Friday, August 15, 2014

River Wide, River Deep: Libraries, Learners, and Transformative Literacy #iflalimerick

Liveblogging from the IFLA Information Literacy Satellite conference held in Limerick, Ireland. River Wide, River Deep: Libraries, Learners, and Transformative Literacy was a presentation from Sean Cordes (Western Illinois University, USA). Here is his Slideshare, where he will be posting his slides: He talked about the spiral of inquiry (ask, investigate, create, discuss, reflect, then it may go back to "ask"). Cordes referred to three studies he had undertaken recently. One of them concerned buiding websites, the second was comparing use of search engines, library catalogue and databases, and the third was to do with a collaborative decision task. In each case he was able to identify a gap in learners skills and knowledge, and strategies to help them fill the gap. He noted that there was now a "broad spectrum of investigation" and that scholarly material might appear in all kinds of formats, so that learners had to be able to distinguish and understand them.
Cordes next talked about the issue, linked to the last one, that "Authority is contextual and constructed". He noted how Project Information Literacy had found that US students had said that "finding context" was laborious but a vital part of the information process. The learners were not necessarily good at connecting pieces of information and they were not always good at collaborating on information tasks.
Cordes talked about education through examining urban myths such as the chupacabra ("goat sucker") an animal that is highly unlikely to exist: when you explore the information world around this animal, you can see that it is tenuous. Following on from this, he advocated giving student the tools and knowledge to triangulate information tehy found to see how credible the information around a topic or person is. Diigo was given as an example of a tool that could be used for thsi purpose. He used a worked example of the various types of information that could be followed and traced to do with a local shooting: citizen journalism was important in establishing what had happened.
There are various articles by him including this one and this one.

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