Last week in class we watched several of our class’s completed screencasts and discussed them, then we discussed the (way to huge to fit into a couple hours) topic of information literacy.
I really enjoyed seeing the other folks’ screencasts. Watching other people’s creations not only helps you to learn techniques for your own work, but, I think, also helps beginners to see that “they’re not alone.” If I compare my first screencast to professionally made ‘casts on YouTube, I’m going to feel like I did a horrible job – but those people making those ‘casts have experience that I don’t have. Looking at the screencasts of other people making them for the first time, however, creates a sense of camaraderie, as well as a sense that I’m on the right track. It was a valuable exercise.
We spent the rest of the class, in various formations (small group discussion, large group discussion, lecture) discussing the myriad topics that fall under the heading of “information literacy.” There are so many various concepts subsumed under this heading, such as digital literacy, metaliteracy, transliteracy, information fluency, etc. etc., that it can be quite overwhelming to get a sense of where we are in this world. Unfortunately, I won’t be around next fall to take Kristin’s class on information literacy, so I’m going to have to make due, for now, with that 2 hours we had in class.
I think one of the biggest things I took from this discussion is, again, the need for collaboration among institutions. I hear this word, collaboration, so much that I’m starting to get sick of it, but it’s not going anywhere soon so I’m just going to have to deal with it. The problem with collaboration and information literacy seems to be, to me, that we all talk about how we need to collaborate more, but then we go and all have our own definitions for what “information literacy” really is, or we go and make up our own words (see all the words in the middle of the paragraph above). The problem isn’t having all these words and definitions, of course, but not realizing that, at the heart of it we’re all talking about the same thing. We can, of course, discuss the differences between our individual ideas of information literacy, but we also need to find and expand our common ground. The only place we’re going to get with all of the disagreements is a world where we don’t have proper standards for teaching information literacy, and therefore we don’t have proper standards for testing for it, and our educational program here will be left in the 20th century.