Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Posts tagged ‘critical thinking’

How could Stimulated Recall Interviews increase authentic understandings of technology integration?

Tondeur, J.; L. H. Kershaw; R. Vanderlinde; J. van Braak (2013) Changing Assessment — Towards a New Assessment Paradigm Using ICT, European Journal of Education, Vol. 48, No. 1, 2013

This study explored the black box of technology integration through the stimulated recall of teachers who showed proficiency in the use of technology to support teaching and learning. More particularly, the aim of the study was to examine how these teachers use technology in their lessons and to gain deeper insights into the multifaceted influences affecting their current practices. In order to explore this black box, observations and stimulated recall interviews with primary school teachers were conducted in schools which were selected by the inspectorate on the basis of advances they had made in educational technology use. Stimulated recall interviews – a verbal reporting technique in which the teachers were asked to verbalize their thoughts while looking at their own classroom practice on video – seemed to be a promising approach to increase authentic understandings of technology integration. The results emphasize that (a) the teachers involved in this study were pedagogically proficient and flexible enough to fit technology in with the varying demands of their educational practices, (b) the teachers’ ongoing learning experiences rather than training affected the development of the quality of their practices, and (c) the role of the school and the broader context of teachers’ personal lives played an important role. By interpreting the results of the study, recommendations are discussed for teacher technology integration and future research.

Information Literacy or Information Literacies?

Louise Limberg, Olof Sundin, Sanna Talja (2012) Three Theoretical Perspectives on Information Literacy, HumanIT: Journal for Information Technology Studies as a Human Science, vol.11. issue 2

This article discusses alternative theoretical understandings of information literacy and their consequences for educational practices. Three theoretical perspectives are presented that represent different understandings of information literacy; phenomenography, sociocultural theory and Foucauldian discourse analysis. According to all three theoretical lenses, information literacy is embedded in and shaped by as well as shaping the context in which it is embedded. In consequence, we propose the notion of information literacies in the plural. The three perspectives offer different insights on information literacies, on both empirical and theoretical levels. However, a sociocultural perspective also involves particular theoretical assumptions about the ways in which digital environments and tools reshape conditions for learning.

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How might technology be transforming the literacies of children entering the classroom?

Joanne O’Mara, Linda Laidlaw (2011) Living in the iworld: Two literacy researchers reflect on the changing texts and literacy practices of childhood, English Teaching: Practice and Critique, December, 2011, Volume 10, Number 4,  pp. 149-159

Within the article we demonstrate, using media links and images, the ways in which our own children have begun to navigate digital devices and texts and to create new sorts of narratives that open possibilities for literacies in multiple ways, as “creators”, “designers”, and experts. We argue that, once translated into classroom practice, technological tools tend to be “domesticated” by practices that resist the transformative affordances of these tools, and may even provide barriers to student engagement and practice. Finally, we conclude the article by making some practical suggestions for creating opportunities for transformative technology use in education.

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What does Peer-Based Learning in a Networked Age look like?

Mizuko Ito  (2010) Peer-Based Learning in a Networked Age, Keynote address for University of Michigan’s Enriching Scholarship 2010

Networked media offers an unprecedented opportunity to support learning that is highly personalized and learner-centered, driven by passionate interest and social engagement. But very few learners and educators are taking advantage of this opportunity. And the reason for this is that too often we separate the worlds of young people and adults, play and education. We hold onto the old boundaries between schooling, peer-culture, and home life, between what looks and feels like learning and education that we grew up with, and what looks and feels like socializing, hanging out, and playing. Even if those boundaries were never that real to begin with, in today’s networked world, they are even more untenable.

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What does a social and cultural archeology of the internet look like?

Geert Willem Lovink (2009) Dynamics of Critical Internet Culture (1994-2001), Submitted in total fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, November 2002 English Department University of Melbourne

Unlike much of the cultural studies literature and early media theory, I will not describe what an email is, what MUDs and MOOs are and compare the Internet with book culture or television. In my view the question of what the Internet is all about has been sufficiently dealt with. It is time for critical research to move on, away from the general level of functionality. It is no longer the technical possibilities that characterize the medium. Instead of, yet again, going through general possibilities my research is based on empirical data: emails, webpages, events and personal encounters with the players in the field—both real and virtual. Where possible and useful I have made references to other (online) literature. It is my aim to write a contemporary form of media archeology in which I map the social and cultural usages of the Internet. I am writing early histories of a selected group of techno-cultural networks.

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How is Digital Media changing the way young people learn?

Mizuko Ito (2011) Mobilizing the Imagination in Everyday Play: The Case of Japanese Media Mixes, Draft of a chapter to appear in the International Handbook of Children, Media, and Culture, edited by Sonia Livingstone and Kirsten Drotner

The spread of digital media and communications in the lives of children and youth have raised new questions about the role of media in learning, development and cultural participation. In post-industrial societies, young people are growing up in what Henry Jenkins (2006) has dubbed “convergence culture”—an increasingly interactive and participatory media ecology where Internet communication ties together both old and new media forms.  My focus in this chapter is on outlining the contours of these shifts. How do young people mobilize the media and the imagination in everyday life? And how do new media change this dynamic?

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How can Serious Games Support Education?

Mary Ulicsak,  Martha Wright (2010) Games in Education: Serious Games,  A Futurelab literature review

It is argued that digital games, including simulations and virtual worlds, have the potential to be an important teaching tool because they are interactive, engaging and immersive activities. This document begins by briefly considering the rationale for using games in education – informal and formal. It then considers the various types of digital games that are described as being educational. The report then has an overview of their current use and research around their usage in multiple environments: the military, health, informal, vocational and formal education settings. It looks at the challenges of embedding serious games in formal education and three current methods for assessing appropriateness and effectiveness of games for teaching. From this it argues that what is required is a toolkit for educators, game designers and policy makers that allows the design and assessment of games to be used with an educational goal.

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Why Bother Theorizing Online Literacies?

Donna E. Alvermann (2008) Why Bother Theorizing Adolescents’ Online Literacies for Classroom Practice and Research? Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 52(1) September 2008

Teachers, teacher educators, and researchers cannot turn their backs on the inevitable. When school work is deemed relevant and worthwhile, when opportunities exist for students to reinvent themselves as competent learners (even rewrite their social identities), then literacy instruction is both possible and welcomed. But theorizing adolescents’ penchant for creating online content is merely a start—half the task. The other half involves asking the young people whom we teach, conduct research on and with, and teach about in our teacher education classes for their input into how, or for that matter whether, their online literacies should be embraced in the regular curriculum. As Kirkland so deftly reminded us, “The work of [literacy] instruction [is] as much about listening and learning as it is about telling and teaching”

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What is the social learning involved in playing Minecraft?

 John Banks, Jason Potts (2010) Towards a cultural science of videogames: evolutionary social learning, Cultural Science, Vol 3, No 1 (2010)

This paper outlines a cultural science approach to videogames. Using the example of the independently developed Minecraft, we examine the dimensions of social learning involved in playing videogames that are characterised by relatively unscripted gaming environments. We argue that a cultural science approach offers an analytic framework grounded in evolutionary externalism, social learning and emergent institutions. We develop this framework by proposing a multiple games model of social learning.

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With Google Docs is it more effective for students to share or collaborate?

Ina Blau, Avner Caspi (2010) What Type of Collaboration Helps? Psychological Ownership, Perceived Learning and Outcome Quality of Collaboration Using Google Docs

One hundred and eighteen Open University of Israel undergraduate students participated in an experiment that was designed to test the differences between sharing and collaborating on a written assignment. Participants were randomly allocated to one of five groups that differ in types of collaboration: two groups share their draft with either an unknown audience or known peers, two other groups collaborated by either suggesting improvements to or editing each other’s draft, and an additional group in which the participants kept the draft for themselves served as a control group. Findings revealed differences between groups in psychological ownership, perceived quality of the document, but not in perceived learning. In addition, students believe that a document that was written collaboratively might have higher quality than a document written alone. Nonetheless, they reported that while their contribution improved a draft written by a colleague, the colleagues contribution deteriorated their own draft. Perceived quality of the document and the improvement from draft to final version predicted perceived learning. Thus, the present study implications are that collaboration is superior to sharing, that students prefer suggestion over editing.

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What makes teachers effective in using technology as a meaningful pedagogical tool?

Peggy A. Ertmer, Anne T. Ottenbreit-Leftwich (2010) Teacher Technology Change: How Knowledge, Confidence, Beliefs, and Culture Intersect, JRTE, Vol. 42, No. 3, pp. 255–284

Despite increases in computer access and technology training, technology is not being used to support the kinds of instruction believed to be most powerful. In this paper, we examine technology integration through the lens of the teacher as an agent of change: What are the necessary characteristics, or qualities, that enable teachers to leverage technology resources as meaningful pedagogical tools? To answer this question, we discuss the literature related to four variables of teacher change: knowledge, self-efficacy, pedagogical beliefs, and subject and school culture. Specifically, we propose that teachers’ mind- sets must change to include the idea that “teaching is not effective without the appropriate use of information and communication technologies (ICT) resources to facilitate student learning.” Implications are discussed in terms of both teacher education and professional development programs.

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How Do Technology-Enhanced Inquiry Science Units Impact Classroom Learning?

Hee-Sun Lee, Marcia C. Linn, Keisha Varma, Ou Lydia Liu (2010) How Do Technology-Enhanced Inquiry Science Units Impact Classroom Learning?, JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN SCIENCE TEACHING, VOL. 47, NO. 1, PP. 71–90 (2010)

We investigated how student understanding of complex science topics was impacted when 27 teachers switched from typical to inquiry instruction in a delayed cohort comparison design study. For the same set of science topics, the teachers used typical methods of instruction in the first year and online, visualization rich inquiry units in the second year. Both cohorts of students were tested on knowledge integration at the end of both school years. We obtained students’ knowledge integration estimates by applying an Item Response Theory analysis based on a Rasch Partial Credit Model. We used a mixed effects analysis of variance to investigate effects related to inquiry instruction, teaching context, and science course. We found significant main effects of inquiry instruction and teaching context as well as significant interaction effects between inquiry instruction and science course and between inquiry instruction and teaching context on student knowledge integration. We triangulate these findings with teacher surveys, interview transcripts and project records to explore potential factors associated with successful implementation of inquiry instruction.

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How can Information Literacy be assessed?

Megan Oakleaf (2008) Dangers and Opportunities: A Conceptual Map of Information Literacy Assessment Approaches, Libraries and the Academy, Vol. 8, No. 3 (2008), pp. 233–253.

The culture of assessment in higher education requires academic librarians to demonstrate the impact of information literacy instruction on student learning. As a result, many librarians seek to gain knowledge about the information literacy assessment approaches available to them. This article identifies three major assessment approaches: (1) fixed-choice tests, (2) performance assessments, and (3) rubrics. It maps the theoretical and educational assumptions on which these options are grounded and charts the dangers and opportunities of each assessment approach.

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Why is it more difficult for students to conduct research in the digital age?

Head, A.J. & Eisenberg, M.B. (2009). Finding context: What today’s college students say about conducting research in the digital age, Project Information Literacy Progress Report, February 2009

So far, we have found that no matter where students are enrolled, no matter what information resources they may have at their disposal, and no matter how much time they have, the abundance of information technology and the proliferation of digital information resources make conducting research uniquely paradoxical: Research seems to be far more difficult to conduct in the digital age than it did in previous times. In this progress report we share some of the perceptions that led to this conclusion and several of the trends in problem-solving strategies that have emerged. The findings and analysis presented here should not be viewed as complete, but rather as part of our ongoing research that will be explored further and tested more rigorously.

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Why is Research in Educational Technology Essential to Inform Improved Learning in Schools?

Steven M Ross, Gary R Morrison, Deborah L Lowther (2010) Educational Technology Research Past and Present: Balancing Rigor and Relevance to Impact School LearningCONTEMPORARY EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY, 2010, 1(1), 17-35

Today, the exponential growth of technology usage in education, via such applications of distance education, Internet access, simulations, and educational games, has raised substantially the focus and importance of educational technology research. In this paper, we examine the past and present research trends, with emphasis on the role and contribution of research evidence for informing instructional practices and policies to improve learning in schools. Specific topics addressed include: (a) varied conceptions of effective technology uses in classroom instruction as topics for research, (b) historical trends in research approaches and topics of inquiry; (c) alternative research designs for balancing internal (rigor) and external (relevance) validity; and (d) suggested directions for future research. Attention is devoted to describing varied experimental designs as options for achieving appropriate rigor and relevance of research evidence, and using mixed-methods research for investigating and understanding technology applications in complex real-life settings.

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How are rich, technology-enhanced learning environments changing student learning?

Grainne Conole, Maarten De Laat, Teresa Dillon, Jonathan Darby (2008) ‘Disruptive technologies’, ‘pedagogical innovation’: What’s new? Findings from an in-depth study of students’ use and perception of technology, Computers & Education, Volume: 50, Issue: 2,

The paper describes the findings from a study of students use and experience of technologies. A series of in-depth case studies were carried out across four subject disciplines, with data collected via survey, audio logs and interviews. The findings indicate that students are immersed in a rich, technology-enhanced learning environment and that they select and appropriate technologies to their own personal learning needs. The paper concludes by suggesting that the findings have profound implications for the way in which educational institutions design and support learning activities.

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What does a flexible multi-layered approach to information literacy look like?

Sophie McDonald, Jemima McDonald (2011) Information Literacy For Ubiquitous Learning,  in Information Online 2011 ALIA 15th Conference and Exhibition, 1-3 Feb 2011 

The University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) Library is developing a new approach to delivering information literacy (IL). This paper will discuss the 2010 UTS Library Fun Day and the strategic use of informal information literacy activities such as games, trivia and treasure hunts incorporating the use of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. These give new and ‘old’ clients an opportunity to explore the Library and get involved with our dynamic new learning environment. The paper will also provide insight into how we are supporting researchers across the research life cycle, embedding ourselves in faculties and using Web 2.0 technologies in training to equip twenty first-century researchers with effective IL skills.

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What is the effect of Twitter on student engagement and grades?

R. Junco, G. Heiberger, E. Loken (2011) The effect of Twitter on college student engagement and grades, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, Volume: 27, Issue: 2, Pages: 119-132

Despite the widespread use of social media by students and its increased use by instructors, very little empirical evidence is available concerning the impact of social media use on student learning and engagement. This paper describes our semester-long experimental study to determine if using Twitter the microblogging and social networking platform most amenable to ongoing, public dialogue for educationally relevant purposes can impact college student engagement and grades. The results showed that the experimental group had a significantly greater increase in engagement than the control group, as well as higher semester grade point averages. Analyses of Twitter communications showed that students and faculty were both highly engaged in the learning process in ways that transcended traditional classroom activities. This study provides experimental evidence that Twitter can be used as an educational tool to help engage students and to mobilize faculty into a more active and participatory role.

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How do Search Engines Impact Literacy Learning?

Jann Carroll (2011) From Encyclopaedias to Search Engines: Technological Change and its Impact on Literacy Learning, Literacy Learning: the Middle Years, Volume 19, Number 2, June 2011

The concept of search engines opening up new worlds of information to our students is an exciting prospect, as long as we realise that the benefits are conditional and rest capriciously on a range of political, economic, technical and personnel related factors. It becomes, therefore, even more important that teachers of literacy equip students with online reading comprehension skills, critical thinking skills and continually provide opportunities for rich, varied and authentic literacy learning, to set students up for the successful future they deserve.

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How Can the Contextual Integrity Model of Privacy Be Applied to Personal Blogs?

Frances S. Grodzinsky and Herman T. Tavani (2010) Applying the “Contextual Integrity” Model of Privacy to Personal Blogs in the Blogosphere, International Journal of Internet Research Ethics Vol. 3 (12/2010)

In this paper, we analyze some controversial aspects of blogging and the blogosphere from the perspective of privacy. In particular, we focus on Helen Nissenbaum’s theory of privacy as “contextual integrity” and apply it to personal blogs, in general, and the case of the “Washingtonienne” blogger, in particular. We examine the question of whether personal blogs that are not password protected can be considered “normatively private contexts” according to Nissenbaum’s principles of privacy. We argue that they cannot. Using Nissenbaum’s original model, we conclude that privacy expectations for those who disclose personal information in such blogs are unrealistic. We also suggest that Nissenbaum’s expanded theory (see Nissenbaum, 2010) can inform the contemporary debate about privacy and blogging in a wide variety of newer technological contexts, in addition to personal blogs, and we encourage researchers to apply Nissenbaum’s model in those contexts.

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How can Informed Learning and Informed Learners by supported?

Bruce, Christine S., Hughes, Hilary E., & Somerville, Mary M. (2012) Supporting informed learners in the 21st century. Library Trends, 60(3). (In Press)

This paper elaborates the concept of informed learning and locates it in educational, workplace and community settings. Drawing from existing research into people’s experience of information literacy, it identifies critical experiences of informed learners in each of these three settings. It also explores the support required in educational, community and workplace contexts which makes informed learning possible. Recognising strong implications for policy makers in different sectors, the paper presents a set of guiding principles for developing informed learning and learners.

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Is the best use of class time to provide facts or for problem solving?

Jose Antonio Bowen (2011 ) Rethinking Technology outside the Classroom, Journal of Music History Pedagogy, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 43–59

Knowledge is a lot cheaper than it used to be. It used to be that you went to university because books were expensive and you probably didn’t have any, so you went to hear lectures because that was the way you could get information. Then later there were libraries, and you still needed faculty to help you and guide you, and they knew things that books hadn’t yet published, so that’s why you went to a university. Now, almost everything is online. New teaching technologies will increasingly allow students to access the basic course information before they come to class. As teachers using these new technologies, our mission is to create homework and assignments that inspire them to interrogate the course content outside of class time. We can then rethink the type of work students do in class to develop more sophisticated intellectual engagement than taking notes from a lecture.

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Should Information Literacy be reframed as a Metaliteracy?

Thomas P. Mackey and Trudi E. Jacobson (2011) Reframing Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy, College & Research Librairies vol. 72 no. 1 62-78

Social media environments and online communities are innovative collaborative technologies that challenge traditional definitions of information literacy. Metaliteracy is an overarching and self-referential framework that integrates emerging technologies and unifies multiple literacy types. This redefinition of information literacy expands the scope of generally understood information competencies and places a particular emphasis on producing and sharing information in participatory digital environments.

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What skills do students, teachers, and librarians need to build media literacy?

Jennifer M. Henson (2011) Media Literacy, Department of Educational Leadership and Human Development University of Central Missouri

An important aspect of application of media literacy for teaching and learning is for teachers to step back, support, and encourage students to be inventive and creative with such tools. Beginning media literacy education in early childhood and including parents is critical, as parents are their teachers at home. Young children are exposed to media literacy though television commercials, hand held games, the Internet, and even movies. Parents are the fist people to explain to children what they see, hear, and understand from these different types of media. An important aspect of application of media literacy for teaching and learning is for teachers to step back, support, and encourage students to be inventive and creative with such tools. Teachers should be knowledgeable in media literacy skills and how to integrate them into the curriculum. The librarian has a key role in supporting the integration of media literacy into the curriculum. School librarians partnering with other educators to identify and teach the media literacy will enable students to be effective digital learners.

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Why should we move from ICT skills to Digital Literacy to best support students’ inquiry learning?

Dr. Leo Casey, Professor B. C. Bruce, Allan Martin, Abigail Reynolds (2009) Digital Literacy: New Approaches to Participation and Inquiry Learning to Foster Literacy Skills among Primary School Children, Centre for Research and Innovation in Learning and Teaching, National College of Ireland

Our theoretical review points to two contrasting conceptual approaches to literacy and specifically, digital literacy. The traditional view is to regard digital literacy as a set of specific technical skills such as the ability to use software and to operate devices – this is often referred to as a skills model of literacy. In contrast, more recent and increasingly accepted theories conceive of digital literacy in terms of context and social practice – this is a situated approach to literacy. The starting point of the framework for digital literacy was to reference the practices and activities that take place in the classroom. Obviously, the goal of classroom activity is to bring about learning and as such, we grounded our digital literacy framework in a conception of learning centered on the Inquiry Cycle. The term digital literacy has been popularised by Paul Gilster, who, in his book of the same name defined it as: the ability to understand and use information in multiple formats from a wide range of sources when it is presented via computers. The concept of literacy goes beyond simply being able to read; it has always meant the ability to read with meaning, and to understand. It is the fundamental act of cognition. Based on our review of theory we established the following definition of digital literacy in primary school contexts: Digital literacy in primary schools involves students and teachers using digital technology to enable, sustain and enrich all aspects of the inquiry cycle of learning as: ask, investigate, create, discuss and reflect.

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What is the best way to Authentically Assess an Information Literacy Program?

Karen R Diller, Sue F Phelps (2008) Learning Outcomes, Portfolios, and Rubrics, Oh My! Authentic Assessment of an Information Literacy Program, portal Libraries and the Academy (2008) Volume: 8, Issue: 1, Publisher: John Hopkins University Press Journals Division,Pages: 75-89

Librarians at Washington State University Vancouver helped the campus develop a method of assessing its General Education Program, a program based on university learning goals, one of which is information literacy. The assessment method, which relies on an electronic portfolio (ePortfolio) along with rubrics to evaluate work in the ePortfolio, enables the librarians to evaluate their information literacy program based on ACRL best practices guidelines, authentic assessment techniques, and the tenets of phenomenography. This paper will describe the library’s use of this assessment method, while looking at the advantages and disadvantages of this process for assessment.

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Can there be a future for learning organisations that neglect Information Literacy?

Bruce, Christine S. (2008) Informed learning : realising the potential of the information society in our 21st century world. In: International Conference on Libraries, Information and Society, 18-19 November 2008, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Information literacy has captured the imagination of information professionals. In the last twenty years significant advocacy has occurred putting information literacy issues high on the international agenda. This paper proposes informed learning (the kind of learning made possible by information literacy) as the key to realising the potential of the information society. The paper extends the concept of informed learning in the academic environment, conceptualising its broader role in the information society.

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Do students need Information Literacy skills when they have Google?

Karl Kingsley, Gillian M Galbraith, Matthew Herring, Eva Stowers, Tanis Stewart, Karla V Kingsley (2011) Why not just Google it? An assessment of information literacy skills in a biomedical science curriculum, BMC Medical Education, Volume: 11, Issue: 1, Publisher: BioMed Central, Pages: 17

The emerging networked technologies comprising the participatory Web, also known as Web 2.0, have profoundly changed the way information is produced, distributed, and consumed. Wikis, blogs, pod casts, video sharing, social networking sites, and other online applications offer innumerable opportunities for user generated content (UGC) and information sharing through what has been called an “architecture of participation”. Although these new participatory technologies provide rich opportunities for information sharing, they also pose new challenges for information seekers. Torrents of unfiltered information are uploaded to, and downloaded from, the Internet every day. In addition, users generate, remix, repurpose, store, and then share this digital information. As a result, Web users must continually balance the need for easy to find, readily available, reliable information and to avoid questionable, inaccurate, incomplete or deceptive online information.

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Why do we need to move towards a Transformative Pedagogy for School Libraries 2.0?

Marlene Asselin,  Ray Doiron (2008) Towards a Transformative Pedagogy for School Libraries 2.0, School Libraries Worldwide – Volume 14, Number 2, July 2008, 1‐18

Today’s students are no longer the people our education system was designed to teach. (Prensky, 2001). As more and more educators face the impact of Web 2.0, and as we see emerging what could be called a Learning 2.0 environment, it becomes urgent to extend teaching to meet the literacy and learning needs of the Net Generation. These ‘new’ learners and their expanding literacy needs have major implications for current models of school library programs which are largely focused on reading promotion and information literacy skills. We join others in recognizing the need to critically question long held tenets of school libraries and to create a new research‐based vision that will accord with the current economic and social directions driving educational change. This paper contributes to that process by proposing a framework for the work of school libraries in new times based on research in new literacies, today’s learners, and emerging concepts of knowledge.

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How can Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences support the effective teaching of Information Literacy?

Intan Azura Mokhtar, Shaheen Majid and Schubert Foo (2008) Teaching information literacy through learning styles: The application of Gardner’s multiple intelligences, Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 2008; 40; 93

The key for students of today to become independent learners and knowledge workers of tomorrow lies in being information literate. However, existing information literacy (IL) teaching approaches have not always been successful in equipping students with these crucial skills to ensure deep erudition and long-lasting retention. Hence, sound pedagogical approaches become critical in IL education. This research hypothesizes that students grasp IL skills more effectively when their innate interests, such as that determined by their respective dominant intelligences, are stimulated and applied to their work. Consequently, they would produce work of better quality. To verify these postulations, an IL course was designed for students undertaking project work to equip them with the necessary IL skills, by using an established pedagogical approach – Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. Subsequently the quality of students’ project work between the experimental and control groups were compared. It was found that the performance of students who had undergone IL training through the application of learning styles was superior in their project work.

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Do we really need to improve schools to improve education?

Allan Collins, Richard Halverson (2009) Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and the Schools, Distance Education, Teachers College Press, Pages: 1-11

The digital revolution has hit education, with more and more classrooms plugged into the whole wired world. But are schools making the most of new technologies? Are they tapping into the learning potential of today’s Firefox/Facebook/cell phone generation? Have schools fallen through the crack of the digital divide? In Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology, Allan Collins and Richard Halverson argue that the knowledge revolution has transformed our jobs, our homes, our lives, and therefore must also transform our schools. Much like after the school-reform movement of the industrial revolution, our society is again poised at the edge of radical change. To keep pace with a globalized technological culture, we must rethink how we educate the next generation or America will be “left behind.” This article summarizes the arguments of their groundbreaking book and  offers a vision for the future of American education that goes well beyond the walls of the classroom to include online social networks, distance learning with “anytime, anywhere” access, digital home schooling models, video-game learning environments, and more.

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Is it possible to develop Information Literacy without Technological Competencies?

Sharkey Jennifer, Brandt D Scott (2008) Digital Literacy Tools and Methodologies for Information Society, Publisher: IGI Global

Sharkey and Brandt start on the analysis from the traditional difference between Technology and Information Literacy. The first one seems to be wider, referring to general skills in acting with and through technology; the second one, on the contrary, is more focused on computer, Internet, and the other digital devices. According to the authors, in the so called Information Age, it is necessary to develop both of these literacies. In fact, most of the technological skills are involved with information and, on the contrary, it seems really impossible to develop informational skills without technological competencies. The result of the mediation between them is an integrated solution of Technology and Information Literacy; this could be considered as the condition starting from which to imagine the space and the role of what in this book is named: Digital Literacy.

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How can interviews demonstrate a lack of information skills among secondary students?

Heidi Julien, Susan Barker (2009) How high-school students find and evaluate scientific information: A basis for information literacy skills development, Library & Information Science Research xxx (2009)

This study examined the relationship between curricula in secondary-level science classrooms, which support development of information literacy skills, and actual student skills. A vast body of research reflects deep concern with the level of information literacy skill development among secondary and post-secondary students. But even when educational curricula mandate skill development, many students are unable to demonstrate sophisticated information searching and critical evaluation skills. The findings of this study, which we based on analyzing information seeking tasks and conducting interviews with students in three biology classes in a large urban high school, demonstrated a similar lack of skills. Pressure on teachers to “teach to examinations”—that is, to focus on substantive content rather than on information literacy skills and information literacy skills deficits among teachers themselves—is a possible explanation for these results. The study is of particular interest to teachers of the curriculum applicable in the study context, but the broader implications of repeated indications of gaps in students’ information literacy skills are a significant indicator that schools must assume a larger responsibility for information literacy instruction. Leaving skill development to the post-secondary environment will not ensure that citizens are sufficiently skilled to participate fully in 21st century life, in workplaces or in their personal life contexts.

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How can Bourdieu’s concepts help overcome the binary division of technology and society?

Jonathan Sterne (2003) Bourdieu, Technique and Technology, Cultural Studies 17(3/4) 2003, 367–389

This paper examines the place of technology in Pierre Bourdieu’s social theory, and argues for the relevance of Bourdieu’s thought to the study of technology. In moving from an examination of the status of technology in Bourdieu’s work through to his broad approach to social practice and his widely cited concept of habitus, it is argued that technologies are crystallizations of socially organized action. As such, they should be considered not as exceptional or special phenomena in a social theory, but rather as very much like other kinds of social practices that recur over time. Ultimately, through the use of Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, field, and capital, we are able to overcome the binary divisions such as technology/society and subject/object that have plagued technology studies.

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Are collaborative teaching and inquiry PjBL the best way to develop Information Literacy and IT skills?

Chu, S. K. W., Chow, K. & Tse, S. K. (2011). Developing Hong Kong primary school students‘ information literacy and IT skills through collaborative teaching and inquiry PjBL. Library & Information Science Research

Information literacy and information technology (IT) skills have become increasingly important in today’s knowledge society. However, many studies have shown that students across different educational levels from primary to postgraduate level actually lack crucial information literacy and IT skills, thus the need for an effective pedagogical approach that will develop these skills. This study investigated the effect of combining a collaborative teaching approach with inquiry project-based learning (PjBL) on the development of primary students’ information literacy and IT skills. Students in a Hong Kong primary school completed two inquiry-based group projects. A collaborative teaching approach involving three teachers in different subject areas (General Studies, Chinese, and IT) and the school librarian was adopted in guiding students through the two projects. Results indicated the positive impact of collaborative teaching and inquiry PjBL on the development of students’ information literacy and IT skills.

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How can technology support students develop higher order thinking skills?

McMahon, G. (2009). Critical Thinking and ICT Integration in a Western Australian Secondary School. Educational Technology & Society, 12 (4), 269–281.

This study examined the relationship between students working in a technology-rich environment and their development of higher order thinking skills. Based on a PhD thesis, which examined a greater range of relationships than can be reported here, this article focuses on developing critical thinking skills within a technology-rich environment. Staff and students from one school participated in the study. Data were collected to determine the degree of correlation between factors of the learning environment and the extent to which critical thinking skills were demonstrated by the students. Statistical correlations allowed relationships between environmental factors and critical thinking to be established. The results indicate that there are statistically significant correlations between studying within a technology-rich learning environment and the development of students’ critical thinking skills. Length of time spent in the environment has a positive, non-linear effect on the development of critical thinking skills. Students with better developed computing skills scored higher on critical thinking activities. This was most significant for students with better computer programming skills and the ability to competently manipulate Boolean logic. The research suggests that to develop students’ higher order thinking skills, schools should integrate technology across all of the learning areas. This will allow students to apply technology to the attainment of higher levels of cognition within specific contexts. This will need to be paralleled by providing students the opportunity to develop appropriate computer skills.

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Can blogs support students’ complex thinking?

Ramos, Maria Altina Silva. Blog and Complex Thinking: A Case Study
Online Submission, US-China Education Review v7 n8 p11-21 Aug 2010. 2010 11 pp. (ED514801)

The Internet does not promote learning by itself as children and young people often use it passively. The teachers’ role is to help them interpret and analyze available information critically. The blog, as a means to deploy the concept of “on-line interaction” is, according to Granieri, “The most accessible and natural tool for sharing and publishing, in addition to text, images movies and also sound, will be increasingly disseminated, because of increasing speed of data transmission” (2006, p. 31). It is therefore natural that the use of the blog is more and more frequent as a resource, pedagogical strategy or other capacities at all levels of teaching (Gomes, 2005). In this paper, a case study is presented based on some blogs, focusing on: the methodology for collection of text and multimedia materials; treatment and analysis of data with the NVivo software; findings and further evolution perspectives. Read Full Text.

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