In this 4th entry, I will take my argument to it’s logical (I think) conclusion: implementation.
It bears noting that there are outliers. However these people are not the target of this blog series. This proposed program is for the average LIS student and not those people who were/are planning on enter the tech field anyway.
So what would a digital curriculum look like?
All introductory Archival/Library classes
- - It’s incredibly important that the basic principles are learned.
- Digital track students should start an internship in their first semester.
- -This internship should continue for at least 1 year, and hopefully for the entire time a student spends in the program. There are several reasons for requiring a long term internship. The first reason is that it would allow a student to not only gain knowledge in their particular job, but also allow them to see how knowledge, personal goals, and business goals intersect, conflict and ultimately, lead to a finalized product. This is a relationship that cannot be properly understood in 60 or even 120 hours.
Applying basic library/archival principles to digital
- How do principles such as original order, provenance, open access, and content management work in the digital field. How are they different, how do they stay the same? The idea is to create a link between the analog world and digital, while also emphasizing the need for an extremely flexible mindset.
- Now it’s time for students to apply the skills they’ve learned to the real world. This should be done in accordance with their internship. The goal is to integrate the classroom and business worlds. Additionally, students will be tasked with attempting to understand the underlying structures with some of the internet’s most important applications/programs
Introduction to DTDs/Schemas/Domains/etc
- Students should be exposed to the building blocks of XML schemas, dtds, domains and their intellectual meaning.
- The goal is to take all of the concepts learned, and applied over the preceding semesters and marry them. It is incredibly important that students observe, learn, and actively practice what is taught. They need to understand WHY they took that boring information management class, or the seemingly useless XML class. At this point they should have to start actively, and creatively applying these skills. The goal is to graduate a student that is not only well versed in the basic problems confronting the digital environment, but also how to potentially solve them. Or more importantly, they should leave the program with an appropriate mindset: nothing is holy, everything is malleable, but there are always caveats.