Saturday, July 2, 2011

Building Communities With Web 2.0

The last assignment for the Web 2.0 Challenge involves a person taking a piece of technology and coming up with a plan to implement it into their library. As I don't have a library for which to build such a plan, and as the class I am doing this assignment for focuses on teaching information literacy, I have instead chosen to talk about how we should incorporate digital literacy skills, and Web 2.0 technology, into the teaching of information literacy.

Information literacy needs to expand to include the new ways people can search for, find, use, and create information. Information isn't the sole purview of books, but can be found in conversations, on the web, in blog and wikis, as well as within books.

Jeff Jarvis [author, blogger, and professor who can be found here] while speaking at ALA said that we were moving towards a new idea of information and content that is beyond text [the below slide can be found here thanks to griffey]. Instead of information being bound in books, it can be shared, remixed, and such over the web. Jarvis sees parallels to the pre-Gutenberg era, when books were costly and a great deal of information was shared orally. To Jarvis, information now requires us to participate in its creation and dissemination to a degree that was once found in the era before the printing press.

This is the world we now find ourselves in, a world where we create information and knowledge even by simply searching for it. By providing a list of blogs and websites with this blog, for instance, I am creating information. By tweeting links to websites, news articles, and such on Twitter, I am creating information. We are all constantly creating information on the web by merely being a part of it.

This world in which information is so easy to share needs information literacy educators who not only acknowledge this, but teach to this. We need to teach students and library customers how to not only find and use information for papers or personal reasons, but we need to teach them how to take part in this new information world we find ourselves in. We need to teach people how to find blogs, add to Wikis, keep themselves safe on Facebook, create a Twitter account, and to be able to be ready for whatever new piece of technology pops up a few months or years from now.

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