The Future of GSLIS: Blended and Online Courses

You haven't heard from me in a long while because I've been in class every day for the past three weeks. No, I am not taking more than my usual part time load. However, I am taking my first online class this semester. The online class is taking up most of my time. I spend a good hour every day following my class discussion on twitter. Check us out #lis460. I also listen to podcasts from my professor, the ever so talented Linda Braun. After the podcast for the week is over I watch her explain a new trend in social media through multiple screencasts on youtube. I then do my readings. Thankfully they are more relevant than a textbook on reserve at Beatley; they are blog posts or magazine articles from the LIS, technology or education field. I then take all of this knowledge and discuss it with my group on a collaborative google doc. There are of course other projects, but that is the bare bones of what we do every week.

I used to luxuriate in the "one day of Simmons" marathon. I would spend just one day a week soaking up LIS knowledge in a lecture style class. Do some homework at the library or read and then check my LIS brain at the door to the parking garage because I was DONE. D-O-N-E. I really didn't want to be bothered with having to THINK or apply what I'd just read about to my work. You're rolling your eyes because deep down you know you've done just that at some point in your time at GSLIS. I don't blame you. I just want to say that I was a naysayer of online classes because I thought I would never get as good of an education without a flesh and blood professor standing in front of me. This is simply not true. This is the most intense course I have ever taken. I have never been so challenged.

I can't sit around spending too much time on this post because at this very moment I'm thinking about the qualities that define a great app and the benefits of BYOD (bring your own device) brokered through the school library. My mind is flooded with thoughts. And you know, the more I think about this blog the more I think that maybe a blog is not the best medium for this audience. Maybe what Simmons Snippets really needs is a Tumblr page or a weekly podcast. This is what you want your education to be like: making your brain explode with ideas and applying that electricity to the library where you work.

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