Yes, it’s done! On Saturday I presented my Master’s project to colleagues, classmates and faculty at the University of Saskatchewan. A classmate took these photos and when I look at them it seems that I am having fun! And, yes it was quite enjoyable. I realized as I spoke how important the topic of information literacy is to me and how I hope to share my enthusiasm with the teachers with whom I work.
My prof, Rick Schwier, ustreamed the presentations and it was interesting to receive feedback from friends and colleagues around North America.
My project, Teaching for Information Literacy, is a collection of resources to help teachers understand the concept of information literacy and to begin the process of implementing an information literacy program in their school.
One of the most important things for me to convey was the concept of moving beyond topical research to using an inquiry approach to engage students in the process of uncovering knowledge to create their own understandings. I did this by creating a video, Re/Search Re/Mixed, (with a great deal of assistance from my office mate, the Arts Education Consultant, Sherron Burns).
I also created a series of tutorials to help teachers use the resources available from the Ministry of Education and how to make the resources more accessible to staff and students by linking to individual databases and articles, using the rss feature available in Gale Infotrac and inserting a ProQuest widget on a blog or wiki page.
The portal also encompasses technology, especially new and emerging technologies as an essential component of information literacy. For example, social bookmarking is a tool that can be used at many stages of the research process to categorize, organize, annotate and share resources. Online mind-mapping and brainstorming tools allow students to continue their work outside of school as well as the ability to collaborate and share.
One of the most interesting questions that came from the audience after my presentation was, “can you give a specific example of how information literacy has changed”? My response was to share how little I now use a search engine since the growth of my personal learning network – my twitter friends, my del.icio.us network and the blogs that I read via my bloglines account. Information can now come to me – and I need the skills to be able to create the PLN that will bring me the information I need and the ability to filter the information.
The times they are a changin’ – are we ready?