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Digital and information literacy in education


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Presentation given at University of Riga on 24th April 2017 at the Media and Information Literacy conference

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Digital and information literacy in education

  1. 1. Digital and Information Literacy in education: a perspective from the UK Dr Jane Secker Senior Lecturer in Educational Development, City University of London @jsecker
  2. 2. About me….. • Senior Lecturer in Educational Development (from April 2017) at City University of London • Former Copyright and Digital Literacy Advisor at LSE • Chair of CILIP Information Literacy Group representing over 1400 members • Experienced researcher in digital and information literacy, copyright and online learning, copyright education
  3. 3. Wearing several hats…..
  4. 4. Terminology in the UK • In the UK, there is a strong government focus on digital literacy or digital skills: • Task Force on Digital Skills Digital Skills for Tomorrow’s World (July 2014) • House of Lords Report on Digital Skills (June 2015) • Focus on digital literacy in schools = coding / computing? • Term used widely in Higher Education e.g. Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) as a focus for the 2015-16 reviews of universities • Jisc work on Digital Literacies /Digital Capabilities • 2017 UK Government Digital Strategy launched
  5. 5. What is digital literacy?
  6. 6. Media Literacy • Term favoured by Ofcom (UK regulator for the communications industry) • Ofcom’s define media literacy as: ‘the ability to use, understand and create media and communications in a variety of contexts” • Research – Rich studies of media use amongst adults and children – Internet research including studies of online copyright infringement
  7. 7. 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 in all nations.” UNESCO Alexandria Proclamation 2005
  8. 8. Information Literacy and librarians Information literacy is knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner (CILIP, 2004) The skills that are required to be information literate call for an understanding of: • A need for information • The resources available • How to find information • The need to evaluate results • How to work with or exploit results • Ethics and responsibility of use • How to communicate or share your findings • How to manage your findings
  9. 9. Literacies landscape Secker and Coonan, 2011
  10. 10. What is the result?
  11. 11. Rethinking Information Literacy (2013)
  12. 12. ANCIL (A New Curriculum for Information Literacy)  In 2011 Secker and Coonan undertook an extensive literature review and interviews with key researchers and practitioners in information literacy to:  Understand the needs of undergraduates entering higher education over the coming 5 years  Map the current landscape of information literacy  Develop a practical curriculum and supporting resources  Designed to be embedded not a standalone curriculum
  13. 13. Information literacy ... … supports transition Higher education is “not just more education, but different”. Students coming from school are not sure what learning is - it’s always been managed for them. … develops independent learners It involves students being able to articulate the expectations of a new information context, and also being able to reflect on their own learning. Part of the process of becoming an independent learner also involves helping a student understand more about the process of learning. … includes the social dimension of information As a profession, we need to think about what students need to know and be able to apply in the information environment. Our commitment should be to life-long learning rather than the longer life of our library resources. (ANCIL Expert Consultation Report, 2011) Secker and Coonan, 2011
  14. 14. Is technology a red herring?
  15. 15. Digital natives? Photo by Flickingerbrad licensed under Creative Commons Photo by starmanseries licensed under Creative Commons
  16. 16. Ethics, attribution and copyright literacy* Photo: Adventures in Copyright from Flickr licensed under CC: *Secker and Morrison (2016)
  17. 17. US ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (2015) Information Literacy as a Threshold Concept (Meyer and Land, 2003) Information Creation as a Process Authority Is Constructed and Contextual Information Has Value Research as Inquiry Scholarship as Conversation Searching as Strategic Exploration
  18. 18. The problem of placing IL outside the curriculum… Image by Miki Yoshihito: SAKURAKO looks in the window. Licensed under CC-BY 2.0 Teaching outside the curriculum risks alienating academic staff Students see it as optional It’s unclear who is responsible Use of technology, media and information are discipline specific Technology, media and information are not neutral
  19. 19. IL in the higher education sector • IL well developed and widely recognised in UK university libraries • Teaching focuses on – Finding, evaluating and managing information (plagiarism) – transition from school and graduates going into the workplace – Digital footprint, privacy and using social media tools • Many attempts to engage teaching staff and embed in curriculum but no one framework in HE • Librarians can still struggle to be recognised as teachers
  20. 20. Strategies for success  Some universities have developed frameworks for digital and information literacy  Some teaching and learning strategies recognise these skills  Tools and benchmarking undertaken across the sector by Jisc  Also examples of bottom up approaches and working in partnership with students Image cc from /
  21. 21. Building partnerships is key  Collaboration with academics and students  Closer working between learning support professionals  Aligning digital, academic, media and information literacy programmes  Discussing and agreeing on terminology  Developing shared measures of success
  22. 22. Global Perspectives on IL…..
  23. 23. The Information Literacy Group (ILG) • Special Interest Group of Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals set up in 2003 • Founded LILAC in 2004 • Run the the open access, peer- reviewed Journal of Information Literacy • Run • Fund training events, sponsorship and offer research bursaries for members • Community of over 1400 members, 4600 followers on Twitter @infolitgroup 34911120
  24. 24. ILG aims…. • Share and celebrate good practice in information literacy teaching and research • Provide a network and a voice for information literacy work in the library profession • Undertake research and innovation initiatives • Work across the library sectors • Reach out beyond the library sector
  25. 25. Our challenge….. • To get IL recognised outside the higher education and library community • To connect with other interested stakeholders • To challenge traditional views of what librarians do and what information literacy is
  26. 26. IL Awards Helen Howard, University of Leeds, Winner of the Information Literacy Award 2017 Stephanie (Charlie) Farley, University of Edinburgh, Winner of the Credo Digital Award 2017 for 23 Things for Digital Knowledge
  27. 27. Research Bursaries • Funding high quality research to explore the impact of IL outside higher education • Award funding twice per year and currently open to our members in the UK • Three projects completed to date • A further six projects currently running Full details of all projects at
  28. 28. • First project funded by ILG based in Newcastle public library • Support for local residents to go online to access council services • Established a network of digital champions • Training for front line Newcastle council staff • Projects and initiatives have continued since 2015
  29. 29. IL in the workplace • DeVIL Project (Determining the value of information literacy for employers) • How does Information Literacy add real value to businesses? • Developed a tool to determine how information competences underpin the performance and effectiveness of enterprises • Research led by Stephane Goldstein and Drew Whitworth
  30. 30. Learning, Lending and Liberty • Can school libraries be engines for youth citizenship? • The role of public libraries in citizenship education and political participation • Research by Dr Lauren Smith published recently in the Journal of Information Literacy Smith, L.N. (2016) School libraries, political information and information literacy provision: findings from a Scottish study. 10, (2), pp. 3-25
  31. 31. Projects currently running • Awareness and ownership of IL skills within trainee teachers • Facilitating research amongst radiographers through IL workshops • IL for democratic engagement in Scotland • Information discernment and psychophysiological well-being in response to misinformed stigmatization • Transitioning information skills in the workplace • Syrian refugees’ information way‐finding practices
  32. 32. Information Experiences of New Syrians • Led by Dr Konstantina Martzoukou and Professor Simon Burnett (i-school, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen) • The research aims to explore: • To explore Syrian new Scots’ ‘ways of knowing’ for addressing critical social inclusion needs (e.g. housing, welfare, education, benefits, employability, rights and entitlements). • To examine the barriers they encounter in the process of addressing their key information needs; • To investigate how Syrian new Scots could be further supported to adapt to their local communities. •
  33. 33. • A initiative in UK schools for 13-16 year olds to foster an interest in science, technology and innovation • Run TeenTech events around the UK and a national competition for student innovation projects • Mainly corporate sponsors including: Google, Airbus, Network Rail, Maplin etc. • Prestigious awards ceremony at Royal Society • From 2015 all projects are judged on their Research and Information Literacy skills sponsored by ILG
  34. 34. Support for Schools • First ILG Award awarded in 2015 • Currently judging 55 projects for 2017 award • Working group consisting of school & university librarians who devised evaluation criteria • Developed 10 Resource Sheets – Research Smarter (Licensed under Creative Commons)
  35. 35. Access to Resources • Building up links with universities across the UK to provide outreach services and resources for schools involved in TeenTech • Growing list of institutions offering access to libraries and workshops for students • Currently negotiating with publishers / suppliers to get access to resources for schools
  36. 36. Research and Information Literacy Award Winners 2016 Oakham School – Matthew, Oliver and Archie for “K-Charge” A shoe integrated with a battery, which charges the battery by converting the kinetic energy generated by walking into electrical energy
  37. 37. Why does IL matter now? • The phenomenon of ‘fake news’ and need for information discernment • ILG response to government inquiry on ‘fake news’ • To tackle information privilege and injustice • Students increasingly creators of content • IL is of course not the answer but contributes to social justice, democracy, equality. IFLA Fake News Infographic
  38. 38. The role of teacher education • Teacher education rarely considers teachers’ own IL skills or their ability to teach IL explicitly to their students • Many teachers over-estimate students abilities in this area (digital native rhetoric) • IL needs to be explicitly embedded in teacher education as considerable confusion over terminology • Open education offers many opportunities (and challenges)
  39. 39. A critical approach • Focus on teacher educators and embedding IL in teacher training at all levels • Design activities and assessments that reward process as much as outcomes • Focus on lifelong learning and transferable skills • Devise teaching that highlights how information IS political • Use approaches from critical literacy / critical pedagogy
  40. 40. A recommendation • LILAC 2017 keynote by Alan Carbery post-truth
  41. 41. Further reading CILIP (2017) Information Literacy Group. Home page. Available at groups/information-literacy-group Hinrichsen, J and Coombs (2013). The five resources of critical digital literacy: a framework for curriculum integration. Research in Learning Technology. 21: 21334. Jacobson, Trudi E., and Thomas P. Mackey. (2013) “Proposing a Metaliteracy Model to Redefine Information Literacy.” Communications in Information Literacy 7, no. 2: 84–91. Meyer, Jan, and Land, Ray. (2003). Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge: Linkages to Ways of Thinking and Practicing within the Disciplines. Edinburgh, UK: University of Edinburgh. Available at Secker, J and Morrison, C (2016). Copyright and E-learning: a guide for practitioners. Facet Publishing: London. Also see Secker, J and Coonan, E. (2013) Rethinking Information Literacy: a practical framework for supporting learning. Facet Publishing: London. But also see: UNESCO (2015) Media and Information Literacy. Available at: information/media-development/media-literacy/mil-as-composite-concept/ Zurkowski, P (1974). The Information Service Environment: Relationships and Priorities. Related Paper No.5." National Commission on Libraries and Information Science.