This was sent in by a fan. Supposedly, these are summaries of student presentations to be given at the end of a library school's required technology course, or perhaps I should say "technology" course. I'm not sure if these are supposed to be individual or group presentations, but I hope group. That would make them much more entertaining as the students vied to demonstrate the intricate workings of an iPod. ("No, wait! Let me show them how to play Brick!") By the way, I don't know any more about these than you do, since I wasn't given the full information. Maybe I'm being hoaxed. The wonderful thing about that possibility is that I don't care.
If not a hoax, this definitely shows that library school is even easier now than it was in my day, whenever that was. As ridiculously easy as I found library school, I can honestly say that I wasn't allowed to stand up in front of a class showing how to use an iPod and call it graduate work. If I recall correctly, I had to stand up and show how to operate a boombox and call it graduate work. "Watch closely, class. You push this little button to play the cassette. And this little knob lets you tune the stereo." I am, of course, joking. My library school wouldn't have let me get away with that, and yet that's exactly the sort of thing library schools are doing today while getting applause from the twopointopians.
So let's take a look at what the library school students of today get to call graduate work. Is it as easy as sitting in class playing videogames?
"*Presentation 1: Jing is a tool for creating and sharing still and video captures of a computer screen. The presenters plan to demonstrate how a librarian could use Jing to create short database or catalog tutorials that can be shared from the library's website or on-the-fly tutorials for chat reference. The presentation will be in the lab (not available for web viewing or archiving)."
I can see where this would be useful for various librarian purposes, tutorials and such. It hardly seems like something worth giving a grade to, though, and I'm assuming these presentations are graded. When I was in school, this was the sort of thing that would have been handled by some extracurricular student presentation just for fun. Still, I suppose I sat through sillier presentations in library school.
"*Presentation 2: Operations of an iPod will be presented to an audience of new users. The intention is to demonstrate the creation of learning modules for library instruction. A 5th generation iPod will be used for this demonstration."
A 5th generation iPod for a 5th grade presentation. Seems appropriate.
"*Presentation 3: The presenters will give a demonstration of how to play the game Guitar Hero. Presentation will include how this device can be used to help a person's hand-eye coordination, and also be a fun activity for older children, young adults, and older adults. Content will include discussion on how this can be used within a public library setting."
Yay! More sitting in class playing videogames. What a great way to turn your puerile hobby into an exercise for "graduate" school! Isn't this the game where you pretend to play guitar even though you don't really need to know how? That seems perfect for library school, where people pretend to be graduate students while spending their time in class playing videogames.
"*Presentation 4: This module will demonstrate the basic features of the Magellen Explorist line of GPS units. The objective is to show how a GPS system can be incorporated into a library setting or library use. A geocaching element is also included in the training module. (Portions of this module will be held outside, weather permitting.)"
Now this one is new to me, not GPS units, but claiming they can be "incorporated into a library setting or library use." Good luck meeting that objective. I'm still trying to figure out what demonstrating anything outside has to do with being in the library. Is it just me, or does it seem like some geocaching library student needed to present on something "technological" and grabbed the first thing handy? A GPS system for a library? I suppose this is information technology of a sort, but it seems unlikely that any libraries would need this. Even the bookmobile probably takes the same route all the time. Oh, wait, maybe if you worked in a really big library and were stupid enough to get lost all the time, this could be useful. The "geocaching element" is a clue, I think, that this is another way to turn a hobby into a "graduate" school presentation. I should have been allowed to demonstrate a little technology called the cocktail shaker with the objective of incorporating it into a library setting.
If possible, library school is easier than ever if this is what passes for technology education. Or perhaps we're starting to see a decline into the library version of the future envisioned by H.G. Wells in The Time Machine. If you've ever read that book, you know the future population is divided into the brutal but capable Morlocks and the harmless and helpless Eloi. In Wells's socialist vision, the Morlocks are the descendants of the working classes, who were forced to work underground until they became pale and stunted but at least are able to do things. The Eloi are the descendants of the bourgeoisie who no longer know how to do anything, but are just around to giggle and look at pretty flowers and provide food for the Morlocks.
Consider this vision as we look at library technology education. There are those library school students who learn to program computers and build systems and create useful technological stuff for their libraries. And then there are those students who learn to demonstrate iPods and play videogames. We all know that systems librarians and programmers and such like to sit in the dark and are just mean and have all the power and want to use the rest of us for food. Obviously they're the Morlocks. When we see students getting graduate credit for playing videogames in class, I think we know who the Eloi are going to be.