After the first semester that a new course is taught, I have noticed teachers asking each other for a copy of their lesson plans for that course, if they survived a semester teaching it. This echoes the cries of the United States educational system wanting a miracle teaching method that could be used in any subject for any course for any student’s educational level. This is the same for information professionals. They are teachers who are using the same steps to archive, manage records, and perform reference services to help customers gain access to the information housed in various institutions and organizations throughout the world. Everyone wants the transparency on how to find that information. Basically, this is the transparency of how we have done are jobs to provide access to this information.
Through my series of steps to information literacy, I have found that the memory is a great place to store how we do our duties but what if others could benefit from knowing “how” we did it? This goes back to wondering if your clients remember how to use your search tools to access the information stored at their educational institution or other type of organization. I created a virtual assistant to review with clients the search methods that were covered face to face. ELA, my Electronic Library Assistant, travels to the clients’ offices, homes, and classrooms, to review those searching methods with them 24/7. So, it is like me “traveling” with them to help them “tinker” with the methods we discussed before and then “talk” about other ways that they could search on their own through the Three T’s method.
ELA has been found to be very compatible with the customers’ computer skills since they could manage to always keep communications with family, fellow classmates/employees, and friends through their smart phones, tablets, and laptops. I created a virtual teaching assistant in a blended-animated flipped classroom environment that would incorporate the technology that the customers held dear and allowed them to keep a constant flow of customer engagement inside and outside of their workplaces. Through this virtual environment, a video archive is created that customers could go back to anytime and anywhere with lessons based upon what I had experienced with them and/or other customers (no customer names are stored). The teaching methods are stored for continual viewing.
Any archivist, records manager, or other type of information professional, can do this for accountability and transparency of their work to be shown to their customers and departments. If you are interested in finding out more about it, I will be giving a webinar, for Innovative Educators, Wednesday, March 4, 2015, on how to create accountability and transparency in your job through a virtual teaching assistant. Information professionals and administrators are shown how to make a virtual teaching assistant and how to incorporate it into their presentations through GoAnimate.com, Screencast.com, and Camtasia.
Stay tuned for more adventures in information literacy.
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Editor’s Note – this article first published in Computer Savviness – and republished with the author’s permission.