Monday, November 7, 2011

Infolit & teachers

Is it too early to start making New Year's resolutions? I vow (really, this is one I will keep!) to write at least twice a week on this blog. Really. I mean it.

I can't believe I haven't posted anything since March. Although, in my defense, it has been the craziest year of my life - so far, anyway. I was told in January that I, along with many others, were being furloughed from our teaching positions. Although I had suspected it was coming, the reality of sudden unemployment while school districts across the state suddenly decide that they are cutting library positions is a scary thing to face. The spring was spent trying to locate another position, which I was very lucky to obtain. The summer included a Southern road trip and NYC trip that was planned pre-furlough, my last doctoral course, and moving. This fall has been spent trying to get settled in the new job, finally getting unpacked and cramming for my comprehensive exams. And now I'm trying to get back into professional social networking tools that have been neglected.

This fall I had the opportunity to begin teaching a Web-based Information Literacy graduate course which got me thinking about how little info lit is stressed in teacher preparation programs. As a librarian, I was overjoyed at the thought of getting my hands on classroom teachers and indoctrinating them with pro-web evaluation, anti-wikipedia research strategies. But at the same time, I thought it was sad that these concepts were first introduced to some teachers in graduate school. I have a feeling that if you ask any educational professional that he will emphatically reply that 'Yes! These skills are critical and must be taught!'. But does he incorporate them into his coursework? Hopefully, but I have an unsettling feeling that such steps go the way of the 'we are all teachers of reading and writing' mantra - outwardly 'YES!' while inwardly hoping someone else will take care of it. I only had three students in this course, but based on the responses they learned a lot of practical information about information literacy, web evaluation, social networking, filtering and censorship, search marketing and networking policies that will filter down into their classrooms and, even better, into faculty room discussions.

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