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Get 'em young! Active information literacy as part of the widening participation agenda. Burnett

Presented at LILAC 2008

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Get 'em young! Active information literacy as part of the widening participation agenda. Burnett

  1. 1. GET ‘EM YOUNG! Introducing schoolchildren to University
  2. 2. • The aim of Ambassadors in Schools • The Library’s role in the programme Ambassadors in Schools (AIS) Education Liaison
  3. 3. The Ambassadors • Kingston University current students or recent graduates • University-wide participation • Role of the Ambassadors
  4. 4. The 2006 Experience • Unknown quantity • Time factor • Databases • World Cup • Challenging?
  5. 5. The school kids’ return • 2007/2008 programme • Workshop based • Appropriate task for range of abilities • Information literacy theme – web based • Building on existing experience
  6. 6. The student experience • Working in a university setting • Carrying out responsible research • Interacting within a group • Preparing and presenting conclusions
  7. 7. The icebreaker!
  8. 8. The PRS questions Why are there lots of librarians at University? 1. To stamp books 2. To make sure that the right books, journals, databases are available for students 3. To help students learn how to research their subject 4. So they can practice going “Ssshhhh!”
  9. 9. How are you most likely to research a class assignment? 1.Use the school library 2.Search on Google 3.Search on Wikipedia 4.Ask a friend
  10. 10. You’re doing a project on Britain’s policy on global warming, which of the following links do you think will be most useful? 1. 2. 3. 4.How can I tell?
  11. 11. • You’ve been set a piece of group work at school and have been discussing it with others in your group on MSN or in a chat room. When each group reports back to the class you notice that one group has used the comments you posted in their work. Is this fair? 1. Yes, they were friends who I’d invited to chat 2. No, they weren’t in my group 3. No, but I guess if they can read it I can’t stop them from using it 4. Yes, anything on the Internet can be used by anyone else
  12. 12. “Information on the Internet may be free, but it is often unreliable, unimaginative, out of date and downright dangerous” Workshop statements “Information on the Internet is often creative, current, reliable and allows continuous communication and a free exchange of ideas”
  13. 13. Success!
  14. 14. How woz it 4 U? •4 us •4 the Ambassadors •4 the schoolchildren •4 the teachers •4 the University
  15. 15. Feedback from staff • I really enjoyed helping out with the Ambassadors in Schools programme and would be happy to do so again • I wasn’t sure what to expect from AIS and felt a little bit nervous at first but I found the pupils enthusiastic and I really enjoyed working with them. • I would have felt more confident if I had had more time studying the packs before the event • My group was arguing for the Internet but they could see both sides of the argument and wrote ‘be sensible’ on their poster which I thought was a great thing to do • If they (the schoolchildren) were left on their own I don’t think the task would have been completed on time.
  16. 16. Schoolchildren 2008 What did you enjoy most? 67% 41% 46% 74% 85% 77% 67% 79% 92% 82% 66% 34% 45% 66% 84% 63% 79% 61% 89% 95% 53% 32% 35% 44% 44% 50% 47% 59% 76% 71% 62% 36% 42% 62% 72% 64% 65% 67% 86% 83% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 1_Interview the ambassador 1_Progression Ladder 1_What am I worried about 2_Mash Test 2_Good Hair, Bad Hair 3_PRS Voting 3_Learning Resource G_Working with ambassador G_Guided tour G_Visting uni. campus Carshalton Girls Glenthorne SouthboroughBoys Overall
  17. 17. Schoolchildren 2007 When asked whether they agreed with the statement : I have a better understanding of how to use the internet for study at university. 84.5% agreed and strongly agreed 7.2% disagreed and strongly disagreed 8.3% were not sure
  18. 18. The University “This programme is innovative in that it offers students engagement with one of the areas of a University that students from widening participation often find scary, ‘the library’. It dispels myths and gives students the confidence to see that libraries are wonderful resources for them, filled with a wide variety of materials that they can use. The programme is also innovative for while many Universities engage their current students and academic staff in widening participation activities, working with library staff in this way is novel and is part of a scheme at Kingston where Library staff are seen as supporters of student learning in much of what they do. It is a credit to our University and I am very proud of the hard work colleagues put into the scheme.” Mary Stuart Deputy Vice Chancellor, Kingston University, 2008
  19. 19. References • Burhanna, K.J. (2007) ‘Instructional outreach to high schools: should you be doing it?’ Communications in Information Literacy, 1 (2) [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 3 March 2008) • Frean, A. (2008) ‘White bread for young minds, says university professor’, The Times. 14 January [Online]. Available at: rticle3182091.ece (Accessed: 3 March 2008) • Stewart, J. (2005) ‘Breaking down barriers to information: the Library’s role in Widening Participation’, Librarian’s Information Literacy Conference. Imperial College, London 4-6 April 2005
  20. 20. Contact: