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Information Literacy and the future of learning


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Sharon Markless, Information Literacy and the future of learning, SLA Weekend Course 2007 "The Future is Now"

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Information Literacy and the future of learning

  1. 1. Information Literacy and the future of learning Sharon Markless, King’s College London and IMA
  2. 2. The future of learning? <ul><li>What issues about learning are currently exercising the minds of researchers and developers? </li></ul><ul><li>What implications might there be for the future? </li></ul><ul><li>How will this affect our views of information literacy and our approaches to it? </li></ul>
  3. 3. What do we mean by learning? <ul><li>Increasing information v making meaning for oneself </li></ul><ul><li>Remembering facts (exams) v developing new ways of seeing/preparing learners for the world that will be </li></ul><ul><li>Applying information/skills v engaging in effective action in different situations/ seeing alternatives available </li></ul><ul><li>The Old Debate </li></ul>
  4. 4. The debate hasn’t changed with the advent of new technologies… <ul><li>“ Learning involves very much more than undertaking activities on a computer... it includes an intricate and complex interaction between neural, cognitive, affective and social processes” </li></ul><ul><li>Aragon, 2003, Facilitating learning in on-line environments </li></ul><ul><li>“ See learning as holistic and iterative. This acknowledgement of the necessary iteration between teacher, student and content is more realistic than the cause/effect/behaviourist models usually presented. It requires a shift in focus from what the teacher should do to how they should set up the interactions” </li></ul><ul><li>Laurillard, 2006, presentation on Integrating technology into teaching </li></ul>
  5. 5. The same old issues keep appearing… e.g. the best role for the ‘teacher’ <ul><li>“ I shall only ask him, not teach him and he shall share the enquiry with me” </li></ul><ul><li>Socrates </li></ul><ul><li>“ I know I cannot teach anything, I can only provide an environment in which someone can learn” </li></ul><ul><li>Carl Rogers </li></ul><ul><li>“ The technology is a very poor tool for teaching; its strength lies in supporting learning” </li></ul><ul><li>Dr David Hay, the pedagogy of e-learning,2007 conference </li></ul>
  6. 6. The same old issues keep appearing… e.g. the learner as active agent Social constructivism John Biggs Ference Marton 2003 Experiential learning Lauren Resnick 1980 Reflective practice Seymour Papert Learning as conversation Paulo Freire Jerome Bruner 1940 Problem-based learning Lev Vygotsky Discovery learning Jean Piaget Inquiry based education John Dewey 1890
  7. 7. The same old issues keep appearing… e.g. the importance of collaboration <ul><li>Social constructivist approaches to learning have led to an emphasis on collaborative approaches to learning where ideas and attitudes are actively constructed/ deconstructed, rebuilt/renewed through group processes. (Brown et al ,1989) </li></ul><ul><li>Peer collaboration in developing on-screen concept maps led to sustained and improved learning and better outputs; using on –screen concept mapping without collaboration did not make a significant difference in learning. </li></ul><ul><li>(Black boxes to Glass boxes; on-screen learning in school with concept maps. Jan 2007 TLRP) </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Is there nothing new in learning? </li></ul>
  9. 9. What are the researchers and developers currently exploring? Is it new? <ul><li>Variation theory </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of reflection, discussion, planning </li></ul><ul><li>Centrality of existing/prior knowledge and personal meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of context and content of learning </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural differences (‘learning styles’ is running into some problems) </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative/group learning </li></ul>
  10. 10. Does the context add anything new? <ul><li>Government policy/guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum needs of 21 st Century </li></ul><ul><li>The modern learning environment </li></ul>
  11. 11. Personal, learning and thinking skills framework   <ul><li>Independent enquirers </li></ul><ul><li>Creative thinkers </li></ul><ul><li>Reflective learners </li></ul><ul><li>Team workers </li></ul><ul><li>Self Managers </li></ul><ul><li>Effective participators </li></ul><ul><li>The framework has the potential to influence teaching and learning positively…..By providing a common way of talking about personal, learning and thinking skills the framework can enable a more specific focus on skills… QCA Advisor. December 2006 </li></ul>
  12. 12. Personalised learning <ul><li>Meeting the range of needs, interests and aptitudes to ensure that every student reaches the highest standard possible…The quality of learning is shaped by learners’ experience, characteristics, interests and aspirations. High quality teaching explicitly builds on learner needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Best practice: genuine pupil voice ( When their perspectives are taken seriously pupils feel more positive about themselves as learners, understand and manage their own progress better…) pupils taking more responsibility for their own learning; curriculum flexibility to re-engage disaffected pupils </li></ul><ul><li>Judy Seba et al, research brief 843, May 2007 (commissioned by DFES) </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Assessment for Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Effective teaching and learning (competence and confidence; active engagement and challenge) </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum entitlement and choice (personal relevance, flexible pathways) </li></ul><ul><li>Organising the school ( student centred approach ) </li></ul><ul><li>Beyond the classroom (strong partnership) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Needs of the 21 st century? <ul><li>Fewer subjects, more intellectual depth </li></ul><ul><li>Criticality </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible mainstream programmes </li></ul><ul><li>Navigating conflicting values </li></ul><ul><li>Dealing with risk and uncertainty </li></ul><ul><li>“ We cannot go backwards in education and recreate safe, conservative societies” </li></ul><ul><li>Alan Luke 2006 </li></ul>
  15. 15. Where does that leave us? Clues as to the future of learning? <ul><li>Meeting a wide variety of needs </li></ul><ul><li>Critical engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Pupils’ authentic voices </li></ul><ul><li>Reflection and planning </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative learning </li></ul>
  16. 16. The new learning environment: affordances for learning <ul><li>“Teachers and learners often work with particular materials, resources and tools- from pencils and books to computers, interactive whiteboards and e-networks. </li></ul><ul><li>These materials and technologies enable some things to happen and constrain others.” </li></ul><ul><li>TLRP programme </li></ul>
  17. 17. The new learning environment: the advent of social software <ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube </li></ul><ul><li>Podcasts </li></ul><ul><li>Social bookmarking </li></ul><ul><li>MySpace/FaceBook </li></ul><ul><li>Folksonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>But what about learning? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Are some things now easier to achieve? <ul><li>Students creating, re-purposing and sharing multi-media content;creativity/innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Socialising, collaborating (between students and between students and teachers) and working with each other-interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Meta cognitive strategies??? </li></ul><ul><li> Student empowerment </li></ul>
  20. 20. Are some things now easier to achieve? <ul><li>Pupils’ authentic voices (preferences and perspectives) </li></ul><ul><li>Authentic tasks/public entities </li></ul><ul><li>Integrating different types of information </li></ul><ul><li>Social environment (safe?) </li></ul><ul><li>Peer critique/review/sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Choice - engage different learners </li></ul><ul><li>‘ just –in –time’ interventions and teaching </li></ul>
  21. 21. Are some things now easier to achieve? <ul><li>Build up a corpus of interrelated knowledge via posts and comments </li></ul><ul><li>Create and structure annotated reading lists and information resource base </li></ul><ul><li>Generate and collaboratively edit material </li></ul><ul><li>Construct particular environments for students to explore </li></ul><ul><li>Bring together learners with similar interests even if in different year groups </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate personal reading and writing groups </li></ul><ul><li>Document group processes for reflection and planning </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>But… </li></ul>
  23. 23. ‘ I never thought of playing with my website as connected to literacy’. <ul><li>“ At home students engage in a whole variety of social practices which involves text… Students were not aware of the literacy involved in these practices and were not therefore able to draw on them when working at school… What is equally important is that none of the staff were aware of the range of literacy practices students engaged in.” </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>Organising life: Uses mobile phone as an alarm clock; Keeps a notebook for assessment deadlines; Files his school work in folders; Keeps notes of his dates for socialising. </li></ul><ul><li>Private/leisure: Creates his own websites; reads newspapers; reads novels; downloads music; reads on-line versions of magazines. </li></ul><ul><li>Documenting life : Created and maintains his own website with photographs and opinions of social events he attends. </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>Personal communication : Uses email; msn; text messaging; </li></ul><ul><li>Sense making: Reads websites to help construct his own; joins chat rooms to get advice on website construction. </li></ul><ul><li>Social participation : Created posters and publicity for a school play and charity function; builds groups of new ‘friends’ </li></ul>
  26. 26. Can schools cope with fast, multi-tasking, empowered pupils? <ul><li>Conservative institutions </li></ul><ul><li>Sterile, two-dimensional environment (v creating, sharing and commenting on content; multi-tasking; social networking) </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment driven/individual marks </li></ul><ul><li>Still cling to authority and credibility as basis of acceptable content </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Where does this leave Information Literacy and the library? </li></ul><ul><li>Reach, Focus, Presence and Delivery? </li></ul>
  28. 28. The focus of Information Literacy? <ul><li>Is finding the issue any more? </li></ul><ul><li>In the web 2.0 environment do other concerns e.g. forming their own perspectives and creating new insights. Information literacy should enable students to discover and present their own authentic voices. </li></ul><ul><li>How does IL fit in with the personal, learning and thinking skills framework? </li></ul><ul><li>How far should librarians venture into areas such as critical and creative thinking, structured reflection and active construction of new knowledge? </li></ul>
  29. 29. Information Literacy Frameworks <ul><li>not linked to the learning process …, ignoring or underplaying reflection, iteration, trial-and-error, and different learning styles and strategies. Linear, mono-directional, sequential. </li></ul><ul><li>grounded in a technical view of information literacy (processes such as citation and keyword searching), with far too little emphasis on the cognitive and meta-cognitive elements </li></ul><ul><li>ignore peer interaction and the collaborative nature of much enquiry </li></ul><ul><li>use a language that does not resonate with teachers and students, does not reflect the language of the subjects </li></ul><ul><li>Designed to be taught and assessed . </li></ul>
  30. 30. A framework to support student choice in learning? <ul><li>Takes advantage of the technology that allows individuals and groups to make choices, navigate between options and then save their search paths for discussion and reflection. </li></ul><ul><li>Students can construct their own problem-solving approaches. The context should lead students to make different choices depending upon the nature of the task they are doing </li></ul><ul><li>If one avenue fails they can go back to the big picture and choose another </li></ul><ul><li>Used in a blended learning approach </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>Based on a fusion of two research-based published models, a non-linear model of information-seeking behaviour devised by Allen Foster (2004) and a model of information and critical literacies offered by Ross Todd(2001 etc.) </li></ul>
  32. 32. Information and Critical Literacies Connecting with Information ( orientation; exploring; focussing; locating) Making use of information ( transforming; communicating; applying ) Interacting with Information ( Thinking critically; evaluating; transforming; constructing ) Monitoring progress Reflecting on the experience and the outcome
  33. 33. orientation exploring locating Focussing (e.g. keywords, formulating questions ) Monitoring progress Reflecting on the experience and the outcome Connecting with information Making use of information Interacting with information Thinking critically Constructing new knowledge, concepts Evaluating and verifying transforming transforming Citing and referencing applying communicating i-skills
  34. 34. Connecting with Information problem definition reviewing identifying sources orientation focussing networking picture building browsing exploring l locating systematic searching M o n I t o r I n g p r o g r e s s
  35. 35. Interacting with Information questioning and challenging filtering knowing enough thinking critically refining and interpreting synthesising and analysing transforming constructing l evaluating Imposing structure R e f l e c t I n g
  36. 36. Making Use of Information restructuring transforming taking ownership of the learning communicating applying R e f l e c t I n g o n t h e e x p e r i e n c e a n d t h e o u t c o m e Citing and referencing
  37. 37. Blended Learning: a complex mixture of experiences that build on how students operate <ul><li>Different modes of delivery </li></ul><ul><li>Mixture of technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Synchronous and a-synchronous </li></ul><ul><li>Authentic and classroom-based learning </li></ul><ul><li>Enables timely and context led interventions </li></ul>
  38. 38. Not making connections <ul><li>Skills-led approach </li></ul><ul><li>Allowing a sequential process to dominate (this is how to…) rather than task focus </li></ul><ul><li>Skills and process led </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of focus on developing knowledge; learning always has content as well as process </li></ul><ul><li>Dorothy Williams, presentation 2007, Making Connections </li></ul>
  39. 39. Learning occurs when variation in ways of understanding or experiencing are discerned <ul><li>Improving learning is about understanding the learner’s perspective; the variations in students conceptions of information literacy. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning is about changes in conception-assist students in developing new and more complex ways of experiencing information literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching and learning activities should be designed to enable students to develop more complex understandings </li></ul><ul><li>Christine Bruce in Andretta, S. 2007, page 43 </li></ul>
  40. 40. Variation in information searching: <ul><li>looking for a needle in a haystack </li></ul><ul><li>finding a way through a maze; </li></ul><ul><li>as using the tools as a filter </li></ul><ul><li>as panning for gold </li></ul><ul><li>Decide which is the most appropriate to use in different contexts; need the whole repertoire to draw upon. </li></ul><ul><li>Able to experience variety on-line and to reflect on differences: </li></ul><ul><li>For each of the searches on the two sources note down </li></ul><ul><li>How many results you obtained </li></ul><ul><li>What type of results e.g too broad? Too narrow? </li></ul><ul><li>Area in which you didn’t get the answers that you expected etc </li></ul>