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Information Literacy in the Digital Age

Session for academics on the PGCAP course at the University of York

Ned Potter

on 20 November 2013

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Transcript of Information Literacy in the Digital Age

We are


What's it
worth to


in the Digital Age
Developing Information Literacy
Information Literacy
in the Digital Age
| Ned Potter
Academic Liaison Librarian
TFTV, History of Art, Philosophy
What does an ALL actually do..?
A highly subjective (and approximate) breakdown:
A UK perspective
A 2011 Ofcom report revealed:
74% of internet users feel they can accurately judge whether an website is truthful or not.
A UK perspective
A 2007 Aslib report revealed:
An average employee spends 6.4 hours per week searching for information; 37% of this is a waste of time.
£3.7 Billion a year on searching for information we can't find!
An academic perspective
Our own experiences reveal
Students arrive at University increasingly technologically literate.
They MISTAKE THIS for information literacy and / or digital literacy...
An academic perspective
Today's Undergraduates are great at using netbooks, iPads, & smartphones - but sometimes less good at finding resources online, staying safe on social media, and even using programs like Word & Excel
This impacts teaching, seminars, library resources, employability, etc etc...
An information literate individual is able to:

Determine the extent of information needed
Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
Evaluate information and its sources critically
Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base
Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally
ACRL Competency Standards (2000):
Drew Whitworth (2009)

“… a failure to turn information into knowledge”

“The HE organisational requirement that is “assessment” influences how we search for, filter, process and produce information”
Critical perspectives #2
Tara Brabazon (2007)

“Teachers cram their curriculum with 'skill development' and 'generic competencies' because knowledge, creativity and originality are too expensive to provide to unmotivated students and parents obsessed with league tables, not learning”.
Critical perspectives #1
“Information Literacy… empowers people in all walks of life to seek, evaluate, use and create information effectively to achieve their personal, social, occupational and educational goals. It is a basic human right in a digital world and promotes social inclusion of all nations”.
Alexandria Proclamation on Information Literacy and Lifelong Learning (IFLA, 2005)
Digital literacy = digital tool knowledge + critical thinking + social engagement.

It helps and supports traditional literacies
Josie Fraser
SCONUL Seven Pillars (1999)

CIBER studies on the Google Generation (2007-8) challenge stereotypical assumptions about students’ information-seeking behaviour.
Critical Perspectives #3
This means they're...
Better able to prepare for seminars

Better able to write essays and scientific reports

Able to spend less time searching for resources and more time using them
An information literate student can...
Association of American Colleges and Universities
Determine the extent of the information needed

Access the needed information

Critically evaluate information and its sources

Use information to accomplish a specific purpose

Access and use information legally and ethically
(or going to the pub)
How information literate do your students need to be and is the amount discipline-specific?
Open question:
What are the core competencies you want / need us to teach them?
A framework to cover all keystages
Interactive online learning objects
More videos
An increase in lecturer / librarian collaborative teaching..?
Undergraduate teaching
Postgraduate teaching
Subject Guides
Generic PG sessions
Digital Learning blog
Anything we don't do but
you wish we did..?
Thank you for coming!
- why not spoonfeed them AND teach them how to feed themselves, and throw away the spoon* later on?
Literacy needs a pedagogy to develop it and give it meaning.
- Mandy Lupton
More focus on:
search strategy
advanced search techniques
obtaining materials from elsewhere
Web 2.0 tools
One-to-one advice and guidance from academics
...the ability to effectively and critically navigate, evaluate and create information using a range of digital technologies - including communication tools, collaborative tools, social media, and platforms which are online but not necessarily on the Web.
Open question: who is responsible for keeping students safe online..?
What does digital literacy mean to you?
Some useful digital tools...
Copyright free media
Some ways in which students might usefully be digitally literate
The dark tragedy of our age is that, at the point where we need leadership from our librarians and teachers to negotiate our way through an information-thick - rather than [information]-rich - age, Web 2.0 as replaced expertise with experience and scholarship with consensus.
Murder in the Library
RSS feeds and keeping up to date
Fluent in Microsoft Office!
Understanding Google's limitations
Establishing an online presence
Blogs and blogging
Twitter in the Academic envrionment
Social bookmarking
Collaborative Tools
Using Facebook safely
Compfight - http://compfight.com
(Searches Flickr better than Flickr itself)

MorgueFile – http://www.morguefile.com
(Professional images for commercial use)

Find images by colour with the:
TinEye Color Search Engine - http://labs.tineye.com/multicolr
http://impactstory.org aggregates
diverse impacts from your articles, datasets, blog posts

Step 1
Step 2
http://addictomatic.com allows you to search the social media platforms of your choice simultaneously, and save that search.
http://padlet.com/ - paper for the web
With thanks to Kirstyn Radford, Helen Westwood, Jane Secker & Cathie Jackson for statistics, ideas and information used in this presentation.
Tara Brabazon
My conclusions on student behaviour, from reading the literature:
It isn’t the generation that is defining the technology – it is the technology which is defining all of us, regardless of generation
They develop information-seeking strategies based on a small set of resources which they use over and over again
They're constantly connected to the web - but so are we
They're 'power browsers' - but so are we!
They expect discovery and delivery of resources to coincide - but so, of course, do we...
http://libassets.manchester.ac.uk/social-media-guide/ - interactive learning object, introduction to social media
9 useful educational tools, to engage, communicate and keep up to date in the academic environment
Library's Support for Researchers pages, including social media workshop dates:
(See the 'Become a Networked Researcher' section)
Full transcript