In last class, we talked about what makes a good screencast and watched colleagues’ screencasts. Only some of the screencasts were shown in class, but all of them were creative and fun to watch. In fact, I made time to additionally check out at least 15 of screencasts other than what we watched together in class since topics of screencasts chosen by my colleagues were really interesting and easy to follow. For example, I learnt some new function in Gmail thanks to Ashley’s screencast, and also got to know from Kelly how she made a bird (yes, the Twitter), Flikr, and Facebook logos magically move to a box in her PowerPoint presentation! Next time, my PowerPoint slides will be much prettier thanks to my colleague’s help!
From reading articles and participating in discussion, we found out that people, even teachers and faculties, make an assumption that information literacy is automatically acquired by using some technologies. Information literacy, however, cannot be developed in that way. Students often overestimate the level of their information literacy. And teachers/faculties have little idea how they assess the students’ information literacy level. In small group discussion, we talked about how to improve students’ information literacy in such a circumstance, and all agreed that librarian need to “buy-in” faculties’ collaboration and involvement in students’ information literacy education before librarian promote students’ information literacy. In academic library, librarians can easily find resources related to information literacy and faculties who can function as a mediator between students and librarians. Actually we found some cases where academic libraries succeeded in developing student information literacy assessment as well as programs. In my view, however, it is more difficult for public library to find budget to purchase resources related to information literacy as well as mediator(s) who can collaborate with librarian in developing information literacy programs and urge the general public to participate in the program. Since it happened that my group consisted of those who were most interested in cases of academic libraries, I am still wondering about how public library would and could find collaborators who are willing to help the library on the issue of information literacy of the general public.
Lastly we discussed how to define librarians’ roles in the future. In discussion, I sensed that some colleagues were uncomfortable of the idea that librarians need to develop metaliteracy in order to improve students’ information literacy because they believed that learning all kinds of technologies would be too much burden to librarians. But, I think that developing metaliteracy is indeed quite a challenging task to librarians, but not because librarians have to learn all kind of technologies (In fact, learning all available technologies is a transliteracy argument, not metaliteracy argument ) but because librarians should think harder which technologies will be more useful to students in the future. According to Mackey and Jacobson (2011), several competing concepts of literacy have emerged including digital literacy, medial literacy, visual literacy, information technology fluency, new media literacy, and transliteracy because they want to stress the importance of students’ critical thinking, ability to evaluate technology, and communication with community beyond learning how to use technologies, yet they expect a certain venues of information, such as multimedia, Internet, or social media, will promote students’ critical thinking and connection with their communities. Currently, different venues of information became more and more integrated with each other. For instance, on the Internet, we learn and use audio-visual recording technologies, such as Aviry and Jing, and then share the multimedia file by uploading to YouTube and Screencast.com; newspaper articles are read on the newspaper website, but also are spread by social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and so on. Looking at such a changing environment where the boundary among different venues of information becomes blurred, the librarians must think about how to help develop students’ metalitearcy. In my view, becoming metaliterate seems a mandatory, not optional, task to librarians.