Posted by LibeRaCe on May 23, 2012
At the RSC North West ‘Want your learners to be more independent?’ event I felt I had my eyes well and truly opened to the benefits of, and dare I say it, the necessity of embedding information literacy skills into learning provision – whatever form that provision that may take.
Anthony Beal and Hilary Thomas (RSC) asked us to start thinking about what our definition of ‘Critical Thinking’ and ‘Independent Learner’ might actually be. Cue much head scratching and pen waving, but ultimately many similar ideas from a mixed group of tutors/librarians/learning support officers. Critical thinking suggestions included the ability to analyse, compare, contrast and assess information in a more in-depth way. An independent learner has a myriad of traits – motivated, self directed, responsible, reflective, engaged and (crucially) intrinsically motivated by making progress.
The term Information Literacy itself was queried – are teachers/tutors familiar with this term too – does it have meaning outside of the research or information professional’s toolkit? If you walked into a classroom and asked “hands up anyone who’s information literate”, would you be met with blank stares? And not only because you’re a raving stranger that’s just walked into their classroom……..
Deborah Millar and Joanna Neil from Blackburn College gave great insight into the uses and benefits of social media tools including Pintrest, Tumblr and Scoopit and how these sites help to support their learners to study, expore, research and reflect on the regular feedback they can offer as tutors. But their talk also gave us more to think about regarding the role of a tutor/teacher as ‘expert’ and the understanding of true collaboration within a students learning journey. It set us on the path to question our role titles and how that might affect provision (division of support) and also who ‘owns’ knowledge or information within an institution.
This insight paved the way for a talk by Jane Secker and Emma Coonan, which was a quickfire but insightful overview of ‘A New Curriculum for Information Literacy ‘ (ANCIL) project, which they had both developed during their secondment to the Arcadia Project -exploring the role of academic libraries in a digital age. While the main focus of the project was Higher Education, there were significant, transferable conclusions and new ways of thinking about Information Literacy that relate to the Public Library and Schools stream of the Welsh Information Literacy project. The Institution Audit Worksheet especially enabled the group to start discussing and investiagting who currently has responsibility for supporting students develop their IL skills in our organisations, broken down by strands including becoming an independent learner or resource discovery. When you really look at learner support provision in this way, it becomes clear quickly that in many cases several departments/staff groups are involved and not everyone collaborates to make it a seamless experience for learners.
I think this training day was the first opportunity I’ve had to really THINK about Information Literacy and make meaningful connections to help categorise or attempt to lasso all the different approaches in order to spread the word and support our advocacy activities. I feel it’s important to re-visit this question with a new WILP project team and also as we are approaching lots of new stakeholders who are encountering this for the first time.
Is it a concept, an ethos, a skillset, a scheme of learning, a framework? Well, yes to all – but also a pathway, a continuum, a cyclical process of learning, exploring and reflecting to enable people to cope with the demands of whatever information context they find themselves in. Before we get too metaphysical here, I think the point I’m trying to make is that the question should really be “Am I information literate right now?” – do I have the information skills necessary to help me to be insightful and successful for my challenges today? And to make sure we ask ourselves and ask this question of our learners regularly. There are a set of identifiable skills, yes but potentially infinite levels of skill development – there is no ‘end point’.
We need to move away from thinking about Information Literacy as a set of finite, tick box competancies – definable, yes, measurable, yes but continually evolving. However, when we start talking about accreditation, impact and measurement there is a danger of falling into the trap of “right, you’ve done the test. You’re information literate now, put that in your PDP and off you go”. Embedding information literacy into our services and user/learner support should be about enabling a generation of life long learners – is that happening in your organisation?
You can contact the Welsh Information Literacy Project Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @welsh_info_lit
Posted in A Levels, GCSE, HE Students, Libraries, PGCE, Welsh Info Lit Project | Tagged: information literacy, welsh information literacy project | 2 Comments »
Posted by LibeRaCe on April 5, 2012
The elibrary of the UK National STEM Centre offers support for teachers of science, technology, engineering and medicine.
The elibrary holds an invaluable collection of online resources on STEM subjects and a community area where teachers can make their own resource lists and review material.
Posted in A Levels, Engineering, FE Students, GCSE, Science, Staff | Tagged: engineering, Mathematics, Science, technology | Leave a Comment »
Posted by LibeRaCe on January 25, 2011
Jenna Jefferson a BTEC Science student has received a merit award for her effective use of the Autology online resource, for the month of November 2010.
She has made excellent use of the over £3000 worth of resources that are available to each student who has access to Autology.
Jenna said ‘She has found the Autology resource very useful for her course work”. Jenna is pictured below receiving her certificate and prize from Library Manager Dr Andrew Eynon.
Autology is the world’s first ‘Sat Nav for Study, created for students aged 11-18. It is used by students in College and at home, at their own pace, to improve their results – helping with coursework and revision.
Autology combines a unique Online Library, filled with thousands of high-quality resources for students with intelligent, pro-active Research Assistant Tools that help students instantly access all the relevant information they need
Posted in A Levels, FE Students, GCSE, General Library Info, HE Students, PGCE | Tagged: "E-Learning" "E-Resources" " Internet Trianing", autology, coleg llandrillo, e-learning, library, student prize | Leave a Comment »
Posted by LibeRaCe on September 15, 2010
This months title is The Mammoth Cheese by Sheri Holman
Click here to learn more about the author
Click here to read reviews about the book
Take a look at the links below to learn more about the setting of the book
An article about the original Thomas Jefferson Mammoth Cheese. The site also has resources that explore the links between religion, liberty, economics and politics in the US.
And after he got the huge cheese, he got huge bread! Imagine the indegestion…
Learn more about the man himself in this comprehensive encyclopedia.
Read about some of the real issues affecting American small farmers in this forum.
Virginia is a stunningly beautiful place, but the rural areas of the book’s setting do have their problems.
The issue of large multiple births was also in the news not so long ago and media comment reflects the change in society’s attitude to the family concerned (this very much relates to the book’s narrative)
Posted in A Levels, English, FE Students, GCSE, HE Students, Reading Group | Tagged: book club, mammoth cheese, reading group, thomas jefferson, virginia | Leave a Comment »