Monday, April 8, 2013

First Stop...What is the Brain Train?

In the beginning (or 2007, to be more precise), there was iHCPL, to guide us through the new technologies of Web 2.0.  Next, we followed the HCPL Treasure Hunt to help us navigate our way through different library concepts.  Finally, we took the Space Quest, exploring library functions that might usually be someone else’s responsibility. 
This year, though we still have a cute name, our focus will be more internal.  The HCPL Brain Train will explore skills like social intelligence, cross-cultural competency, and new media literacy.  You might discover skills you were already using and didn’t know you had, or self-assessment might lead you to explore new talents.  Your learning could take place in a group, at a computer, or on your own.  It might not seem like learning at all.
Inspired by a paper called Future Work Skills 2020, LIT has created a different sort of training program for the Brain Train.  According to this paper, six factors are driving change in the skills that we need in the workplace:
·         We are living longer and the nature of our careers and lifelong learning will change.
·         Computer processing will move us to a more programmable world.
·         Social technology will come in new and different forms.  Organizations will be larger.
·         The workplace will have smart machines and robotics will help with daily processing.
·         New communication tools will require media literacy beyond text.
·         Lastly, we will be a more globally-connected world.
Scary or intriguing?  Read on.
Imagine the year is 2020.  What do you think the library will look like?  The collection?  The buildings?  The computers?  The catalog records?  Most importantly, what skills will the library staff need for the future?  What will our children need?  Our children’s children?

Thomas Suarez was speaking in 2011, not 2020, but the solution to his app development dilemma was not found at the library.  What if his library had used adaptive thinking, new media literacy and social intelligence to work with Thomas and his friends?
Let’s follow Steampunk Harriet as she conducts us on the Brain Train, a training filled with group activities, interactive learning and, yes, training credits.  Not all activities will receive the same amount of credit and you don’t have to complete all tasks to receive credit.  We hope that you experience learning and fun.
So, grab your goggles and your gear and get onboard.

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