Participatory Culture & Learning

Volume 41, No. 1
Sept/Oct 2012

The theme for the Sept/Oct 2012 Knowledge Quest is “Participatory Culture and Learning.” This issue explores what a participatory culture is, how it fits into AASL's Standards for 21st-Century Learner and the development of student dispositions needed for effective use of social media. The issue is guest edited by Buffy Hamilton and Ernie Cox.

The current issue can be viewed in an electronic flipbook in AASL eCOLLAB, an elearning laboratory for AASL members and subscribers. To gain access to this repository of professional development and resources, you are invited to join AASL or subscribe to eCOLLAB.

AASL members can also find the current issue on AASL's Metapress site. (Learn how to set up your access.) pdf icon

Table of Contents





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Guest Editors

Buffy Hamilton is the librarian at Creekview High School in Canton, Georgia. A twenty-year veteran educator, her research and practitioner interests include participatory learning and culture, ethnographic studies, digital composition, critical pedagogy, and social scholarship. She is a 2011 Library Journal Mover and Shaker, a 2011 winner of the (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) Cutting Edge Library Service Award, the 2010 Georgia Library Media Specialist of the Year, and was included in the 2010 National School Boards Association Technology Leadership Network “20 to Watch.” She blogs at The Unquiet Librarian, winner of the 2011 Salem Press Best School Library Blog Award.

Ernie Cox is a media specialist at Prairie Creek Intermediate School. In 2010 he was named one of Library Journal's 2010 Movers and Shakers. For more about Ernie visit his Prairie Creek Library Blog.

Read Buffy and Ernie’s Guest Editor column, “Participatory Culture in the School Library.”

Listen to a podcast interview with Buffy and Ernie on “Participatory Culture and Learning!”

KQ Webinar

Knowledge Quest is proud to present a webinar by Andy Plemmons, based on his article in the Sept/Oct 2012 issue.

Opening the Space: Libraries as a Site of Participatory Culture

Participatory culture is grounded in low barriers to artistic expression and allows students to be creators of content as well as pass on their experiences and knowledge to others. The Barrow Media Center is a site of participatory culture through elements such as student book budgets, collaborative projects that culminate in student product creation, opportunities for students to showcase their creations to others in a variety of ways, and students taking leadership in teaching one another how to use technology to create. This year, developing the participatory culture of the library is a specific goal that has been made public to all students, teachers, and families in the school and all members of the library have been invited to find their place in the library and make things happen. This webinar will explore participatory culture and how the library can be a space of participation.

Andy Plemmons is a school librarian in Athens, Georgia. He teaches students in PreK-5th grade at David C. Barrow Elementary. The participatory culture and collaborative projects of the Barrow Media Center are regularly featured on his blog Barrow Media Center.

To view the webinar archives, you will be taken to AASL eCOLLAB, AASL's professional development repository. You must be logged in to the AASL website as either an AASL member or eCOLLAB subscriber to view the archives.

Visit the KQ Webinar Page for archived webinars related to Knowledge Quest themes.

30 Second Thought Leadership

View video podcasts from school library leaders who answer the question, “How do you overcome barriers to using social media in school library programs?"

School Library Research (SLR) Spotlight

If you liked the Sept/Oct 2012 Knowledge Quest issue on “Participatory Culture and Learning” you may be interested in this research study published in School Library Research (SLR):

Empirical Support for the Integration of Dispositions in Action and Multiple Literacies into AASL's Standards for the 21st-Century Learner

Visit the SLR website to view other research articles by volume and author.

Additional Resources

Here are some Essential Links related to Participatory Culture and Leaning that you may find useful at your school library. Essential Links is a wiki that comprises a working bibliography of resources for school librarians, principals, parents, charter school organizers, library para-professionals, government officials, and college instructors. Books, journal articles, websites, and other media are included.

Looking for more about Participatory Culture and Learning? Click the link below to read a feature story from the March/April 2012 issue. It details a collaborative project at North Highland Elementary School in Hueytown, Alabama that took third graders on an adventure to the Wild West. The article describes the collaborative planning process and instructional design methods implemented, as well as the research activities and their impact on student learning through participation. Boom Town or Bust? A Wild West Adventure in Collaborative Planning and Coteaching pdf icon