Despite the ubiquity of search in many people’s daily lives, a lack of search literacy can make it difficult to find solutions to technical problems, such as completing software-based tasks like troubleshooting program installations. iSchool Professor Michael Twidale and Assistant Professor Max Wilson of the University of Nottingham have received funding from Google for a project that aims to develop an understanding of search literacy, and to recommend best practices for teaching technical search literacy and creating tools in support of this kind of search.
RESEARCHERS WORKING IN THIS AREA
RELATED RESEARCH PROJECTS
Understanding Search Literacy and Search Skills Adoption: How People Solve Technical Problems via Search
This project examines writers who represent education as an embodied experience, with learning and literacy grounded in what they called “object learning” or “the education of things.” Denouncing rote-learning in favor of an induction method, object lessons promised to coordinate the development of body and mind by using the pupil’s senses as a catalyst for higher cognitive thought. Children place themselves above the elements composing their environment, which they control through what Hoiem calls “mechanical literacy”—that is, by learning the dependable laws governing how things are sensed, manipulated, created, purchased, manufactured, and exchanged. The project mobilizes a uniquely diverse archive of material and print cultures—pedagogical treatises, radical newspapers, automaton...
IN THE NEWS
Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe (MS '94), faculty affiliate and editor of Library Trends, and her colleagues from Simmons College have been awarded a National Forum grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Hinchliffe is professor and coordinator for information literacy services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, one of the largest public university libraries in the world.
The IMLS-funded project, "Know News: Understanding and Engaging with Mis- and Disinformation," was developed by Hinchliffe in collaboration with Laura Saunders, associate professor in the School of Library and Information Science, and Rachel Gans-Boriskin, lecturer in Communications. It will support the development of a symposium at Simmons College to focus on the theme of how libraries and allied institutions can serve as community hubs for information literacy and access.
Martin Wolske, senior research scientist and lecturer, takes a critical look at digital literacy for the twenty-first century in his paper, "A Radical Reconsideration of Digital Literacy." The article was published in the Summer 2016 issue of Information for Social Change.
Supporting the transformation of information into knowledge for human flourishing within an "information age" and a "knowledge economy" especially points out the important role library and information workers have in advancing people's digital literacy skills. But is it possible that we approach digital technology generally, and digital literacy training and programming specifically, through dominant paradigms that keep invisible the various ways our digital technology and media are controlled and mediated so as to privilege a few over the many? Is it possible that that in our very efforts to "bridge the digital divide...
At the same time that humanity shifts toward digital ways of living and working, the proportion of senior citizens among the world's population is growing. Rejecting the idea that aging is just a matter of declining minds and bodies, iSchool doctoral candidate Noah Lenstra (MS '09, CAS '11) has explored digital literacy among older adults in Champaign-Urbana using information infrastructure theory and the extended case method.
For his dissertation research, Lenstra conducted one year of participant observation in senior centers and public libraries. This included two hundred and sixty-seven computer help sessions with two hundred and nine seniors; interviews with seniors and staff; and examination of institutional documents. Throughout this study he practiced the reciprocal research method.
Reciprocal research, devised in the Community Informatics Research Lab, entails providing service as you collect data and reporting findings back to community partners. Lenstra's...
Doctoral candidate Noah Lenstra (MS '09, CAS '11) successfully defended his dissertation, "The Community Informatics of an Aging Society: A Comparative Case Study of Public Libraries and Senior Centers,” on June 20.
His committee includes Associate Professor Kate Williams (chair), Professor Linda Smith, Professor Michael Twidale, and Bo Xie (associate professor, University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing and School of Information).
Lenstra will present his findings to the public this Friday, June 24 from 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. at the Douglass Annex located at 804 North Fifth St. in Champaign.
Abstract: The information society is also an aging society. This means that as information technology becomes woven into the fabric of daily life, the median age of humanity continues to rise. The participation of this growing population of older adults in the information society is often seen in the popular press and even in scholarship as dependent on their...
Martin Wolske, senior research scientist and lecturer, participated in the event, “Digital Skills: A Gateway to Opportunity,” on June 13 at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago. The event was hosted by Chicago Public Library (CPL) and Digital Promise, a nonprofit that works to improve opportunities to learn by encouraging innovation in education. Wolske participated in the event as a representative of the Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI).
The gathering brought together experts and practitioners of digital literacy and adult learning to discuss their experiences and ideas regarding ways to increase the number of people who have the digital skills to work, learn, and engage in modern society. Ideas generated from the meeting will be incorporated into the strategic plans of CPL and Digital Promise.
GSLIS students and staff spoke last week at the fifteenth annual Information Literacy Summit, held on April 29. The theme of the conference was “Shifting Perspectives: Developing Critical Approaches in Information Literacy.”
Lisa Hinchliffe (MS '94), GSLIS affiliated faculty member, presented a session titled, “Can a Constellation Be Critical? The Position(s) of the ACRL Framework and ACRL Standards for Information Literacy.”
The ACRL Board recently recognized that practitioners are beginning to achieve what it intended – the Framework and Standards (as well as other documents including the Best Practices, Guidelines, and Proficiencies) serve as a constellation through which practitioners shape their programs. This session will share models of how libraries are addressing the Framework and adapting their programs, as well as the challenges emerging as they do so. Using an appreciative inquiry...
Assistant Professor Nicole A. Cooke is sharing her research on topics related to digital literacy, including pedagogical approaches to using social media in the classroom and identifying and confronting misleading information, with two conference presentations this month.
At the Society for Cinema and Media Studies annual conference—held March 30 through April 3 in Atlanta—Cooke delivered a talk titled, “Feminist Pedagogy in the Online Classroom,” during the workshop “Pedagogy beyond the Podium: Teaching Using Twenty-first-century Technologies.”
Abstract: This talk will address Cooke’s use of feminist pedagogy to create a collaborative learning environment for her online students. As part of this pedagogical stance, Web 2.0 is used as a main technology. Students are expected to contribute to the conversations by bringing their own examples and explaining their relevance to their lives. This can...