Owing to the scope and pace of change, society has become increasingly knowledge-based so that higher learning and research now act as essential components of cultural, socio-economic and environmentally sustainable development of individuals, communities and nations. In this environment, it is essential that higher learning and knowledge creation involve effective partnerships among academic and non-academic learning institutions and communities to create and apply learning and knowledge with stakeholders that are managing and creating sustainable development initiatives. Growing concern regarding the importance of the contribution that higher education institutions make to society has aroused increasing debate about their relevance and credibility amid escalating social problems. An underlying premise of community engagement is the understanding that not all knowledge and expertise resides in the academy, and that both expertise and great learning opportunities in teaching and scholarship also reside in non-academic settings.
This conference will explore how LIS educators and researchers can develop curricula, programs, and research activities that enable active partnerships with communities and civil society to manage and create change. How can LIS programs increase opportunities for experiential, service oriented, and community engaged student learning? How can we develop further collaboration between LIS programs and their larger communities (local, regional/ state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity?
Innovative pedagogies are needed in distance education in order to provide students with experiential learning opportunities that connect to the communities where they work. In particular, pre-service school librarians needs hands-on experiences with emerging technologies such as coding and robotics in order to lead their integration in K-12 settings. Unfortunately, often in schools, a clearly defined plan for technology integration is not developed, causing new technology to go unused, wasting the resources spent (Bauer & Kenton, 2005). The methods for integrating technology with curriculum are frequently implemented with little planning or comprehensive thought to pedagogic implementation (Buckingham, 2007; Cuban, 2001; Selwyn & Gerard, 2002). Frequently, decision makers only provide the tools without allowing for the necessary training in how to properly implement the technology.