Happy New Year everyone! I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about new literacies recently for several reasons. Firstly, my first assignment is due on Monday for my PG Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education. The assignment was a reflective report on my teaching during the last term on MI512 – the information literacy course I taught to PhD students. I have thought long and hard about how we teach information literacy and tried to explain some of the pedagogical theories that underpin it. It also involved asking myself what we were really trying to achieve, it’s not simply ensuring students are proficient in using library databases or can cite properly, but helping students find and evaluate information for themselves – and become critical thinkers.
The second reason for thinking about new literacies is that I’ve been asked to undertake a ‘Learning Literacies’ audit at LSE, for the JISC funded LLiDA (Learning LIteracies for a Digital Age) project. Matt Lingard and I will be undertaking the work over the next 6 weeks and it should prove really useful to map out who is teaching all these different literacies to staff and students at LSE. I know the Training Providers Forum group will be really interested in being involved.
Finally, we’ve had an internal meeting about the new course LSE is developing for undergraduate students called Thinking Like a Social Scientist and I’ve been asked to write something about information / digital literacies and the sorts of skills that we should be developing in our students. It ties in really nicely with this other work I’m doing which is great and there seems to be so much out there at the moment. I’ve been adding quite a few resources to delicious recently and been extending my network. The Guardian had a useful feature on digital students, plus Michael Wesch (who is going to be speaking at this year’s ALT conference) has written an interesting article on The Academic Commons site called from Knowledgable to Knowledge-able. Here’s hoping the weather warms up soon, otherwise I’m going to hibernate for the rest of the month!