Tuesday, 27 March 2007

iSkills again

More resources on information and learning literacies (contributed by Allison Littlejohn and Axel Bruns in response to my earlier post) :

1) John Crawford and Christine Irving, National Information Literacy Framework.

2) Axel Bruns, Rachel Cobcroft, Jude Smith, and Stephen Towers
Mobile Learning Technologies and the Move towards ‘User-Led

3) Axel Bruns, Beyond Difference: Reconfiguring Education for the User-Led Age

4) More here.

Uses of Second Life in Education

Jane Guiller sent this paper called '101 Uses for Second Life in the College Classroom' by Conklin (2007). I have not read it yet, but it looks interesting: there are lots of ideas some of which were tested in Conklin's course "Imagining Technology" at Elon University .

Saturday, 17 March 2007


In "Uses of Blogs" edited by by Axel Bruns and Joanne Jacobs , Jean Burgess is writing about use of blogs in higher education (Chapter 10, Blogging to Learn, Learning to Blog). Among other things, she is discussing information literacies, or as she says "...literacies that are appropriate to networked, technological environments...essential kinds of information lietracy, extending well beyond 'computer literacy' ". They are:

1) Critical technological literacy - "focuses on a deep, socially contextualised, and informed understanding of technology"
2) Creative literacy - "the ability to experiment with technology in order to create and manipulate content that serves social goals rather than merely retrieving and absorbing infomration"
3) Network literacy - "include the ability and the impulse to effectively and ethically manipulate a range of technologies to communicate and collaboratively construct and share knowledge".

This could be a useful framework for the GCU's iSkills initiative. Burgess mentions some other work in tihs area that could be useful too. For example, she mentions a project at Queensland University of Technology in Australia, that developed a framework addressing a set of critical, creative and collaborative ICT literacies (including recommendations for learning strategies for supporting the development of these literacies). Another related study is Being Fluent with Information Technology, funded by the National Research Council in the US.

While this work sounds worth taking a closer look, I am wondering - how does one define these literacies collectively? Are they ICT skills? No, because they are clearly about much more than the ability to use specific hardware or software. Burgess says they are "essential kinds of information literacy". But they are much more than that too - collaborative construction of knoweldge, networking effectively, communication, reflection, effective articulation, etc. iSkills is a misleading term - but what is an accurate one?