Digital and information literacy in education

  • Published on

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)


  • Digital and Information Literacy in education:

    a perspective from the UKDr Jane Secker

    Senior Lecturer in Educational Development, City University of London

  • About me..

    Senior Lecturer in Educational Development (from April 2017) at City University of London

    Former Copyright and Digital Literacy Advisor at LSE

    Chair of CILIP Information Literacy Group representing over 1400 members

    Experienced researcher in digital and information literacy, copyright and online learning, copyright education

  • Wearing several hats..

  • Terminology in the UK In the UK, there is a strong government focus

    on digital literacy or digital skills: Task Force on Digital Skills Digital Skills for Tomorrows

    World (July 2014)

    House of Lords Report on Digital Skills (June 2015)

    Focus on digital literacy in schools = coding / computing?

    Term used widely in Higher Education e.g. Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) as a focus for the 2015-16 reviews of universities

    Jisc work on Digital Literacies /Digital Capabilities

    2017 UK Government Digital Strategy launched

  • What is digital literacy?

  • Media Literacy

    Term favoured by Ofcom (UK regulator for the communications industry)

    Ofcoms define media literacy as:

    the ability to use, understand and create media and communications in a variety of contexts


    Rich studies of media use amongst adults and children

    Internet research including studies of online copyright infringement

  • Information literacy

    ..empowers people in all walks of life to seek, evaluate, use and create information effectively to achieve their personal, social, occupational and educational goals. It is a basic human right in a digital world and promotes social inclusion in all nations.

    UNESCO Alexandria Proclamation 2005

  • Information Literacy and librarians

    Information literacy is knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and

    communicate it in an ethical manner (CILIP, 2004)

    The skills that are required to be information literate call for an understanding of:

    A need for information The resources available How to find information The need to evaluate results How to work with or exploit results Ethics and responsibility of use How to communicate or share your findings How to manage your findings

  • Literacies landscape

    Secker and Coonan, 2011

  • What is the result?

  • Rethinking Information Literacy (2013)

  • ANCIL (A New Curriculum for

    Information Literacy)

    In 2011 Secker and Coonan undertook an extensive

    literature review and interviews with key researchers and

    practitioners in information literacy to:

    Understand the needs of undergraduates entering higher

    education over the coming 5 years

    Map the current landscape of information literacy

    Develop a practical curriculum and supporting resources

    Designed to be embedded not a standalone curriculum

  • Information literacy ...

    supports transitionHigher education is not just more education, but different. Students coming from

    school are not sure what learning is - its always been managed for them.

    develops independent learners

    It involves students being able to articulate the expectations of a new information context, and also being able to reflect on their own learning. Part of the process of

    becoming an independent learner also involves helping a student understand more about the process of learning.

    includes the social dimension of information

    As a profession, we need to think about what students need to know and be able to apply in the information environment. Our commitment should be to life-long learning rather

    than the longer life of our library resources.

    (ANCIL Expert Consultation Report, 2011)

    Secker and Coonan, 2011

  • Is technology a red herring?

    From http:/

  • Digital natives?

    Photo by Flickingerbrad licensed under Creative Commons Photo by starmanseries licensed under Creative Commons

  • Ethics, attribution and copyright literacy*

    Photo: Adventures in Copyright from Flickr licensed under CC:

    *Secker and Morrison (2016)

  • US ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (2015)

    Information Literacy as a Threshold Concept (Meyer and Land, 2003)

    Information Creation as a


    Authority Is Constructed

    and Contextual

    Information Has Value

    Research as Inquiry

    Scholarship as Conversation

    Searching as Strategic


  • The problem of placing IL outside the curriculum

    Image by Miki Yoshihito: SAKURAKO looks in the window. Licensed under CC-BY 2.0

    Teaching outside the curriculum risks alienating academic staff

    Students see it as optional

    Its unclear who is responsible

    Use of technology, media and information are discipline specific

    Technology, media and information are not neutral

  • IL in the higher education sector

    IL well developed and widely recognised in UK university libraries

    Teaching focuses on Finding, evaluating and managing

    information (plagiarism) transition from school and graduates

    going into the workplace Digital footprint, privacy and using

    social media tools

    Many attempts to engage teaching staff and embed in curriculum but no one framework in HE

    Librarians can still struggle to be recognised as teachers

  • Strategies for success

    Some universities have developed frameworks for digital and information literacy

    Some teaching and learning strategies recognise these skills

    Tools and benchmarking undertaken across the sector by Jisc

    Also examples of bottom up approaches and working in partnership with students

    Image cc from /

  • Building partnerships is key

    Collaboration with academics and students

    Closer working between learning support professionals

    Aligning digital, academic, media and information literacy programmes

    Discussing and agreeing on terminology

    Developing shared measures of success

  • Global Perspectives on IL..

  • The Information Literacy Group (ILG)

    Special Interest Group of Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals set up in 2003

    Founded LILAC in 2004 Run the the open access, peer-

    reviewed Journal of Information Literacy

    Run Fund training events, sponsorship and

    offer research bursaries for members Community of over 1400 members,

    4600 followers on Twitter @infolitgroup


  • ILG aims.

    Share and celebrate good practice in information literacy teaching and research

    Provide a network and a voice for information literacy work in the library profession

    Undertake research and innovation initiatives

    Work across the library sectors

    Reach out beyond the library sector

  • Our challenge..

    To get IL recognised outside the higher education and library community

    To connect with other interested stakeholders

    To challenge traditional views of what librarians do and what information literacy is

  • IL Awards

    Helen Howard, University of Leeds, Winner of the Information Literacy Award 2017

    Stephanie (Charlie) Farley, University of Edinburgh, Winner of the Credo Digital Award 2017 for 23 Things for Digital Knowledge

  • Research Bursaries

    Funding high quality research to explore the impact of IL outside higher education

    Award funding twice per year and currently open to our members in the UK

    Three projects completed to date

    A further six projects currently running

    Full details of all projects at

  • First project funded by ILG based in Newcastle public library

    Support for local residents to go online to access council services

    Established a network of digital champions

    Training for front line Newcastle council staff

    Projects and initiatives have continued since 2015

  • IL in the workplace

    DeVIL Project (Determining the value of information literacy for employers)

    How does Information Literacy add real value to businesses?

    Developed a tool to determine how information competences underpin the performance and effectiveness of enterprises

    Research led by Stephane Goldstein and Drew Whitworth

  • Learning, Lending and Liberty

    Can school libraries be engines for youth citizenship?

    The role of public libraries in citizenship education and political participation

    Research by Dr Lauren Smith published recently in the Journal of Information Literacy

    Smith, L.N. (2016) School libraries, political information and information literacy provision: findings from a Scottish study. 10, (2), pp. 3-25

  • Projects currently running

    Awareness and ownership of IL skills within trainee teachers

    Facilitating research amongst radiographers through IL workshops

    IL for democratic engagement in Scotland

    Information discernment and psychophysiological well-being in response to misinformed stigmatization

    Transitioning information skills in the workplace

    Syrian refugees information wayfinding practices

  • Information Experiences of New Syrians

    Led by Dr Konstantina Martzoukou and Professor Simon Burnett (i-school, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen)

    The research aims to explore: To explore Syrian new Scots ways of knowing for addressing critical social inclusion

    needs (e.g. housing, welfare, education, benefits, employability, rights and entitlements). To examine the barriers they encounter in the process of addressing their key

    information needs; To investigate how Syrian new Scots could be further supported to adapt to their local


  • A initiative in UK schools for 13-16 year olds to foster an interest in science, technology and innovation

    Run TeenTech events around the UK and a national competition for student innovation projects

    Mainly corporate sponsors including: Google, Airbus, Network Rail, Maplin etc.

    Prestigious awards ceremony at Royal Society From 2015 all projects are judged on their

    Research and Information Literacy skills sponsored by ILG

  • Support for Schools First ILG Award awarded in 2015

    Currently judging 55 projects for 2017 award

    Working group consisting of school & university librarians who devised evaluation criteria

    Developed 10 Resource Sheets Research Smarter (Licensed under Creative Commons)

  • Access to Resources

    Building up links with universities across the UK to provide outreach services and resources for schools involved in TeenTech

    Growing list of institutionsoffering access to libraries and workshops for students

    Currently negotiating with publishers / suppliers to get access to resources for schools

  • Research and Information Literacy Award Winners 2016

    Oakham School Matthew, Oliver and Archie for K-Charge

    A shoe integrated with a battery, which charges the battery by converting the kinetic energy generated by walking into electrical energy

  • Why does IL matter now?

    The phenomenon of fake news and need for information discernment

    ILG response to government inquiry on fake news

    To tackle information privilege and injustice

    Students increasingly creators of content

    IL is of course not the answer but contributes to social justice, democracy, equality.

    IFLA Fake News Infographic

  • The role of teacher education

    Teacher education rarely considers teachers own IL skills or their ability to teach IL explicitly to their students

    Many teachers over-estimate students abilities in this area (digital native rhetoric)

    IL needs to be explicitly embedded in teacher education as considerable confusion over terminology

    Open education offers many opportunities (and challenges)

  • A critical approach

    Focus on teacher educators and embedding IL in teacher training at all levels

    Design activities and assessments that reward process as much as outcomes

    Focus on lifelong learning and transferable skills

    Devise teaching that highlights how information IS political

    Use approaches from critical literacy / critical pedagogy

  • A recommendation

    LILAC 2017 keynote by Alan Carbery

  • Further reading

    CILIP (2017) Information Literacy Group. Home page. Available at

    Hinrichsen, J and Coombs (2013). The five resources of critical digital literacy: a framework for curriculum integration. Research in Learning Technology. 21: 21334.

    Jacobson, Trudi E., and Thomas P. Mackey. (2013) Proposing a Metaliteracy Model to Redefine Information Literacy. Communications in Information Literacy 7, no. 2: 8491.

    Meyer, Jan, and Land, Ray. (2003). Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge: Linkages to Ways of Thinking and Practicing within the Disciplines. Edinburgh, UK: University of Edinburgh. Available at

    Secker, J and Morrison, C (2016). Copyright and E-learning: a guide for practitioners. Facet Publishing: London. Also see

    Secker, J and Coonan, E. (2013) Rethinking Information Literacy: a practical framework for supporting learning. Facet Publishing: London. But also see:

    UNESCO (2015) Media and Information Literacy. Available at:

    Zurkowski, P (1974). The Information Serv...


View more >