XPRTN for Futures Literacies

Educational institutions are politically the “slowest tanker” regarding their willingness to change. That is as true for schools and their curricula as it is for pedagogical adaptations and paradigms of public libraries. Given ChatGPT, Luminar Neo, and similar AI-supported image and text programs and the demands of a diversified society, these institutions face even more severe challenges and changes than those brought about by digitization and networking in Web 2.0. Schools and universities are considering how examinations can be made even safer and how undercutting can become impossible. Initial considerations are expectedly to move in the direction of restrictions and controls. They are relying on appropriate security software, which is the equivalent of using AI, to put AI on trial?. Teachers fear losing control over knowledge acquisition if artificial bits of intelligence with access to the digitally available literature create texts at a speed and complexity at which this is impossible for humans.

What is the function of libraries in this process? How do they respond to the “competition of AI”? Solutions must not be sought by taking a step backward, ignoring the existence of such systems, and relying on memorized book knowledge in oral exams as proof of performance. To borrow Henry Jenkins’ description of schools’ misadoption of innovation: we need to avoid learning for an “outdated world” (Jenkins & Kelly, 2013, p. 9). Disruptive technological developments require just such societal adjustments. Riel Miller’s (2011), theory of futures literacy, now a UN initiative, considers inculcating more effective preparation, analysis, and empowerment for what challenges and developments lie ahead for humanity.

The collective examination of different levels of future problems and possible developments and solutions should make short-, medium- and longer-term scenarios conceivable and creatively workable. In our new continuing education program, “XPRTN for futures literacies,” we wanted to create training reflective of beliefs held by public library employees while supporting their searchfor a future library pedagogy through knowledge of theory, structure, and categories as well as through collaborative development We were concerned with meeting the challenges in a diverse post- or transhumanistic mediatized society of inclusion, gender justice, democratization, linguistic and social diversity, (Ernst & Schröter, 2020). Our team at TU Dortmund and TH Cologne University of Applied Sciences addressed these concerns in our training –. The format thus replaces the “XPRTN for Reading,” which has qualified about 15 employees of public libraries annually since 2011. The reference to educational partners’ expectations and framework conditions will remain in the new offering. However, the orientation moves from reading as a cultural technique to a more action-oriented approach of participatory adaptation to continuously changing framework conditions and the social challenges of the library as a “third place (Oldenburg, 1989).” We plan to outline and reflect on the concept in a collegial circle in our conference presentation.

References

  • Jenkins, H., & Kelly, W. (Eds.) (2013). Reading in a participatory culture. Remixing Moby-Dick in the English classroom. New York; London: Teachers College Press.
  • Ernst, C., & Schröter, J. (2020). Zukünftige Medien. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.
  • Miller, R. (2011). Opinion: Futures literacy: Embracing complexity and using the future. Ethos, 10, 81–86. Retrieved from https://www.csc.gov.sg/docs/default-source/ethos/ethos10.pdf
  • Oldenburg, R. (1989). The great good place. St Paul, Minnesota: Paragon House .

Gudrun Marci-Boehncke, Tatjana Vogel
TU Dortmund University, Germany

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