Do you want fries with that?

Tick…tick…tick – clack.

The hour hand finally falls into its overdue position. Just enough time has passed so that you can dash out without receiving any snickers and sideways glances from your co-workers. Halfway home, the idea of relaxing and sinking into your favourite spot is dashed away. The demand of preparing dinner crosses your mind. Two options present themselves, one that alludes to being quick and easy, and the other appearing to require a little more preparation and time on your part. Exhausted and totally unenthusiastic about the prospect of investing anymore of your time and energy, you chose option one.

There is but a brief moment when no one is talking. The static from the intercom fills the void. “Do you want fries with that?” cuts the silence. Before long you are back on the road, paper bag and disposable cup in hand. Bubbles dances across your tongue and the fizz tickles your senses as you suck back on your soda. With a smile of contentment you head for your favourite spot.

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Image Source: The Hamster Factor – Drive Thru (Flicker: https://goo.gl/fid01Z)

William Badke nailed it!

We are creatures of habit.

We are creatures of comfort.

Most importantly we are creatures of convenience.

This week’s readings had us indulge on the topics of copyright practices and evaluating and curating online resources. As I navigated the streets of these readings, I found myself left with a bad taste in my mouth.

Why?

I had come to realize that I am just as guilty as any other when it comes to the act of indulging in convenience. All the while playing the ignorance card and turning a blind eye to the truth. My menu options were skewed and clouded with the need for convenience.

Are yours?

In the article, The Convenience Factor in Information Seeking, William Badke paints a very clear message. We are creatures of convenience. Our learners are creatures of convenience. When it comes to seeking out information online, Badke states “convenience trumps all other reasons for selecting and using a source (2014, p.68).

Convenience = going to the drive thru instead of prepping and cooking dinner when you get home.

Convenience = using generic search engines to seek information online. Using copyrighted materials because a lack of convenience (the time to read and understand, the time to seek out materials that are not copyright restricted)

Quality

Zipping into the fast food lane certainly satisfies my desire for convenience. It also satisfies my need for consumption (consumption of brain food, educational resources/ Information). However, it is achieved by drawing upon resources that are not of the highest standards and quality. As Badke suggests, they are merely “pretty good” (2014, p.69).  Debbie Abilock, agrees with Badake. The act of pursuing convenience does play a large role in the information gathering process. In her article, How can students know whether the information they find online is true – or not, she indicates that “realistically, we have neither the time not the patience to analyze every source and fact thoroughly” (2012, p.71).

Fast Food = convenient way to obtain “food.” However its quality pails in comparison to picking up fresh produce and preparing it at home.

Fast Food = Sources of information that are lacking in credibility, accuracy, reliability, relevance, expertise [Bromann-Bender 2013, p.42, Abilock 2012, p.71, Badke 2014, p.69]. Using sources of information and not adhering to the copyright. 

So. What’s the big deal? This one time, I was too tired to cook so I went to the drive thru.

Bad taste in the mouth reason 1:

Truth is – we are creatures of habit – it wasn’t just this one time nor will it ever just be ‘this one time’.

As the articles written by J. Bromann-Bender (2013), Badke (2014), L. Hay and C. Folley (2009), and A. Zmuda and V.H. Harada (2008), explain it is imperative that we change our diet. We stop feasting on the convenient buffet of drive thru lanes positioned so perfectly on our route, and start educating ourselves and our students how to feed our brains and our research ethically and effectively.

Bad taste in the mouth reason 2:

Though fast food is convenient and alludes to being fast. Everyone knows that in the long run, all it does is leave you needing more. I am sure you have the shared experience that when you eat at one of those places in a matter of hours you find yourself digging around in the cupboards at home looking for snacks. Your appetite is never fully satisfied. Not to mention, should you attempt to eat while driving, you may end up with a disaster on your hands (caught violating copyright). Spilled soda or perhaps a pesky ketchup drip on your new shirt. The only thing that was keeping you going that day, looking good in your new shirt, now ruined.

Just don’t do it.

It is easy to follow the car in front of you, to get in the stream. What’s the harm, everyone else is doing it.

I call this the lemmings’ road to convenience.

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Image Source: Andrew Barclay – lemming (Flicker: https://goo.gl/NyWhXG)

The harm is that you now know better.

Don’t be a lemming, unless you’re going to be the one blocking the way.

As J. Valenza states in the article Curration, “human filters make a difference. Librarians can be filters in the best sense of the word” (2012, p.20). We need to teach ourselves, teach our colleagues and teach ourselves to steer clear of convenience. In so doing, it is vital that researchers in all stages of life and learning be shown the value in searching curated electronic databases. I can assure you these databases rarely provide misleading information ultimately resulting in futile research attempts (awareness of the electronic databases presented in Lamb, 2013).

Image Sources: Pleuntje – Search (Flicker: https://goo.gl/OpvKjd), Jaime – andes, ny (Flicker: https://goo.gl/2wwLvS), Rachel – misleadning  (Flicker: https://goo.gl/J6LMqo)

It is easy to blame others and seek the path of least resistance. However, you are in the driver’s seat. The choice is yours and yours alone. Are you going to continue going to the drive thru “just this once” or are you going to make the active and necessary change to get home and cook for yourself?

I’ve decided to wait until I get home.


Featured Image Source:

Image Source: Ian Muttoo – Drive Thru (Flicker: https://goo.gl/7rLKBc)

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Below you will find the readings that influenced my reflection in addition to a section titled Growing On.

Readings that influenced my understanding:

Module 5

  • Hay, L. & Foley, C. (2009). School libraries building capacity for student learning in 21CScan 28(2): 7-26.
  • Noel, W. & Snel, J. (2012). Copyright matters! (3rd edition). Ottawa, ON: Council of Ministers of Education (CMEC), Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA), and Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF).
  • Zmuda, A. & Harada, V. H. (2008). Looking to the future: Providing resources to support 21st century learning. Librarians as learning specialists: Meeting the learning imperative for the 21st century (pp. 103-115). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Module 6

  • Abilock, D. (2012). How can students know whether the information they find online is true – or not? Educational Leadership 69(6): 70-74.
  • Badke, W. (2014). The convenience factor in information seeking. Online Searcher 38(6): 68-70.
  • Bromann-Bender, J. (2013). You can’t fool me: Website evaluation.” Library Media Connection 31(5): 42-45.
  • Brooks Kirkland, A. (2013). Teacher-librarians as content curators: Strong contexts, new possibilitiesSchool Libraries in Canada 31(2): n.p.
  • Lamb, A. (2013). Electronic databasesEduscapes: Electronic Materials for Children and Young Adults.
  • Valenza, J. (2012). CurationSchool Library Monthly. 29(1): 20-23.

Growing On:

Last week I questioned how the inquiry process was structured and set up within a class. I found that I needed to see it to get a better understanding of how it is organized. As such, I took to the internet. Dare I say, I GOOGLED IT. Oh My! Evidence to what I noted above, I am guilty. Even with all the professional readings I did, I needed to see it in image form to attach it to my schema.

The feedback provided on my first learning log highlighted that inquiry based learning is a collaborative process. It is not individual. This helped refine my understanding and allowed me to take a breath when my initial fear of having 20 different topics was not at what the inquiry process was talking about. Whew!

When I came across http://mrsmyerskindergarten.blogspot.ca the concept of inquiry based learning was solidified. A voice in my brain confidently said “you could do that” and I am starting to believe that voice. For the final assignment I can anticipate referencing Mrs. Myers and her wonderful resource.

Things I was excited about regarding curating:

LibriVox,  PebbleGo, World Book

Things that made me go….oh gee:

Copyright rules around background music – I feel I need to investigate this further.

Questioning how often the resource acquisition questionnaires (ERAC) are actually used at a school to school level. I find that we often purchase resources simply because a teacher has requested it. In fairness one of the articles did mention that this has been a shift in the teacher librarian realm.

Cheers Ashlee Dearin

 

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