Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Repurposing 23 Things for Health Sciences Educators?!

"23 Things" is a library staff development learning concept centered on social collaboration tools. It was conceived by Helene Blowers in 2006, and libraries and library organizations of all sizes and types have adapted the idea for their own staff. The focus of the program is a hands-on, self-directed, and innovative way to introduce staff, volunteers, trustees, and others to Web 2.0 tools like blogs and wikis.

This afternoon I 'attended' a 2-hour 23 Things Summit that had over 250 participants. The summit consisted of 'presentations' from several successful programs who shared their best practices and lessons learned. I am not going to spend any more time on the summit since you can revisit it here. (Note: the number of attendees Twittering the event made the summit a trending topic on Twittersearch and Twittergrid, )

I think we now have enough anecdotal and survey evidence to say that the program is a success in the library community. Both the technical knowledge and technology learning behaviors of participants does change by the end of the program. Great job to all!

As an academic librarian, however, I have noticed that the same concerns and issues that lead to he development of 23 Things within the library community also exist in colleges and departments across our campus. Colleges and departments are being pressured more and more to include social and Web 2.0 technologies into their educational experiences. In fact, I have a introductory meeting tomorrow to discuss a 'social networking strategy' for our college of medicine.

My first response to the meeting request that I received last week was essentially "it is great to have a strategy, but it will not be effective if the faculty don't understand or know how to use the tools. We need to come up with a way to get them engaged."

About 90 minutes into the summit a light bulb went off. It was was an exciting 'AHA' moment.

What I will be discussing at the meeting tomorrow is the idea of '23 Things for Health Sciences Educators.' It will essentially be a re-purposing of the 23 Things concept for the continuing education of health sciences faculty. What's that? Sure, library staff can participate as well!

The more I think about it I think this is an idea worth pursuing grant funds for. I also felt that idea is the way to go once I realized something. The audience I am looking at is the health sciences. The program is called 23 Things. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. I see the logo now, a double helix. With such a neat theme the program would have to be successful!

If this is such a good idea, why am I telling you and giving away my great idea? Perhaps, it is to find some possible collaborators to move this idea to a state, NLM midwest region, or national initiative? At the very least, it is to document the idea... Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

Melissa Rethlefsen said...

Ann Farrell and I did a version of this for health sciences educators at our institution last year--it was very well received! Good luck.