Gleaning (into it and up, up)

gleaning – v. “1. To gather (grain) left behind by reapers. 2. To collect bit by bit”

“Gleaning grows out of a willingness to become an active and interested sponge…” (Booth, 2011, p. 26)


The eye sees light. The eye considers gleaming and radiance. Knowing the definition does not change the way an eye catches a word to make it of the body of knowing. To glean is to learn fractally from others, to integrate new knowledge into our “frames of reference”, to make meaning from it. (Mezirow et. al, 2000, Core Principles of Transformative Learning Theory).

As people influencing one another in unseen and immeasurable ways, we have the capacity to glean so much from others if we are open to it. To absorb this as light, whether we learn from people or places or learning objects. This is my understanding of gleaning.

To learn from my environment is my daily goal. My preferred method of documentation is jotting notes in my notebook to aid memory of any fleeting observations or thoughts or situations I’d like to retain, remember, reuse. I like to make word clouds when hearing poets read their work, and later use those word clouds to make poems. I like to visit museums and galleries and notate techniques, mediums, styles, or ideas I find interesting so I can later research them and possibly use them to inform my photography.


My tech tools include the following:

Facebook  – use daily as a content aggregator for info about libraries, politics, local events, and to stay in touch with friends

Twitter – former use included finding information about political demonstrations and actions; currently use sporadically for info about libraries, conferences, and tech trends.

Gmail – use daily for document storage and accessibility as well as communication

Google Docs – personal and professional collaborative use

Dropbox – use daily for document storage and accessibility

Delicious – I used to love bookmarking sites with the nifty “save to delicious” browser button, but have fallen out of favor with it due to new interface. Also, was irked by the scare of them going away, and migrated to Diigo but don’t use that either. Would like to try Instapaper but feeling a bit taxed and spread thin among so many platforms and tools. When I have time to properly research how to migrate from Delicious to Instapaper, I will give it a try.

Google Reader – I have aggregated tons of bundled content in my Google Reader but cannot train myself to visit that page. I usually opt to scroll through live feeds on my blog’s sidebar to scan important news items.


I’ve downloaded both Evernote and Zotero out of curiosity, and will make time this semester to try out these two discovery tools.

The possibilities for gleaning abound 🙂



Booth, C. (2011). Reflective teaching, effective learning: Instructional Literacy for Library Educators. American Library Association Editions: Chicago.

the free dictionary. 2012. Accessed September 12, 2012 from

Mezirow, Jack & Associates, 2000, Learning as Transformation, Jossey Bass, San Francisco.

Reflection: Flexibility

Flexibility is key to engaging learners and their myriad learning styles. As a poetry instructor team-teaching a workshop designed for underserved youth, I learned firsthand how rigidly adhering to a lesson plan impeded student learning. The element of surprise, while often appreciated in the line of a poem, is especially useful when teaching a room of bored teens looking for a way out.

“Differentiating instruction” can help keep learners engaged by incorporating that element of surprise. (Booth, 2011, p. 50) By choosing to incorporate both procedural and conceptual (direct and discovery) instructional techniques, teachers can engage multiple senses and intelligences and promote transfer and retention. By remaining open to the highly diversified needs of a classroom environment, teachers are privileged and challenged to listen intently for new ways to best serve learners.

As Booth (2011) suggests, thinking about learning as a continuum instead of hierarchically allows the mind to consider the nonlinear ways we can grasp new knowledge. In changing the visual model from a laddered to a lateral approach, learners can begin to grasp how what we know and what we learn continue to blend and recontextualize to make new learning. One way this is done is by anchoring new knowledge to previous knowledge. This method of cognitivist instruction can be paired with other instructional methods e.g. behaviorist and constructivist to meet various student needs.

Booth, C. (2011). Reflective teaching, effective learning: Instructional Literacy for Library Educators. American Library Association Editions: Chicago.