Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Computers in Libraries and Internet @ Schools 2010

Day one of the Computers in Libraries and Internet @ Schools conferences began with a keynote speech by Lee Rainie of the Pew Internet & American Life Project. He updated us with facts gleaned from their research about people’s online behaviors. He explained that many use online social websites like facebook and youtube to “build friendships, network with friends, create learning opportunities, and build reputational capital.” He said that librarians should become “nodes in people's social networks” as they seek information to help them both solve problems and meet their informational needs. Seven literacies that he mentioned as necessary for people to thrive in a digital world are among the many things we attempt to empower students with whenever we work with them. The literacies he focused on are:
• Screen literacy – understanding graphics and symbols
• Navigational literacy – giving students tools to understand where (in virtual space) they happen to be and to determine where they need to be and how to get there
• Connections and Context literacy – because web pages break everything into snippets of information linked to each other, students must learn to understand the context in which the information they are viewing is presented
• Skepticism – learning to look for accuracy and authority in the sites they visit
• Value of Contemplative Time – helping them to understand that it’s not enough to find a piece of information, but we must spend time with it and think about it to make connections with our world and determine what best to do with that information
• Content Creation – how to become publishers and creators of digital information; creating rather than collecting information
• Ethical behavior in this new world

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