“Quick and dirty all the time”* #lrcon11

Yesterday I went to JISC RSC YH‘s Learning Resources Conference 2011. The topic was Empowering the Digital Natives, and the day was (unsurprisingly) all about digital literacy.

The conference was opened by Scott Hibberson, e-learning advisor. He handed over to Andrew Walsh from Huddersfield University, who introduced us to the information use across devices, the “mobile social world” and learning, trying to answer what it means to be information literate in this mobile, digital environment.
Afterwards I went to a workshop on digital identity, safety, footprints and steps we can take, led by Kevin Campbell-Wright and Scott Hibberson. They had come up with a great game to visualise how people are connected in real life and/or online and what consequences a simple party photo can have. It was an interesting experiment and I can see the game as a useful resource for staff training where I work.
Afterwards I went to a workshop about the JISC MediaHub, which is a multimedia portal open to everybody. Licensed content access is only for subscribers but even the free resources are useful.
After lunch there was a session about a new information literacy curriculum, led by Jane Secker from the London School of Economics and Emma Coonan from Cambridge University. The last session I attended was about digital inclusion, led by Lisa from JISC TechDis.

Here are my notes from the day (not enough time today to link proper sentences together into paragraphs):

  • Take advantage of mobile devices. People have them already. Make an impact not just play.
  • Info needs more instant, less structured when using mobile devices
  • How and on which devices do people want to use resources? One size does not fit all, e.g. affordability.
  • People will search for things prompted by context/situation. They don’t remember things.
  • Narrower range of tools – whatever is easiest to access. People are lazy and don’t want to even switch their laptops on if things are available through their mobiles. (At home that’s me too!) People want to confirm things, rather than search for anything new.
  • there is less institutional control over access – mobile technologies are disruptive
  • People are passive with info they consume: set up a network in Facebook or twitter and it comes to you. You won’t know what you’re missing!
  • Confusion over online persona
  • Need to teach to extract and evaluate info online and organise via mobiles.
  • A lot of “bad searching on new technology” happens!
  • A new information literacy curriculum: Acardia programme explored the role of academic library in digital age
  • wanted Acardia to be practical not just academic
  • Where does Information Literacy fit in, what’s the definition.
    Librarians are the experts for information literacy. -> Or are they?
  • Are Librarians and information professionals the facilitators rather than the guardians of what is information literacy?
  • Research is a journey just as any learning is
  • “Information literacy” is a phrase that needs to be explained to non-library type people
  • Be less prescriptive. A tool-based skill set necessary but make it broad enough to be useful with google, wikipedia etc. Information literacy has become too associated with skills sets for specific tools.
  • Librarians need to engage in academic skills
  • Information literacy is a mix of skills, values, attitudes towards evaluation, managing and creating information
  • Badke: “Why information literacy is invisible
  • See http://newcurriculum.wordpress.com for more information.
  • Information literacy is a continuum of skills, abilities, values, attitudes around analysing, evaluating, managing, assimilating information. Learner needs ability to recognise the choices and make informed decisions, based on context.
  • Unesco definition of information literacy most accurate: http://dis.shef.ac.uk/literacy/definitions.htm, http://www.unesco.org/webworld/points_of_views/shimmon.shtml
  • Skills need to be transitional, transferable, transformational
  • Embedding into curriculum if possible -> great opportunity for FE and HE. More difficult in public libraries as there’s a different, more diverse customer base but can be sold as part of targeted workshops, e.g. shop online, find a job online.
  • Digital inclusion: identity, lifestyle, citizenship, professional identity -> what are common guidelines?
  • Includes simple things, e.g. how to adjust screen settings to better read things
  • Research tools: EvernoteMendeley -> I think I might have to revisit these as part of CPD23

After having attended Library Camp earlier this month a properly (more) structured conference was an interesting experience. I felt that I wanted to chip in more and got a bit antsy towards the end. The latter might have just been because I wanted to see the museum though. The conference was held in the National Railway Museum in York, so I could finish the day by having a wander around the engine hall. I didn’t think I’d be this excited by trains! Did you know their library is called Search Engine? I’m not sure I like it, or if it’s just that little bit too clever.

You can see all tweets related to the conference by searching for the hashtag #lrcon11. And this is where the JISC digital literacy national working group is on Diigo.

My own digital identity is yet again on my mind after yesterday, after talking to Kevin @kevupnorth, and in as much as there’s a picture and an audioboo online now, linking bumsonseats to real-life-me. What does that mean for me? I might as well come out of the closet? Might need to ponder a bit longer but as Kevin reassures me: what can possibly go wrong?!?

*quote from Andrew Walsh’s talk

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