Good morning, I am delighted to be giving this keynote.
What am I talking about and why should you care?
George Siemans created MOOCs in 2008 with Stephen Downes on Connectivism
Stanford launched the first open courses in 2011. – Using technology with the idea of the course being open to everyone online.
Is this a new theory of learning? We teach about learning theories – behaviourism, constructivism, cognititivism – but does technology mean we need a new way of learning where we are all connected and use the network? Is this different to before?
Lack of ‘training’ / skills / literacies Lazy habits - following the path of least resistance – lecturers will believe this – students given lots of reading, becoming lazy, spoon fed. Impatience A good enough mentality – finding something better than finding the right thing – in many cases the first thing we find may well be good enough Over reliance on search engines and how they work in other areas of our lives
Technology is NOT neutral – we need to think about our systems – what they find, what they don’t find.
Has anyway read this book? It came out in January this year. She’s been doing the rounds at various US conferences.
Those helpful Google suggestions, of what you might like, what it thnks you want to see – we all have learnt a lot about the concept of the filter bubble. Be aware of this.
So I have thought about IL for quite a long time and why it’s important, how to support IL and develop it in students and others. And of course why it matters. I wouldn’t be chair of the IL group if I didn’t think it matters.
And here is why technology and you guys matter – you make information accessible and discoverable and that is IL .
This slide is a curtain – I call it the librarians velvet curtain. We spend a LOT of time concealing the complexity of information, in our bid to make it manageable, discoverable, more accessible.
We build authentication systems so many of our users get seamless access to our resources. I am not saying we want to make it complicated – but by concealing the complexity we sometimes don’t help ourselves.
Our resources don’t get used if our systems are too complex
What I have learnt from studying digital literacy
Digital natives don’t exist apart from in the minds of MANY teachers!
It’s complex and dangerous to make assumptions about what people know or what students want or need Many teachers and academics do care but don’t understand how to foster these abilities in students Concealing complexity helps users but is problematic We need ways to expose information structures and privilege
Hinrichsen and Coombs make a similar issue – they point out that technology is not neutral – it’s created by humans – it’s not necessarily a force for good, but its not a slippery slope towards AI and the world of a sci-fi movie either. It is what we do with it.
They also argue that a functional skills based approach of IT literacy, leads to digital literacy being taught outside the curriculum, rather than taught as part of academic practices and that “broader literacy practices are not going to emerge spontaneously as a result of technology proliferation’ (Hinrichsen and Coombs, 2013, p.4)
But we need people to understand how to use technology critically – tech will not save save us It might enable us, but it might also stop us doing many of the things we have a right to do.
We need to be careful not to alienate academic staff who may not perceive themselves to be fully digitally literate.
Let’s turn to copyright – the tech industry would tell us copyright is broken – out of step with the modern world
Collaboration – it’s an easy word to say, but a difficult thing to make happen in practice for all sorts of reasons
Tribes and territories and crossing professional boundaries
People just not getting on / seeing things from the same perspective
It needs to become part of our practice as teachers
Information Literacy has left the library: challenges, opportunities and lessons learnt
Information Literacy has left the Library:
challenges, opportunities and lesson
Dr Jane Secker
Senior Lecturer in
City, University of London
Western Balkans Media and Information Literacy Conference - 21st June 2019
What am I talking about?
Education might save
Syrian refugee childen in a Lebanese school by DFID CC-BY-SA
Information Literacy is……
“…the ability to think critically and make
balanced judgements about any information
we find and use. It empowers us as citizens to
develop informed views and to engage fully
CILIP Definition of Information Literacy 2018
5 Contexts of
• Everyday life
• The Workplace
What I’ve learnt from teaching
• It’s complex and dangerous to make assumptions about
what people know or what students want or need
• Many teachers and academics do care but don’t
understand how to foster these abilities in students
• Concealing complexity helps users but is problematic
• We need ways to expose information structures and
Engaging with government
Effects of “Fake News”
Those who aren’t very good at
making judgements about
information they read or see in
newspapers, TV or social media,
especially misinformation such as
fake news, experience a negative
physical response to it. This means
that misinformation is actually bad
for their physical health.
Given the constant barrage of fake
news that we come across everyday
of our lives it clearly shows there is a
worrying public health issue
Dr. Geoff Walton, Manchester
Engaging with health professionals
The global health
In the UK 61% of 16-65 year olds
cannot understand text and
numerical data to read give the
correct dosage of paracetamol to a
In Germany 54% of adults have poor
health literacy costing an estimated
5-16 billion Euros each year
In the USA only 12% of the
population were proficient in health
Ruth Carlisle, LILAC 2019 keynote -
Head of Library and Knowledge
Services, Health Education England
Tackling social exclusion
Refugees, the elderly
“Scotland’s public libraries are
developing into ‘trusted guides’
connecting Syrian new Scots to the
possibilities and opportunities created
within their new communities”
“The experiences and knowledge
structures refugees bring with them
should be considered less from a point
of view of ‘otherness’ and more as
contributing social capital to the
context to which they were becoming
Dr Dina Martzoukou, The Lost in
Information: New Syrian Scots project
Robert Gordon University, Scotland
teachers and faculty
• Reviewing the National
• Working with the Higher
Education Academy at
• Advocacy with teacher
training agencies /
• Advocacy work with
• Information literacy in
Embedding open practices and
digital literacies in higher education
• EDM122: Digital
• 15 credit module
at City, University
• First taught
• Part of the Masters
• Sign up to the
course blog to join
the webinars and
CILIP Definition of Information Literacy (2018) Available at https://infolit.org.uk/new-il-definition/
Digital Literacy and Open Practice course. Available at: https://blogs.city.ac.uk/dilop/
Hinrichsen, Juliet and Coombs, Antony (2014) The five resources of critical digital literacy: a framework for
curriculum integration. Research in Learning Technology, 21:21334. Available at:
Markzoukou, K (2019) Syrian New Scots: Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/martzoukou/syrian-new-
Secker, J. (2018). The trouble with terminology: rehabilitating and rethinking ‘Digital Literacy'. In: Reedy, K.
and Parker, J. (Eds.), Digital Literacy Unpacked. (pp. 3-16). London: Facet Publishing. ISBN 178330197X
Available at: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/20546/
Walton, G., Pickard, A. & Dodd, L. (2018). Information discernment, mis-information and pro-active
scepticism, Journal of Librarianship & Information Science, 50 (3), pp.296-309
Zurkowski, P. (1974) The Information Service Environment: Relationships and Priorities. Related Paper No.5.
National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. Available at: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED100391
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