Tuesday, March 18, 2008

LILAC conference report 1

This is my first report from the LILAC (UK information literacy) conference which is taking place in Liverpool, UK, 17-19 March. Note there is a dedicated LILAC 2008 conference blog maintained by one of the delegates at http://lilac2008.wordpress.com/

My own active involvement in this conference is leading two workshops on Second Life, the virtual world. Vicki Cormie (St Andrews University library), Lyn Parker (Sheffield University library) and I planned these together, following our joint work with my first year students in Second Life. Unfortunately Lyn hasn't been able to attend the conference, but we were lucky that Pam Dowsett works at Liverpool John Moore's University (where the conference is based) and she is an expert SL librarian and mentor. The short introductory powerpoint to our session is on Slideshare here and I have also blogged about the first workshop on my Sheila Yoshikawa blog here (Sheila Yoshikawa is my name in Second Life)

The other session that I'll mention in this post is the one I just attended Playing catch-up: new initiatives for improving tech-knowledge and information literacy amongst library and teaching staff at the Open University. This session was given by Anne Hewling, from the Open University. She talked in particularly about the Digilab (http://digilab.open.ac.uk/ ) which is a play and learning space where educators can get familiar with technologies, play about with them, and get to understand how they might be able to use them to support student learning. She described, for example, "Digiquests" where people might be set off on adventures round campus to use technologies to record or capture and solve problems: the idea being (I think) to improve people's confidence in using the technologies and spark ideas of how they might be used in authentic learning situations. There is a Digilab blog at http://digilablog.blogspot.com/ and I notice a recent headline is "Surgeons are using the Wii to prepare for surgery."

Anne also mentioned the information skills tutorial, Safari, produced by the Open University some years ago and apparently revised recently. It is also being launched as "Safari Mobile" for reception on mobile devices.
Photos by Sheila Webber: Liverpool's Catholic cathedral, which is just over the road from our conference venue, and me hovering over delegates on our island (Infolit iSchool) in Second Life.

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