhstuck/Breakfast,  while excluding a blank brings that number down to three. This may not seem like a big difference. Clustering we can limit the rows to under 100 and the length to a relatively high number. Consider dinner versus Fruhstuck breakfast.

We have do decide if this value is unique enough to remain on its own or if all fruhstucks, whether breakfast or lunch, should be combined. Neither is wrong. Different cleaning choices simply means the data tells a different story, like these from the New York Public Library Menu Blog.

No matter what, the raw data needs to be preserved, so new stories can be told.

Thank you for watching


Blog Post 2

Many of my classes this semester are very distant from the practical hands-on side of things. Our first class was so refreshing, despite being in corraled in rows. I’m looking forward to being able to see everyone and experience the changes to the instructional dynamic that result from that change. Even though this whole course aims to take on the hands-on experimental learning through the activities, it was really great to see our instructor make those changes to our own class and hear the reasoning behind the decision.

Even more interesting is how that one change will yield many other positive changes with respect to accessibility. I do not have a wheelchair, but I do have an 80-pound labrador to accommodate. In many classrooms, the end seat is taken by the time we make it in and a great deal of shifting is required to make room for both of us.  Even after all of that, I feel squished and a bit self-conscious. The reorganization of the chairs from compact crowded rows to an open square increases the accessibility of the classroom. The increasing accessibility cascades down to decreases my worries and anxieties, allowing for a better learning experience.

That is just the classroom. There are many different forms of learning taking place that make use of increasingly advanced technologies. Tutoring, self-paced online course platforms, and even screencasts all engage in the business of instruction. Let’s focus on screencasts. You start with the best intentions and make an effort to pick the best recording software. Maybe you even audit things to ensure your words match with the closed captioning. Then you feel good that everything was done to increase accessibility, publish, and move on. The problem with this one and done tutorial style is that, unlike with a webinar that you give multiple times, the instructional design cycle only cycles once. You may evaluate what went wrong and apply it to your next video, but there is no need to go back to a finished tutorial.

Even tips for screencasting do not mention accessibility, the desire to pick a good video window size is the result of hosting on multiple browsers. It isn’t about ensuring good closed captioning or sound quality for those who are hard of hearing. It isn’t about ensuring any images shown are described so those with limited visual acuity can participate. There is a lack of analysis or even tips that one should participate in the analysis, let alone a mention of accessibility concerns or best practices. Even the Best Practices article is limited to academic libraries and brings up accessibility twice… Once to mention captions to meet web accessibility standards and a second time to reiterate captioning text.  Accessibility is not just an academic libraries concern. Accessibility is more than captions.