Saturday, December 15, 2018

Impact of government and corporate surveillance on writers

An interesting new report produced for Scottish PEN, Scottish chilling: impact of government and corporate surveillance on writers. It is authored by Nik Williams, David McMenemy and Lauren Smith. The findings are based on 118 responses from an online survey and 8 interviews in 2016/7. They found that there is widespread concern among writers about government surveillance, about tech companies working with government. Writers reported changes in behaviour including self-censrship when they were writing or speaking. They also might avoid using search engines, email and other online communication in case they were monitored. The report ends with recommendations for the UK government. https://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/66291/

Friday, December 14, 2018

Heartfelt Library Moments @HL_Moments

Deborah, Emily, Rhiannon and Elle (who are also studying here in my department, the Information School at the University of Sheffield) are looking for contributors to their new blog, Heartfelt Library Moments, which takes a  positive narrative approach. "We hope to create a space where we can share and collect experiences from a library/information setting that have made you feel proud, happy, confident, hopeful – when you have seen something wonderful or felt you have made a difference."
Of course this won’t be a 100% accurate representation of all the work librarians and other information professionals do. They encounter many difficult times and challenges. Instead, this will be one corner of the internet where we can share, celebrate and take pride in the powerful and beautiful things that libraries make happen."
The blog is at https://heartfeltlibrarymoments.home.blog/ and you can submit your story here https://heartfeltlibrarymoments.home.blog/submit/ or tweet to @HL_Moments
Photo by Sheila Webber: apples at the farmer's market, December 2018

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Who is fact checking for?

The Poynter Institute in the USA has a short series of podcasts about misinformation and fact-checking. The first full podcast Who is fact checking for? (18 minutes) was released yesterday. "Amy Sippitt talks about who reads stories from Full Fact, a fact-checking project in the United Kingdom (Spoiler: It's mostly men!) Then, Brendan Nyhan from the University of Michigan gives us the lowdown on which audience needs fact-checking the most." (They found out that "it was really people who were the most politically engaged, the most politically interested and knowledgeable, people that had the highest sense of political efficacy, people who tended to be more educated" that use fact-checking most.)
I found the podcast it on https://radiopublic.com/misinformed-GABqNj (embedded below) but it is also available through other channels. The transcript of the podcast is at https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2018/misinformed-podcast-who-is-fact-checking-actually-for/. Poynter is aggregating all the posts about these podcasts at https://www.poynter.org/misinformed/

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Call for papers: News, Media and Disinformation

There is a call for papers for the 18th Annual Information Literacy Summit, with the theme News, Media and Disinformation: Making Sense in Today’s Information Landscape, to be held on April 5, 2019, organised by DePaul University Library and Moraine Valley Community College Library, and held at Moraine Valley Community College campus. The keynote speaker is Dr. Nicole A. Cooke, Associate Professor and MS/LIS Program Director, School of Information Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Deadline to submit proposals for breakout sessions and panels is January 11, 2019. There is more information here: http://informationliteracysummit.org/
There is also a pull down menu on the site to see information on previous summits, and some of the presentations are available e.g. at http://informationliteracysummit.org/about/2018-information-literacy-summit/
Photo by Sheila Webber: another shot of a Sheffield mosaic water feature (Howard Street Rill by Emma Biggs).

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Information Problem Solving model

Frerejean, J., Velthorst, G., van Strien, J., Kirschner, P. & Brand-Gruwel, S. (2019). Embedded instruction to learn information problem solving: Effects of a whole task approach. Computers in Human Behavior, 90, 117-130. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563218304187
It is always interesting, irritating and concerning when one discovers yet another group of academics outside the library and information field who are reinventing the infolit and information seeking wheel. In this case education researchers have developed through a number of articles a skill based model for "information problem solving", without reference to the existing literature. Their model is: Define the problem, search information, select information, process information, present information. I am blogging since it is obviously relevant to information literacy, and also they give a detailed account of their methods in setting up their pre- and post-test experiment, including a careful discussion of their data analysis. Key findings were (having set up an experimental situation of students trained using their model of information problem solving and students untrained) "Trained students improved their approach to searching and selecting information" but "Improvements were no longer visible on a test five weeks after training stopped."
Photo by Sheila Webber: Sheffield University campus, November 2018

Monday, December 10, 2018

Human Rights Day #standup4humanrights #libraries4humanrights

Today is Human Rights Day, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The official United Nations website is at http://www.un.org/en/events/humanrightsday/  You can send in videos of you reading out one of the articles in your own language, and they already have many examples on the website.

IFLA has a briefing about the day for librarians here https://www.ifla.org/publications/node/91729 and also has a poster Libraries for Human Rights which can be downloaded here https://www.ifla.org/publications/node/91729. There are blog posts at  https://blogs.ifla.org/lpa/ focusing on library policy and advocacy for human rights.


Friday, December 07, 2018

Inclusive pedagogy framework

Not new, but you may be interested in the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning's (CIRTL) Inclusive pedagogy framework. CIRTL is focused on teaching science and technology subjects in higher education, but I think it is applicable in other disciplinary areas. Go to https://cirtlincludes.net/inclusive-pedagogy-framework/
They say that "The construction of the inclusive pedagogy framework began by amalgamating the findings from two resources: a) a peer-reviewed synthesis article on inclusive practices in higher education (Salazar et al., 2010) and b) a practical checklist from the Universal Design of Instruction (UID checklist) based on the work of Chickering and Gamson (Does Your Curriculum Provide an Inclusive Environment? Is it IUD Friendly). After reviewing many papers on inclusive pedagogy, we found the Salazar et al. (2010) article to be the most comprehensive account of existing literature on inclusive teaching in higher education to date. The Inclusive Pedagogy Framework includes several practices that promote inclusive teaching. This framework focuses on 3 main aspects of Inclusive Pedagogy: Inclusive Communication, Inclusive Instructional Practices, and Designing Inclusive Curriculum."
I found this via an online article
Keyek-Franssen, D. (2018, November 14). 5 Tips for Supporting Inclusive and Open Pedagogies. https://er.educause.edu/blogs/2018/11/5-tips-for-supporting-inclusive-and-open-pedagogies?
Photo by Sheila Webber: Pampas grass, December 2018

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Podcast of the launch of the LSE Fighting Misinformation report

I blogged about the report from the LSE, Fighting Misinformation, and there is a podcast of the launch event held on 20 November in London. It includes contributions from Polly Curtis, Professor Sonia Livingstone, Dr Damian Tambini. Go to http://www.lse.ac.uk/lse-player?id=4556

Also from an LSE research: a blog post from earlier this week
Polizzi, G. (2018, December 3). Misinformation and critical digital literacy: To trust or not to trust? http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/mediapolicyproject/2018/12/03/misinformation-and-critical-digital-literacy-to-trust-or-not-to-trust/
Photo by Sheila webber: shadows on campus, December 2018

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

New articles: Comics; Funds of knowledge; Conceptions of Information Literacy; Videos; Dietetics; Informed Learning @JInfoLit

The latest issue of the open access Journal of Information Literacy has been published (volume 12, issue 2, 2018). It includes:
Articles
- The seven voices of information literacy (IL) by Veronica Cunningham, Dorothy Williams, Professor (4-23)
- Source evaluation behaviours of first-year university students by Elise Silva, Jessica Green, Cole Walker 24-43
- Drawing on students’ funds of knowledge by Amanda L. Folk 44-59
- Comics, questions, action! by Stephanie Margolin, Mason Brown, Sarah Ward 60-75
- Information literacy as a measurable construct by Helena Hollis 76-88
Project reports
- Supporting open information literacy via hybridised design experiments by Kristen Radsliff Rebmann 89-97 ("a project that forms connections between design experiment and informed learning approaches to designing learning activities supportive of open information literacy and scholarly communication among library and information science graduate students. "
- Beyond databases: Information literacy instruction for undergraduate students of dietetics by Dana Ingalls 98-112
- Putting levity into literacy: Professionally produced library instruction videos by Bogdana A. Marchis 113-120
- When the library steps in: Introducing media and information literacy as a programme for library professionals by Joseph Marmol Yap, April Ramos Manabat 131-141
- Examining student perceptions of their knowledge, roles, and power in the information cycle by Lucinda Rush 121-130
There are also conference updates and book reviews. Go to https://ojs.lboro.ac.uk/JIL/issue/view/204
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn leaves, November 2018

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Health Literacy special issue

There is a special issue on Health Literacy in Context—Settings, Media, and Populations in the current volume of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) (volume 15 issue 12), with an eminent group of issue editors (including Don Nutbeam). There are 17 open-access articles including "Beyond Reading and Understanding: Health Literacy as the Capacity to Act"; "Progress in Implementing National Policies and Strategies for Health Literacy—What Have We Learned so Far?"; "Mental Health Literacy in Young Adults: Adaptation and Psychometric Properties of the Mental Health Literacy Questionnaire"; "Effective Partnership in Community-Based Health Promotion: Lessons from the Health Literacy Partnership." Go to https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph/special_issues/health-literacy
Photo by Sheila Webber: Seven Dials, London, November 2018

#FakeNews, Real Concerns: Developing Information Literate Students Workshop (repeat webinar on 5 December)

On December 5, 2018, at 2.30pm US Eastern time (which is 7.30pm UK tim) there's a repeat of the 90 minute workshop held in April: Fake News, Real Concerns: Developing Information Literate Students Workshop, run by Donald Barclay. Costs are US $60.00, ALA Member $ 54.00. "Recently, the phenomenon of fake news has exploded, leaving librarians and educators asking themselves how they can increase information literacy in a world that has been labeled “post truth” and where the phrase “alternative facts” has become common currency. But is fake news new? In this workshop, information literacy expert Donald Barclay uses a historical context to argue that while some of what we are seeing is new and unique to the Digital Age, much of it has been around for centuries. This workshop focuses on the challenges of developing information-literate students in an era marked by massive amounts of information, fake news, propaganda, and mistrust of authority. The workshop explores the factors contributing to today’s seeming distrust of authority in general and science in particular as well as discusses the problems with scholarly communication that contribute to that distrust. Barclay provides you with practical tools and techniques that you can use in the classroom to foster learning and develop students who are proactive, vet information for accuracy, and use technology as a resource to increase their information literacy skills. You’ll walk away with strategies and tactics to reach students in spite of all the noise and uncertainty of the current information landscape."
https://www.alastore.ala.org/content/fake-news-real-concerns-developing-information-literate-students-workshop
Photo by Sheila webber: autumn beech, November 2018

Monday, December 03, 2018

Online courses: ACRL Framework: Backward Design

Both run by Andrea Baer
The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy: Reframing Teaching Practices. January 7 – February 17 2019. Price: US $250. "The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (Association for College & Research Libraries) invites librarians to think in new and creative ways about how we support teaching and learning within and beyond the classroom. This interactive workshop is an opportunity to explore and to develop pedagogical approaches that draw from the Framework in order to help students develop critical, practical, and transferable information skills. Participants will also reflect on their roles as teaching partners and consider ways of approaching information literacy as a shared responsibility of all educators." https://inquiringteachers.com/courses/the-acrl-framework-for-information-literacy-reframing-teaching-practices/
Backward Design for Information Literacy Education. February 18 – March 31 2019. Price: US $250. "Backward instructional design is iterative process that begins with considering learning goals, then determining acceptable evidence of learning, and addressing those outcomes through sequenced activities. Learn about and apply four essential pieces of backward design to your teaching practice: “big ideas” (i.e., conceptual understandings), learning outcomes, assessment, and sequencing." https://inquiringteachers.com/courses/backward-design-for-information-literacy-education/
Photo by Sheila Webber: golden leaves, November 2018

Friday, November 30, 2018

Online discussion: Financial literacy; December 10

On December 10 at 3pm-4pm USA Eastern time (which is 8-9pm UK time) the RUSA Financial Literacy Interest Group is hosting an online discussion "to talk about the financial literacy programs that get us and our patrons through to the end of the year and ready to start a new one. Join us to hear about and share your ideas for library programs on saving money for the holidays, homemade gifts on a budget, de-stressing in the face of financial distress, preparing finances for the new year, philanthropy, and more." The meeting is in Zoom. When it comes to the time, go to : https://ala-events.zoom.us/j/795101751 There is also phone access points, and these are listed at https://zoom.us/u/adpzFG5R82  Meeting ID: 795 101 751
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn colour, November 2018

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Tackling the Information Crisis: A Policy Framework for Media Systems Resilience

Released last week was the report, Tackling the Information Crisis: A Policy Framework for Media Systems Resilience, published by the LSE Truth, Trust and Technology (T3) Commission. This is essentially a project driven by the LSE's Media and Communications Department, and including high-profile external advisors.

A headline argument is that "the information crisis is manifested in ‘five giant evils’ among the UK public – confusion, cynicism, fragmentation,irresponsibility and apathy." They propose setting up an "Independent Platform Agency", "Its purpose, initially, will be not direct regulation, but rather an ‘observatory and policy advice’ function, and a permanent institutional presence to encourage the various initiatives attempting to address problems of information" (p36). It would mainly focus on the way that platforms (e.g. Facebook) engage with content, but also include a proposed role to "Mobilise and coordinate all relevant actors to ensure an inclusive and sustained programme in media literacy for both children and adults, and conduct evaluations of initiatives. It should work with Ofcom to ensure sufficient evidence on the public’s critical news and information literacy."(p37, my emphasis). I think that this proposal is putting forward at a national level something like what EU expert group on misinformation was recommending at a pan-national level.

They urge that the "Department for Education should lead an inclusive educational framework to build digital literacy and the IPA would coordinate work with the BBC and public service broadcasters, libraries, the National Literacy Trust and the platforms" (p38, under "Government should mobilise and coordinate an integrated new programme in media literacy" - my emphasis)

They stress the value of Media Literacy, but the references to Information Literacy are confused. They identify media literacy as "A necessary condition for democracy in a digital age" (pp.25-27), but the only direct mention of information literacy is rather dismissive "In a crowded curriculum, neither Media Studies nor Citizenship education have been prioritised, with the former studied by only a minority and the latter barely finding space in the curriculum. ... Information literacy is in the Citizenship curriculum and that is compulsory, but there is little time for critical digital literacy."

Apart from this, there is the aforementioned prominent inclusion of "critical news and information literacy", but there is no explanation of what this means. This might seem like semantics, but this does tend to influence who is invited into initiatives and conversations - I think that in this context it would have been more helpful to talk about "Media and Information Literacy" throughout. No-one from the library or information side appears to have been centrally involved so far (though this seems to be an institutional initiative, rather than anything official, so obviously they can frame it how they wish).

The report can be downloaded from here: http://www.lse.ac.uk/media-and-communications/truth-trust-and-technology-commission/The-report

The LSE Truth, Trust and Technology (T3) Commission aims to "work with experts, practitioners and the public to identify structural causes of media misinformation and set out a new framework for strategic policy. It is funded by the LSE Knowledge Exchange and Impact Fund. http://www.lse.ac.uk/media-and-communications/truth-trust-and-technology-commission
Photo by Sheila Webber: Kaunas, Lithuania, October 2018 taken during the Global MIL conference.