“Multiple literacies”? Who really talks like that? (Survey)

You may recall that last February we highlighted a great article by Trudi Jacobson and Thomas Mackey introducing  ‘metaliteracy’ as a framework for understanding information literacy. The number of alternative “literacies” has seemed to explode over the past few years, and the article does a great job of reining competing literacies in and organizing them under a more manageable conceptual framework.  But, certain questions remain. In particular, how are terms like ‘metaliteracy, ‘transliteracy’, ‘information literacy’, and other literacies understood in the library profession? Well, to find the answer, Jacobson and Mackey have come up with a survey to find out how “librarians and faculty members worldwide who teach information literacy in some form conceive of information literacy” in light of the explosion of alternative literacies.

I’ll let Jacobson explain, from a message circulating on various listservs:

If you teach information literacy at an academic institution (in any format, such as a stand-alone course, a component of another course, or single sessions), I welcome your participation in a survey. The online survey is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/metaliteracy

The purpose of the survey is to learn more about the impact of the changing information environment and social media on the teaching of information literacy. This research follows up on my work with Dr. Thomas Mackey in connection with our article, “Reframing Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy,” which appeared in the January 2011 issue of College & Research Libraries. Data gathered via this survey will contribute to a book we are currently writing on the same topic, which will be published by Neal-Schuman in 2012.

Your feedback will be most helpful in getting a sense of changes that may be occurring as a result of the evolving information environment and emerging literacy frameworks. Learning what others are doing, through the information that will be presented in the book and through other venues, may be beneficial in considering your own teaching.

So, if you’re interested in transliteracy, metaliteracy, information literacy, or some other putative literacy (hyperliteracy, anyone?), please chime in on the metaliteracy survey. The more data they collect, the better will be the picture of multiple literacies in librarianship. Once again, the survey is available at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/metaliteracy

As a bit of a bonus, Trudi Jacobson was kind enough to send me a selected reading list. Go ahead and check it out if you’re interested in the concept of metaliteracy (or of transliteracy).

Suggested Reading (thanks to Trudi Jacobson)

  • Bobish, Greg.  2011. “Participation and Pedagogy: Connecting the Social Web to ACRL Learning Outcomes.”  The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 37, no 1: 5463.
  • Breivik, Particia Senn and E. Gordon Gee.  1989.  “Taking a New Look at Libraries,” In Information Literacy: Revolution in the Library, 1-29.  New York: Macmillan.
  • Dunaway, Michele Kathleen. 2011.  “Connectivism: Learning Theory and Pedagogical Practice  for Networked Information Landscapes.”  Reference Services Review 39, no. 4: 675-685.
  • Ipri, Tom. 2010. “Introducing Transliteracy: What Does It Mean To Academic Libraries?” College and Research Libraries News 71, no. 10: 532-567.  http://crln.acrl.org/content/71/10/532.full.pdf+html
  • Mackey, Thomas P. and Trudi E. Jacobson. 2011. “Reframing Information Literacy as a  Metaliteracy.” College and Research Libraries 72, no. 1: 62-78. http://crl.acrl.org/content/72/1/62.abstract 
  • Siemens, George.  2004.  “Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age.” Elearnspace: everything elearning. http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm
  • Society of College, National and University Libraries. 2011. “The SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy, Core Model for Higher Education.” Society of College, National and University Libraries. http://www.sconul.ac.uk/groups/information_literacy/publications/coremodel.pdf
  • Thomas, Sue, Chris Joseph, Jess Laccetti, Bruce Mason, Simon Mills, Simon Perril, et al.  2007.    “Transliteracy: Crossing Divides.” First Monday [Online], 12 no. 12.                       http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2060/1908

Skills that Transfer (ACRL/NY 2011)

 

This past week-end I had the honor of presenting to the Greater New York Metropolitan Chapter of the ACRL at their annual ACRL/NY Symposium.  This year’s theme was “the global librarian” and, as you’ve probably guessed, I presented on transliteracy. My slides are posted below, but, unfortunately, at 80 megabytes, the original PowerPoint file was too large for the free version of SlideShare to handle. So, the slides are in PDF format which does not allow for speaker notes. Granted, even with speaker notes attached, slides shows are not meant to stand on their own. Still, I can at least give a quick rundown of the presentation…

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Call for Proposals: 3T’s Engaging Students with Transliteracy, Technology and Teaching

The  3T’s Engaging Students with Transliteracy, Technology and Teaching has put out a call for proposals.

Call for Proposals (deadline December 1, 2011)

3Ts 2012: Engaging Students with Teaching, Technology, and Transliteracy.

  • Do you collaborate with colleagues, using various technologies that have created an effective learning module?
  • Have you created a successful teaching collaboration with colleagues that incorporates technology and/or with emphasis on metaliteracy?
  • Do you use a mode of metaliteracy or transliteracy that you have found to be effective?
  • Are you using innovative technologies to assist with learning in the classroom and/or virtually?
  • Do you use your students’ fluency across media, modes, and disciplines to enhance their learning experiences?
  • Have you been successful in blending various modes of technology into your teaching?
  • Are you interested in integrating technology and transliteracy into your teaching?
  • Do you use teaching models that include team-based or project based-learning in conjuction with any 21st Century literacy?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, the conference planning committee for The 3 T’s: Exploring New Frontiers in Teaching, Technology, and Transliteracy wants YOU to submit a proposal here:

Proposal Form: http://bit.ly/tOxJIO

Don’t miss out on your chance to share your innovative classroom methods and achievements!

Proposals should address the following questions:
  • How have you drawn upon metaliteracy or transliteracy to support student learning?
  • How have underlying principles and theories guided your inclusion of a specific technology or technologies in the classroom?
  • How did teaching and technology connect to improve both technological literacy and learning?
  • How has your teaching style or method changed as technology is now infused into your course?

As proposals undergo a peer-reviewprocess, emphasis on the following are highly encouraged:

  • Connecting theory to practice as discussed and modeled through your proposal, presentation, and delivery
  • Collaborative projects/lesson plans that could include (but are not limited to) cross-disciplinary teaching, faculty/librarian partnerships, partnerships with instructional designers and librarians or faculty, and K-12/college experiences

Proposals can include any meaningful integration of technology and teaching used to support the growing number of literacies students need for learning and succeeding in today’s information-rich academic and professional worlds.

Possible tracks and technologies might include:

Literacies:

  • Information literacy
  • Visual literacy
  • Digital literacy
  • Media literacy
  • Cultural literacy
  • Critical literacy

Technologies:

  • Open Source
  • Web 2.0
  • Social Networking (Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Ning)
  • Mobile Technology (Mobile apps, texting)
  • Classroom Technologies (Smartboards, Tablets)
  • Collaborative Technology (Wikis)
  • Multimedia (Podcasts, Vcasts)
Conference sessions will consist of 45 minutes speaking/workshop time with 15 minutes allocated for Q&A  OR a 2 hour hands on interactive workshop.

Questions regarding proposals can be asked of Mark McBride at mcbridmf@buffalostate.edu

Submissions must be received by December 1st. Participants will be notified by December 15th.

Framing Transliterate Learning Through Inquiry and Participatory Culture

From Buffy Hamilton’s blog, she includes a works cited document if you’re interested in doing more reading

My presentation at AASL 2011 that outlines how an inquiry driven, participatory learning centered environment is essential for learning experiences that honor and privilege transliteracy.

Works Cited:

Berger, Pam. “Student Inquiry and Web 2.0.” School Library Monthly 26.5 (2010): n. pag. School Library Monthly. Web. 23 Oct. 2011. <http://www.schoollibrarymonthly.com/articles/Berger2010-v26n5p14.html&gt;.

Fontichiaro, Kristin. “Nudging Toward Inquiry (AASL 2009).” American Association of School Librarians National Conference. Charlotte, NC. Nov. 2009. Vimeo. Web. 23 Oct. 2011. <http://vimeo.com/7715376&gt;.

– – -. “Rigorous Learning with 21st-Century Technology.” Vermont Dynamic Landscapes Conference. Burlington, VT. May 2011. Kristin Fontichiaro. Web. 23 Oct. 2011.
<http://www.fontichiaro.com/uploads/2011/VT-rigor-web.pdf&gt;.

Harada, Violet. “Self-assessment: Challenging students to take charge of learning.” School Library Monthly 26.10 (2010): 13-15. Academic Search Complete. Web. 23 Oct. 2011. http://proxygsu-sche.galileo.usg.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=51003266&site=ehost-live >.

Mathews, Brian. “What It Takes To Become A Scholar: Helping Students Scale the Taxonomy.” The Ubiquitous Librarian. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 26 Sept. 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2011. <http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/theubiquitouslibrarian/2011/09/26/what-it-takes-to-become-a-scholar-helping-students-scale-the-taxonomy/&gt;.

Stripling, Barbara. “Assessing Information Fluency: Gathering Evidence of Student Learning.” 21st Century Learning in School Libraries. Ed. Kristin Fontichiaro. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited, 2009. 166-170. Print.

– – -. “Teaching Students to Think in the Digital Enviornment: Digital Literacy and Digital Inquiry.” School Library Monthly 26.8 (2010): n. pag. School Library Monthly. Web. 23 Oct. 2011. <http://www.schoollibrarymonthly.com/articles/Stripling2010-v26n8p16.html&gt;.

A reasonable objection to transliteracy

'Disagreement' by cabbit, on Flickr

A legitimate criticism

‘Transliteracy.’ Is it a bold new concept or the current enfant terrible of librarianship? It’s no secret that transliteracy has a polarizing effect, with the past year’s worth of commentary ranging from uncritical acceptance to critical analysis to dogmatic skepticism, and everywhere between. Obviously, this blog leans towards a more positive approach to transliteracy, But, what of the objections to the concept? Are there substantive concerns that we should be addressing, or is it all just snark?

Given the novelty of the term, the enthusiasm of early-adopters, and the “almost-but-not-quite” similarity of transliteracy to other “literacies”, it’s only natural for librarians to be skeptical. Unfortunately, this skepticism frequently manifests itself as snarky comments on Twitter, false analogies with Library 2.0, or obsessively pedantic linguistic prescriptivism. Some critics hammer away at style rather than substance. Others object to any nontraditional uses of the word “literacy” or the prefix “trans-“. Yet others lament that librarians would be interested in a concept that doesn’t come pre-packaged with a precise, committee-approved definition and bulleted-list of standards, objectives, and outcomes. And, my personal favorite, the red herring that we’re just confusing our patrons. These are all common objections to transliteracy, but they don’t amount to much more than impassioned rhetoric.  (Of course, there’s also a lot of empty rhetoric in support of transliteracy, but that’s a topic I’ll save for another post).

However, there is at least one really good objection to transliteracy as it is currently being applied by libraries, namely, that the concept of transliteracy is redundant…it’s already covered under existing information literacy standards. As Meredith Farkas wrote several months ago,

“The way librarians and other instructors teach information literacy instruction has grown and changed in response to the changing information ecosystem…And while there are librarians who don’t change the way they teach, that’s just being a bad instructor. It has nothing to do with information literacy instruction somehow being insufficient.” (12/21/2010)

So, existing information literacy standards already have mechanisms in place to cover transliteracy. Moreover, any real or perceived failures to meet the stated goals of transliteracy (communicating across media, reading and writing across platforms, etc.) are failures on the part of lazy librarians who resist change, not on information literacy. So, why do we need some new, faddish term when we already cover the same concepts under information literacy? I think this is a fair criticism, though I’m not convinced that information literacy already covers transliteracy. So, here goes an attempt at addressing this legitimate criticism of transliteracy. I have two responses…

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