Each week, I ask my Information Literacy for Teaching and Learning students to respond to a few prompts in a letter to me. (Like I mentioned last week, I usually have folks blog, but because they are doing field experiences, I felt I needed to keep the conversation a bit more private this time around.)
This week, here are some things on my mind:
1. If we can’t agree on what information literacy is, how do we get others to see that it’s valuable? Our course is specifically titled Information Literacy, so we have to use that in class. But I feel myself straining against it. The typical “need, find, evaluate, use” definition sounds so, um, BORING. And it’s so much more, isn’t it? Doesn’t reading comprehension play a part? Digital navigation savvy? Prior knowledge? I want to be excited about the power of library-hosted instruction, and “need, find, evaluate, use” just doesn’t fly my flag. Is it that we need to keep the IL definition as is but recognize that librarians need to extend into new arenas? Or does being information literate mean expanding the definition? Reader, it leaves me unbewitched, bothered, and bewildered. See #3 below. I’m also itching to look at things like the Common Core State Standards as potential entrypoints for librarians. We’re looking at information from all sides. Some of us are on the roots end of things; some on the wings side.
2. Anticipation (to quote Carly Simon). This week, most folks (and, I’m sorry, there are a few of you whose potential hosts I’m waiting to hear from) start in their placements. That’s going to add an entirely new layer to the conversation. I can’t wait.
3. Inquiry. I’m biting my tongue not to jump straight to this topic.
4. Differentiation. How does our class move nimbly when we have students with such a wide variety of past experiences? Some students have been pondering these questions, literally, for years. Some for just a few days. How do we welcome all and keep the conversation relevant to all?
5. Diigo group. Oh, how I love our class Diigo group as a way for everyone to contribute interesting nuggets, news stories, blog posts, online shoutouts, and more. Everyone in our class has Diigo’s toolbar installed and, when they run into something interesting, can post it to the group. We determine individually how often we want to receive notifications of what others have posted, and we decide individually if we want to add their link to our personal account. I am learning so many things that have expanded my knowledge about literacies-related issues, and I use it when I’m reading their reflections to push out information that may answer questions or add background.
Well, that’s what’s on my mind … what’s on yours?