Thinking about transitions

Nazrid Palace, the Alhambra, Granada

Happy New Year, and apologies for the short interruption to my postings. I’ve been enjoying a well earned break, celebrating my birthday and also working pretty hard since the start of term. I have been meaning to blog more and decided that there really was no point doing it unless I had something to say, and now I do!

Well this week is proving interesting. What with planning for the second SADL workshop, taking place next week and repeated the week after, planning for a presentation at the M25 event on Information Literacy taking place at the British Library next week and planning for the first of three sessions I’m teaching with Maria Bell, for A Level students from City and Islington College, I’m as busy as ever. Today we also had the first of the 2014 NetworkED seminars, and it was great to meet Sylvester Arnab, from the Serious Games Institute at Coventry University. He spoke about Games, Learning and Beyond and we should have a recording up on our website in a few days time.

Tomorrow is going to be all about copyright, I’ll be advising a lecturer in the morning, attending a meeting at the CLA from lunchtime and hopefully catching up with some fellow copyright experts later in the afternoon to talk about the proposed changes to the law coming into force in April this year. If you haven’t been following then the 1709 Blog has an excellent summary.

But back to transitions, I’ve spent quite a bit of time recently thinking about the transitions we make in our lives, from school to higher education, from school or university into the work place and even from undergraduate to postgraduate education. This was a key theme and strand in Emma and I’s ANCIL research, as it causes specific challenges around digital and information literacy. There is a new environment to deal with, both physical and online, there are new sources to deal with and new codes of practice and ways of working we need to negotiate. Visiting City and Islington Sixth Form library before Christmas I was struck by the differences to LSE Library and so much of our session on Friday is about orientating students into a new, probably quite intimidating space. As we spend more time in higher education, we start to feel more comfortable in these spaces, but I do remember feeling really quite nervous faced with a large university library for the first time. So Friday’s session will be hopefully a chance for the students to explore a large academic library for the first time, but also to start to recognise the type of resources that they can access here. They are politics and philosophy students, so we’ve got plenty of resources they’ll undoubtedly find useful and also some great LSE Public Events coming up, which we’ll encourage them to attend.

It’s fascinating to work on a project for undergraduates, while also planning these sessions for sixth formers. I was also really excited to see some of the great work other universities are doing in this area. The Clued Up website from London Metropolitan University has some great resources as does the Digital Edge project from University of Westminster. We certainly plan to share our resources we are preparing for SADL, but also for the sixth formers. I’ll report more on how the sessions go, but this term is shaping up to be a lot of fun!

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