Friday, 29 May 2009

Information Literacy in Dublin

Fresh back from my first trip ever to Ireland, I want to thank the Advisory Committee on Information Literacy of CONUL for inviting me to speak at their annual Information Literacy Seminar in Dublin.
We heard from Margot Conrick (UCC), Isolde Harpur (TCD) and Niall McSweeney (NUIG) about the Graduate Information Skills package being prepared cooperatively which will form a credited unit and part of Key Skills module for PhD, research masters and post doctoral students throughout Eire. It is still under development and should be completed by spring 2010 or earlier.
Kevin O'Rourke (DIT) gave an entertaining view of how VLEs had developed from the days when content was king. In Dublin usage in He is 50% Blackboard and 50% Moodle. He (like me) wants to promote more active learning via VLEs and encourage lecturers from just using them as an archive.
The final session was an excellent debate on "Is there a place for online social networking in teaching and learning?" Cathal McCauley (NUIM) and Ronan Kennedy (NUIG) were for and Tony Eklof (UCD) and Kathleen James-Chakraborty (UCD) were against. Showed to me what a good idea a debate can be to get across so much information and keep people alert after the post-lunch dip.Issues raised included : Daily Mail report about Facebook raising the risk of cancer ; Facebook users doing less academic work ; Japanaese students who drop out of life in a phenomenon called hikikomori ; Real climate as an example of an influentail academic blog which is in effect peer-reviewed ; and H20 playlist, an experimental site from Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School, giving shared list of readings and other content about topics of intellectual interest. The motion was carried 52% for 38% con and 10% abstaining.

My presentation "Shots in the dark : Information Literacy in the 21st Century" is on Slideshare at

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