I have long been interested in literacies. Obviously, we in libraries think a lot about information literacy, and various “alternativeapproaches to the theme.

Beyond that, we’re seeing more and more truly different literacies emerge and become mainstream concepts: data literacy, visual literacy, technology literacy, media literacy, and on and on. As one of my former colleagues frequently points out, all our students are Starbucks Literate: they all know the language of ordering a drink in the coffee shop!

I have thought a lot about various approaches to literacy, and have included them in many of my one-shot library instruction classes. I especially focused on embedding them into sections of my credit based class.

In “Learning From the Context: Teaching Skills While Teaching Content”, I presented at Elon University’s Innovation In Instruction on the idea that we could structure courses to allow us to teach technology literacy while teaching other subject matter. (For some reason images were stripped out of this presentation, but the text remained.)

In “Teaching Them (2.0) to Fish: Web 2.0 as Subject and Method in Information Literacy Instruction,” I presented with Susan Sharpless Smith and Roz Tedford on a specific implementation of this idea: using Web 2.0 tools as a method to introduce technology literacies into an information literacy course.

With an interest in various literacies, and how clearly our students need a number of them, I presented “Convergence Literacies: Preparing Students For Life Beyond the Liberal Arts Education” with Jolie Tingen and Elon’s Innovation in Instruction as well.

Most recently, I presented with Beth Filar Williams and Kim Duckett on using “E-Learning Initiatives to Enhance Information and Digital Literacy.” This presentation focused on how online learning environments allow instructors to teach digital literacy in addition to the content the course covers. This presentation was to an audience of librarians and faculty members, which meant we had an added benefit of helping craft a broader understanding of what librarians can do in the context of the university.
Updated September 20, 2012.

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