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Technology has changed education in lot of ways – it’s changed it for teachers – their role is different – connectivism and the fact that students can find information – the shift from the sage on the stage to the guide on the side. Students can all find information.
Technology has offered much potential to learners – opening up access to knowledge – open education – what does this mean though in reality? Does technology liberate and mean that anyone can learn? We’ve all heard the story of the boy in India who studied a MOOC and ended up working at Google but most people who take MOOCs are already graduates.
There is a believe that technology is like magic – that it has all the answers – but tech won’t save us. In fact it may trap us further. Safiya Noble’s book looks at some of the programmed prejudices in search engines. Try searching for a university professor – you find pictures of old white men!
What am I talking about and why should you care?
George Siemans created MOOCs in 2008 with Stephen Downes on Connectivism
Stanford launched the first open courses in 2011. – Using technology with the idea of the course being open to everyone online.
Is this a new theory of learning? We teach about learning theories – behaviourism, constructivism, cognititivism – but does technology mean we need a new way of learning where we are all connected and use the network? Is this different to before?
Lack of ‘training’ / skills / literacies Lazy habits - following the path of least resistance – lecturers will believe this – students given lots of reading, becoming lazy, spoon fed. Impatience A good enough mentality – finding something better than finding the right thing – in many cases the first thing we find may well be good enough Over reliance on search engines and how they work in other areas of our lives
The hype around MOOCs has centered mostly on a brand of sage on the stage courseware at direct odds with Critical Pedagogy’s emphasis on learner agency. Despite this — or, more to the point, because of this — we remain, like Paulo Freire, hopeful Critical Pedagogues. In Pedagogy of Hope, he writes, “I am hopeful, not out of mere stubbornness, but out of an existential, concrete imperative.” The simple truth is that we must be hopeful, for in hope lies possibility. But, also like Freire, we recognize that hope must be balanced with action and struggle. There is no use in mere hopefulness.
MOOCs – largely used by people that are educated
The point of this being that technology ideally just works and you don’t need to understand it. I have utmost respect for Arthur C Clarke and there are technologies that exist now I could only dream of as a kid – I was an avid fan of making radio shows, videos, creating stories – I dread to think what sort of digital footprint I would have created if I had been born 20 years later!
However, magic is great, but one of the biggest problems we have is people don’t understand technology or care enough about how it works.
Interestingly ACC also told us that if a teacher can be replaced by a computer then they should be
Technology is NOT neutral – we need to think about our systems – what they find, what they don’t find.
Has anyway read this book? It came out in January this year. She’s been doing the rounds at various US conferences.
Those helpful Google suggestions, of what you might like, what it thnks you want to see – we all have learnt a lot about the concept of the filter bubble. Be aware of this.
So I have thought about IL for quite a long time and why it’s important, how to support IL and develop it in students and others. And of course why it matters. I wouldn’t be chair of the IL group if I didn’t think it matters.
And here is why technology and you guys matter – you make information accessible and discoverable and that is IL .
This slide is a curtain – I call it the librarians velvet curtain. We spend a LOT of time concealing the complexity of information, in our bid to make it manageable, discoverable, more accessible.
We build authentication systems so many of our users get seamless access to our resources. I am not saying we want to make it complicated – but by concealing the complexity we sometimes don’t help ourselves.
Our resources don’t get used if our systems are too complex
What I have learnt from studying digital literacy
Digital natives don’t exist apart from in the minds of MANY teachers!
Hinrichsen and Coombs make a similar issue – they point out that technology is not neutral – it’s created by humans – it’s not necessarily a force for good, but its not a slippery slope towards AI and the world of a sci-fi movie either. It is what we do with it.
They also argue that a functional skills based approach of IT literacy, leads to digital literacy being taught outside the curriculum, rather than taught as part of academic practices and that “broader literacy practices are not going to emerge spontaneously as a result of technology proliferation’ (Hinrichsen and Coombs, 2013, p.4)
But we need people to understand how to use technology critically – tech will not save save us It might enable us, but it might also stop us doing many of the things we have a right to do.
We need to be careful not to alienate academic staff who may not perceive themselves to be fully digitally literate.
Let’s turn to copyright – the tech industry would tell us copyright is broken – out of step with the modern world
Kantar infringement tracker
Copyright, E-learning and Digital Literacy: teaching and learning in the digital age
Copyright, E-learning and
teaching and learning in the digital
Dr Jane Secker
Chair of CILIP Information Literacy Group,
Senior Lecturer, City, University of London
@jsecker @ukcopyrightlit @infolitgroup
What am I talking about?
Education might save
Syrian refugee childen in a Lebanese school by DFID CC-BY-SA
Who might help?
• All working in
It’s all about literacies…..
Information Literacy is……
“…the ability to think critically and make
balanced judgements about any information
we find and use. It empowers us as citizens to
develop informed views and to engage fully
CILIP Definition of Information Literacy 2018
What I’ve learnt from studying information
• Frameworks are helpful : ANCIL, ACRL, SCONUL 7 Pillars
• It’s a global issue: ACRL Global Perspectives study
• We need more evidence about the impact on learning:
• UK IL research bursaries, Project Information Literacy, ARFIS
What I’ve learnt from teaching
• It’s complex and dangerous to make assumptions about
what people know or what students want or need
• Many teachers and academics do care but don’t
understand how to foster these abilities in students
• Concealing complexity helps users but is problematic
• We need ways to expose information structures and
Hinrichsen & Coombs (2014).
• Understanding what causes it
• Ideological objections
• For some it’s to do with not wanting to pay for
content or not being able to afford it but….
• For many it’s to do with the ease of getting access
to content when there might not be a legitimate
Copyright literacy is……
“acquiring and demonstrating the
appropriate knowledge, skills and
behaviours to enable the ethical
creation and use of copyright
Secker and Morrison, 2016, p.211
What I’ve learnt from studying copyright
• Copyright is frustrating, confusing and a professional
• Some librarians and teachers want to help, some want to
run away because they worry about risk
• We often feel caught in the middle and morally conflicted
because of our role providing people with access to
information and knowledge
• This is a key issue in education today
Building copyright literacy
content and approach
So what is the
• Embedding open
• Education for
• Education for
(new and existing
• Education for
students in all
• Open becomes the
default and the norm
practices in higher
• EDM122: Digital
• 15 credit module
at City, University
• Starts October
• Part of the Masters
• Sign up to the blog
to join the
With thanks to Chris Morrison and Lisa
All Images are CC-0 from Unsplash.com
apart from Slide 2, 12,17, 18, 19, 20 and
27 which includes images and logos
under Section 32 of the Copyright
Designs and Patents Act (illustration for
instruction) and Slide 31 which includes
open clip art
Crash Course: Introduction to Intellectual Property 1 (2015)
CILIP Definition of Information Literacy (2018) Available at:
Digital Literacies and Open Practice (2018) https://blogs.city.ac.uk/dilop/
Hinrichsen, J., & Coombs, A. (2014). The five resources of critical digital literacy:
a framework for curriculum integration. Research in Learning Technology, 21.
Morrison, C and Secker J. (2015) Copyright Literacy in the UK: a survey of
librarians and other cultural heritage sector professionals. Library and Information
Research. 39 (121)
Morrison, C & Secker, J. (2017). Understanding librarians’ experiences of
copyright: findings from a phenomenographic study of UK information
professionals. Library Management, 38 (6/7)
Noble, Safiya (2018) Algorithms of Oppression: how search engines reinforce
racism. New York University Press.
Secker, J and Morrison, C. (2016) Copyright and E-learning: a guide for
practitioners. Facet publishing: London.
Todorova, Tania et. al. (2017) Information Professionals and Copyright Literacy:
A Multinational Study. Library Management, 38 (6/7)