Last night I attended the first Reality Librarianship session for 2013 offered by Heroes Mingle – a partnership made up of Sally Pewhairangi (@sallyheroes) and Megan Ingle (@megingle). This is my impression of the main points of the talk The italics is me; the rest is my summary of the talk.
This talk was:
Community Centred Learning – the chalkle° experience
Jo Ransom(@jransom) Te Takere Horowhenua Culture & Community Centre
Please also check out:
- “Chalkle provides libraries with community engagement metrics” – summary post on Heroes Mingle blog
- Storify of the tweets
- chalkle° started in Wellingon in 2012
- Te Takare has been open 8 months
- Te Takare started offering courses through chalkle° from May 1, 2013
How did Te Takare become involved with chalkle°?
- The council wanted to build more than just a library
- The library needed to find a tool to deliver community education
- Horowhenua has quite an elderly population, so people with a lot of experience to offer
- These people are equal providers and consumers of knowledge
- Heard about chalkle° at NDF 2012 which was a perfect fit!
It’s important to work with the community, not just ‘do’ stuff.
What is the chalkle° model?
- Participants sign up to be a teacher, learner or both!
- It relies on community knowledge and engagement; the courses offered will vary depending on the community.
- A different model of learning that relies on local experts
- Face-to-face classes
- Low cost – from free to $10+ (really depends on the course)
- Values include open source, community engagement, collaboration, sharing
A community getting richer…
What is your relationship with chalkle°?
- chalkle° is a franchise
- Training and a manual is provided
- chalkle° also manage online registration & payment and take a small cut for admin costs
- Ongoing relationship between delieverers as well; learn from each other & identify best practice models/courses
- Also have one library staff member who works exclusively on the chalkle° courses
Do you have more learners or teachers?
- Got feedback on what people would be interested in learning in planning stage
- People are very keen to both teach and learn!
Where do you hold the classes?
- Local college
- Any community space really
Everywhere is a classroom
What role does the library play?
- The library plays an integral role in coordination
- Been particularly overwhelmed with requests for ‘digital literacy’ – was holding 1 hour sessions which people could book and ask for help with anything
- Picked some of the most popular digital literacy topics – particularly about ereaders and ebooks – and put them into chalkle° classes which were fully booked!
- Recognizes the demand that drives the classes
Chalkle° helps the community as a whole become stronger. It is an extension of what the library already does.
How do you market it?
- Word of mouth
- Aware of digital divide, so use other means to draw people in
What sort of age groups do you have?
- Usually around 40-60 year olds (but typical of this community)
- Could also be the people who see this marketing
What are the maximum/minimum size of the classes?
- It depends on the topic, venue, and perhaps the tutor
How do you do quality control?
- Chalkle° works with the tutors and gives them tips from the manual
- The tutors learn from bad experiences
- People recognize Chakle° is about people sharing, not ‘teaching’ so they are both forgiving of mistakes and generous in their reactions
Any challenges you are facing so far?
- It’s hard for people to believe it is free and comes from altruistic motivation for good of community
- People get scared by the term ‘franchise’ and worry that it might be all about making money
- We challenge this misconception by demonstrating how good it is
- We walk the talk and make it work
I asked a question about how Jo thought that Chalkle is both similar to and different from MOOCs.
How are Chalkle° classes similar to and different from MOOCs?
- Chalkle° is face-to-face, connecting people, exchanging information and knowledge.
- Not online
- Key thing is community engagement and the face-to-face model.
So in a sense, I suppose you could argue that they are not similar at all; they are completely different models of teaching – face-to-face versus online – but I believe the philosophy behind them is the same. Both Chalkle° and MOOCs are about bringing education to the communities and making it free to learn. Both are part of a larger movement towards the freeing of information, and the breaking down of barriers to education. The world is your classroom, and I think that both of these contribute to this vision.
Thank you to everyone involved in making this session a success – I’ve learned a lot, and got plenty to think about. I can’t wait for the next session! So if you haven’t already, make sure you sign up for the next sessions.