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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Widening the audience, and the importance of ownership

I had lunch today with Liz Kelman, 'Librarian extraordinare' ;-) from my former school of Hermitage Academy. We had a lot to catch up on, as to my shame I haven't seen her for some time.

The biggest topic of our conversation was Information Literacy, as I know it is a subject close to her heart.

For a few months, I have been having email discussions with one of Liz's colleagues, Cheryl Wood in Rothesay Academy. Cheryl too is passionate about info lit, and has managed to convince (if that is the right word) her HT and DHT to use one of the closure days in November for the school collectively to look at information literacy. I am so pleased that they have agreed to do this. It is so important for schools to look at this as a whole, and to see how we approach the subject.

Liz painted a lovely analogy - when at college, she had the chance to study how to teach maths to primary aged pupils. So often in life, we just take things for granted, and never bother to question how we do things. To this end, they learned maths again, this time to a different base. It forced them to reconsider how they did something, or how they knew something.

I have heard too many times teachers tell pupils to "go and find information about..." without being told or taught how to find, validate and process this information. It's like asking someone to drive a car without explaining to them first how to safely move the vehicle and about the highway code.

We have started a wiki about information literacy. You can find it at infoliteracy.wikispaces.com. "Not another wiki!" I can hear people cry, but the reason for this one is all to do with ownership. I know there are plenty of sites and resources out there to help explain info lit, but I think it is important in this journey that we have a sense of ownership in what we do. This is not meant to be 'the definitive site' by any means on info lit, but it is set to define how we in Argyll & Bute can take this huge concept further and make sure that all of our staff understand the enormous importance of this skill that we largely take for granted.

I welcome any contribution to this wiki. Please feel free to comment, alter, suggest or develop it in any way that you as an educator see fit. I haven't phrased this as well as I would hope, so I'm going to come back to this at some point in the future. This is also incidentally, the first time I have blogged from Flock, so it's good to try new things?

Blogged with Flock


Blogger marlyn moffat said...

It's always good to try new things, but your coat tails are getting faster and harder to catch.(Ok that's cos I'm old and slow) More of your postings are containing references to things that are more techy and novel than your ordinary anorak can absorb. This is the time when yer Aunty should remind you that you are flying, but some of us are still stuck on the runway, and need you as 'Air traffic control' to get us off the ground. This is great stuff. ' Information highway' My fiend Marij Van Helmond who recently retired as the Argyll & Bute Museums Officer would be right behind this, as I am myself! My father always said 'Information is power!'

11:10 pm  
Blogger Morag Macdonald said...

Yes Andrew
You are becoming a distant speck on the horizon;-)
Must take a look at Firefox though- sounds intruiging!

7:29 pm  
Blogger ab said...

When I get back from my hols I'll try and do a more detailed description of a few things that I've mentioned.

10:22 am  

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