Keynotes

Jane Secker is Senior Lecturer in Educational Development at City, University of London

Jane Secker

Frames, models and definitions: rethinking information literacy for the digital age

Jane Secker is Senior Lecturer in Educational Development at City University, London which she teaches on the MA in Academic Practice. She was Copyright and Digital Literacy Advisor at London School of Economics and Political Science for over 15 years where she advised staff about copyright issues and the online environment. She is Chair of the CILIP Information Literacy Group and a member of the Universities UK Copyright Negotiation and Advisory Committee which negotiates with the Copyright Licensing Agency on the higher education licence. She is also a member of the Copyright Advisory Panel which is a governance group of the UK’s Intellectual Property Office. She is co-author of Copyright and E-learning: a guide for practitioners published by Facet in 2016. Jane is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She has a PhD from the Aberystwyth University and has worked on numerous research projects funded by the British Library, JISC and the University of London.

Frame, models and definitions: rethinking information literacy for the digital age

This keynote is both a practical and strategic view of information literacy from my perspective as a Senior Lecturer in Educational Development at City University, London and Chair of the UK’s Information Literacy Group.

I’ll reflect on the experiences I have had since leaving the library profession and moving into the field of educational development, which involves working with faculty to enhance teaching and learning and to develop their curricula. Since taking on this role I have had rich conversations with academic staff about all aspects of information literacy, often under other guises. I’ve recently undertaken a small-scale study to understand their approach to thinking about the related concepts of digital literacy and open practice and I’ll discuss some findings from this research. Faculty express concerns about how to create independent learners in the age where information is abundant, but knowledge is still scarce and privileged. Those who complete my module on the same topics have reflected on the plethora of terms and frameworks which are designed to support them which in fact sometimes leave them further confused. I’ll also draw on a recent chapter I wrote (Secker, 2018) on the trouble that terminology can cause, when we try to collaborate with both academic staff and with colleagues in other areas of learning support.

The second part of my keynote will focus on the efforts of the UK’s Information Literacy Group (ILG) to broaden the definition of information literacy and to try to get the concept recognised outside the library. In many ways there are parallels between the work I do at an institutional level and the efforts of the group to raise awareness of information literacy more broadly. In April 2018 the ILG launched a new definition of information literacy and much of the efforts of the group have been to build links with organisations and people outside of the library sector. For us to achieve true universal information literacy, as Paul Zurkowski first envisaged, (Zurkowski, 1974) I will argue information literacy needs to become an ongoing concern or everyone who works in education, government, the media or who cares about social justice.

I’ll end by considering the challenges and opportunities that collaboration presents whether it is librarians, academics and other professional staff in education or policy makers and other organisations working with those outside the library world. Collaboration is vital for information literacy to become truly embedded into all aspects of formal and informal learning and to achieve the goal of universal information literacy that Zurkowski first envisaged. However, we still have a big task ahead of us to achieve this. I will attempt to consider the lessons I’ve learnt from working in this field for over 15 years, and advocate for a vision of information literacy that extends far beyond the library community. I’ll draw on the work and the framework in developed in 2011 (Secker and Coonan, 2013) to explore how we can rethink information literacy and provide a framework for supporting learning in the digital age.

 

References

CILIP Definition of Information Literacy (2018) Available at https://infolit.org.uk/new-il-definition/

Secker, J. (2018). The trouble with terminology: rehabilitating and rethinking ‘Digital Literacy’. In: Reedy, K. and Parker, J. (Eds.), Digital Literacy Unpacked. (pp. 3-16). London: Facet Publishing. ISBN 178330197X Available at: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/20546/

Secker, J and Coonan, E (2013) Rethinking Information Literacy: a practical framework for supporting teaching. Facet publishing: London.

Zurkowski, P. (1974) The Information Service Environment: Relationships and Priorities. Related Paper No.5. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. Available at: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED100391

Roger Säljö has been a Finland Distinguished Professor of the Academy of Finland , and he is an honorary doctor at the University of Turku and the University of Agder, and honorary professor at the University of Bath

Roger Säljö

Learning in a designed world: information literacy from rock carvings to apps

Roger Säljö, Ph. D., Dr. h. c. mult., specializes in research on learning, interaction and human development in a sociocultural and interdisciplinary perspective. Much of this work relates to the development of symbolic technologies (writing, number systems, computers etc.). He has been a Finland Distinguished Professor of the Academy of Finland , and he is an honorary doctor at the University of Turku and the University of Agder, and honorary professor at the University of Bath. He has been visiting professor at several universities, including Universität Konstanz, University of California San Diego, Rijksuniversiteit Utrecht, University of Oslo, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, University of Agder, University of Stavanger. He has supervised 50 Ph. D. candidates at six different faculties to their degrees.

Learning in a designed world: information literacy from rock carvings to apps

Human beings have an incredible talent for learning and for converting the insights they make into technologies. Some of these technologies (hammers, knives, bicycles etc.) transform our bodily capacities; they change the way we interact with the world when we repair an object or move between places. Other technologies (numbers, writing systems, texts, calculators) transform our capacities to think, remember, solve problems and communicate with fellow human beings. These symbolic technologies, as the evolutionary psychologist Merlin Donald calls them, play a decisive role for our capacity to learn, to preserve information and, more generally, to think at the individual as well as collective level. And these technologies are restless, they change continuously. In a designed world, our intellectual capacities are dependent on our abilities to productively utilize such external resources in what we do. What we know is no longer exclusively beneath the skin or between our ears.

Karen Douglas: Keynote speaker at Creating Knowledge, June 2021

Karen Douglas

The psychology of conspiracy theories

Karen Douglas is a Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Kent, United Kingdom. Much of her research investigates the antecedents and consequences of belief in conspiracy theories and she has published widely on this topic. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the European Association of Social Psychology and is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. She is an Associate Editor for the British Journal of Psychology and has also served as Editor in Chief of the British Journal of Social Psychology, as well as serving as Associate Editor for several other leading social psychology journals. Her research has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, The Leverhulme Trust, and the Australian Research Council.

The psychology of conspiracy theories

What psychological factors drive the popularity of conspiracy theories, that explain significant events and circumstances as secret plots by powerful and malevolent groups? What are the psychological consequences of adopting these theories? In this talk, I will review research that attempts to answer these questions. This research suggests that belief in conspiracy theories is driven by motives that can be characterised as epistemic (understanding one’s environment), existential (being safe and in control of one’s environment) and social (maintaining a positive image of the self and the social group). However, whether or not these motives are satisfied by conspiracy theories remains an open question. In fact, current research suggests that conspiracy theories may further frustrate, rather than fulfil, these psychological motives.

Tove_Dahl

Tove I. Dahl

What if being or becoming information literate were an adventure?

Tove I. Dahl is an educational psychologist at UiT The Arctic University of Norway. Her main areas of study touch on learning, motivation, language and culture — all fields involving research that helps us understand learning as a way of being and becoming our best, for ourselves and for others.  Dahl tends to work eclectically, seeking synergies from disparate places to identify new mechanisms for better learning.  Though she integrates what she learns into higher education practices, she has also contextualized her work in the fields of peace education, tourism, adventure and now even information literacy. In addition to her university work, Dahl also leads a summer youth program in the US for the Concordia Language Villages whose educational mission is to inspire courageous global citizens. Her most recent research focuses on the nature of interest and courage

What if being or becoming information literate were an adventure?

What if we allowed ourselves to rethink what becoming information literate is about, or can be? In this talk, I will take us along paths of thought that allow us to re-imagine what it might mean to become an information literate person.  I will draw from my base in several psychological research traditions and years of experience designing curricula and hands-on teaching in both traditional and non-traditional learning environments. I invite you to join me in thinking about how we might build on what you already do well in IL education by entertaining one simple question:  What if being or becoming information literate were an adventure? Where might that take us?