more on information literacy in this IMS blog
“From Teaching to Consulting: Librarians as Information Literacy Designers. An Interview with Carrie Donovan” by Brian Mathews. Posted to The Ubiquitous Librarian blog.
“Library instruction and information literacy is poised for a transformation that will be groundbreaking and inspiring.” (Donovan) It was heartening to see that Donovan was troubled and inspired by Susanna Cowan’s “Information Literacy: The Battle We Won That We Lost?” (portal: Libraries and the Academy, 14(1):23-32; online at https://muse-jhu-edu.libproxy.stcloudstate.edu/journals/portal_libraries_and_the_academy/v014/14.1.cowan.pdf). “The question is not about information literacy’s validity. The question is whether we must cling to information literacy as a narrower concept and practice within educational (and now many other) institutions that rely, still, on librarians as key purveyors of this knowledge.” (Cowan)
“Something that has helped me [to begin to transition to a place where “I can leave behind my sense of ownership of information literacy”] was not to hang on to how I have done things in the past and to seek out new ideas and to consider all the options – even those that really challenge my way of thinking, my professional identity, and what I think I know to be true.” (Donovan)
“If we care about information literacy, let us be brave enough to let it go and find innovative ways to further the educational underpinnings of the concept without the bulky and perhaps untimely programmatic weight.” (Cowan)
Professor, Library Systems & Digital Projects
Webinar on April 17,
as well as a link to it on the Innovative Educators Website.
library approach to information literacy. or WHAT IS information literacy?
is it the 90-ish notion of standing up in front of bored class and lecturing them how important is to use the online databases, which the university subscribe for
52% of teens use YouTube or other Social Media sites for a typical research assignment in school:
slide 29 out of 56:
Should information literacy be about digital literacy? Geo-spatial knowledge?
Should information literacy include videos? Games?
Should information literacy be multiliteracy? Transliteracy?
This is what Gen Z will expect from information literacy in particular, from library and education in general:
the challenge of social media with respect to information literacy is that networked individuals are continually bombarded with information. Thus, information literacy’s importance must make the leap from the academic world, where purposeful information search is the norm, to “real life,” where information continually competes for the audience.
p. 4. digital literacies (including teaching new technologies and rights issues, and the emergence of
multiple types of non-textual content);
p. 7. every librarian has a role in teaching, whether formally or informally, about scholarly
p. 11. Librarians play a unique role in teaching faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students about
the complete life cycle of information through educational programs geared to different disciplines and
levels of student learning. Undergraduates are now likely to be required to work collaboratively on a
wiki or to write a blog for a class as the first steps in a writing or research assignment or even as the final
p. 12. ALA OITP Digital Literacy Task Force defined digital literacy as, “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills” (2012, p. 1). In its statement of recommendations to governments and organizations, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions noted that, “media and information literacy includes all types of information resources: oral, print, and digital” (IFLA 2011). Comprehending all kinds of content, including data, statistical, financial, and visual, as well as text, is a critical outcome intended by media and information literacy programs.
p. 13. Data literacy is an area where the impact of external forces, ranging from the increasing demand on students to find and use data to funder mandates to have data management plans, point to a critical area of intersection between scholarly communication and information literacy.
p. 14. Transliteracy is an emerging concept that challenges the current structures of information literacy and scholarly communication programs alike. The definition indicates that this is a key area where scholarly communication and information literacy intersect:
The essential idea here is that transliteracy is concerned with mapping meaning across different media and not with developing particular literacies about various media. It is not about learning text literacy and visual literacy and digital literacy in isolation from one another but about the interaction among all these literacies. (Ipri, 2010, p. 532)
p. 15. Intersection 3: New Roles for Librarians
Metaliteracy promotes critical thinking and collaboration in a digital age, providing a comprehensive framework to effectively participate in social media and online communities.
Metaliteracy challenges traditional skills-based approaches to information literacy by recognizing related literacy types and incorporating emerging technologies. Standard definitions of information literacy are insufficient for the revolutionary social technologies currently prevalent online.
Information literacy was the term used most frequently in the United States from the late 1980s through most of the 1990s and is still used regularly. (Craig Gibson, “Information Literacy and IT Fluency: Convergences and Divergences,” Reference & User Services Quarterly 46, no. 3 (2007): 24.)
p. 64. Social media and online collaborative communities are not specifically addressed in the standard definitions, but many of the highlighted skills are pertinent to today’s information environment.
…these institutional frameworks are not on the cutting edge of emerging trends; they lag behind the innovations of Web 2.0 and social media. Metaliteracy expands the scope of information literacy as more
than a set of discrete skills, challenging us to rethink information literacy as active knowledge production and distribution in collaborative online communities.
p. 69. While new literacy movements have similar foundation elements to information literacy, specifically
related to critical reading and critical thinking, as well as proficiencies in finding, synthesizing, and creating information, differences are often emphasized based on the specificity of technology or media
formats. As each new form of literacy is introduced, the shared literacy goals related to critical thinking and information skills are often overlooked, creating an unnecessary divide between information literacy
and other literacy types. The information literacy literature has also contributed to this separation in an effort to clarify important distinctions between information and computer skills, or between traditional
bibliographic instruction and new media literacy. Metaliteracy reinforces stronger
connections between information literacy and other literacy frameworks. This approach looks at the foundation principles that unite information and technology, rather than focusing on differences based
on discrete skills, distinct technologies, or media formats.
NMC Releases Second Horizon Project Strategic Brief on Digital Literacy
The New Media Consortium (NMC) has released Digital Literacy in Higher Education, Part II: An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief, a follow-up to its 2016 strategic brief on digital literacy.
PDF available here.
But what does it really mean to be digitally literate, and which standards do we use?” said Dr. Eden Dahlstrom, NMC Executive Director. “This report sheds light on the meaning and impact of digital literacy using cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary approaches, highlighting frameworks and exemplars in practice.
NMC’s report has identified a need for institutions and thought leaders to consider the ways in which content creation is unequally expressed throughout the world. In an examination of digital literacy within European, Middle Eastern, and African nations (EMEA), research has surfaced unequal access to information technology based on inequalities of economics, gender, race, and political divides.
|1.||Complex Problem Solving||1.||Complex Problem Solving|
|2.||Critical Thinking||2.||Coordinating with Others|
|4.||People Management||4.||Critical Thinking|
|5.||Coordinating with Others||5.||Negotiation|
|6.||Emotional Intelligence||6.||Quality Control|
|7.||Judgment and Decision Making||7.||Service Orientation|
|8.||Service Orientation||8.||Judgment and Decision Making|
Digital tools themselves are merely enablers, pushing the envelope of what learners can create. No longer is it acceptable for students to be passive consumers of content; they can contribute to the local and global knowledge ecosystem, learning through the act of producing and discussing rich media, applications, and objects. In the words of many institutional mission statements, students do not have to wait until they graduate to change the world.
Using readily available digital content creation tools (e.g., video production and editing, web and graphic tools), students are evolving into digital storytellers,
digital literacy now encompasses the important skills of being able to coordinate with others to create something truly original that neither mind would fathom independently.
The ability to discern credible from inaccurate resources is foundational to digital literacy. my note: #Fakenews
A lack of broad consensus on the meaning of digital literacy still hinders its uptake, although a growing body of research is helping higher education professionals better navigate the continuous adjustments to the field brought about by emerging pedagogies and technologies.
Information literacy is a nearly universal component within these digital literacy frameworks. Critically finding, assessing, and using digital content within the vast and sometimes chaotic internet appears as a vital skill in almost every account, including those published beyond libraries. In contrast, media literacy is less widely included in digital literacy publications, possibly due to a focus on scholarly, rather than popular, materials. Digital literacies ultimately combine information and media literacy.
United States digital literacy frameworks tend to focus on educational policy details and personal empowerment, the latter encouraging learners to become more effective students, better creators, smarter information consumers, and more influential members of their community.
National policies are vitally important in European digital literacy work, unsurprising for a continent well populated with nation-states and struggling to redefine itself… this recommendation for Balkan digital strategy: “Media and information education (with an emphasis on critical thinking and switching from consumption to action) should start at early ages, but address all ages.”
African digital literacy is more business-oriented. Frameworks often speak to job skills and digital entrepreneurship. New skills and professions are emphasized, symbolized by the call for “new collar” positions.
Middle Eastern nations offer yet another variation, with a strong focus on media literacy. As with other regions, this can be a response to countries with strong state influence or control over local media. It can also represent a drive to produce more locally-sourced content, as opposed to consuming
Digital literacy is a complex phenomenon in 2017, when considered internationally. Nations and regions are creating ways to help their populations grapple with the digital revolution that are shaped by their local situations. In doing so, they cut across the genealogy of digital literacies, touching on its historical components: information literacy, digital skills, and media literacy.
How Does Digital Literacy Change Pedagogy?
Students are not all digital natives, and do not necessarily have the same level of capabilities. Some need to be taught to use online tools (such as how to navigate a LMS) for learning. However, once digital literacy skills for staff and students are explicitly recognized as important for learning and teaching, critical drivers for pedagogical change are in place.
Pedagogy that uses an inquiry based/problem solving approach is a great framework to enhance the use and practice of digital skills/capabilities in the classroom.
The current gap between students’ information literacy skills and their need to internalize digital literacy competencies creates an opportunity for academic librarians to support students in the pursuit of civic online reasoning at the core of NMC’s multimodal model of three digital literacies. Academic librarians need a new strategy that evolves information literacy to an expanded role educating digitally literate students. Let’s build a new model in which academic librarians are entrepreneurial collaborators with faculty,55 supporting their classroom efforts to help students become responsible sharers and commentators of news on social media.
“Digital literacy is not just about ensuring that students can use the latest technologies, but also developing skills to select the right tools for a particular context to deepen their learning outcomes and engage in creative problem-solving”
There is a disconnect between how students experience and interact with technology in their personal lives and how they use technology in their roles as students. Yes, students are digitally savvy, and yes, universities have a role in questioning (insightfully of course) their sometimes brash digital savviness. We have a situation where students are expecting more, but (as I see it) cannot provide a clear demand, while faculty are unable to walk in the shoes of the students.
more on digital literacy in this IMS blog
Information literacy: An exploration
My notes: this is a 1997 article
the explosion of information is not accompanied by understanding of information.
p. 337 However, if one accepts a definition of information as a process rather than as a thing, then such policies can at best form a framework for the creation of mean- ing by the individuals or groups who are creating information by bring- ing their knowledge to bear on the data available to them
Data acquisition, maintenance and delivery are a vital part of organisational life, but problems arise when we fail to recognise the necessary links to knowledge.
p. 338 However, just teaching users the practi- calities of applications has been seen to be deficient. It leads to an exces- sive focus on ‘how’ to use a particular application rather than on ‘why’ it should be used 13.
p. 379 Information literacy is a stage above computer literacy, the latter usually implying the ability to use a personal computer . My note: some librarians assume that “computer literacy” is the same as “digital literacy” and were trying to convince me that information literacy is succeeding digital literacy, where it is the other way around
p. 380 There are those within the LIS community who warn that librar- ians should not stray into areas that are not appropriate. Behrens points out that the future is likely to see an increased emphasis on a part- nership between librarians and educators. My note another glaring discrepancy between myself and the librarians at SCSU
p. 386 The phrase information literacy has some value in expressing what might need to be done if the aims of information policies are to be made concrete. It points to the need for an emphasis on the awareness of the individual using data of a range of issues. These are not, it has been argued, to be limited to issues of storage and retrieval but have, centrally, to be concerned with issues of definition and meaning. These issues might be tackled in this order: what are the issues in this field surround- ing the nature of knowledge (i.e. how do we formulate questions); how might data be best acquired, stored, etc. in order to answer these ques- tions? (this might well best be paralleled by training in computer literacy); and what factors, both social and individual, place constraints on our ability to use the data?
more on information literacy in this IMS blog
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