10 July 2011

Information Literacy 2.0

For some time, I have been concerned to provide a reasonable amount of information literacy skills for my students. This usually comes in the form of blogging, social bookmarking, collaborative writing, and remote conferencing assignments using various software tools. Recently, I read that a new skill is being targeted by learning professionals, particularly those concerned most with information literacies (i.e. the librarians among us): transliteracy. There are several fascinating elements to this newly-conceived skill.

First, transliteracy comes from the notion of transliteration, where a message in one orthography was approximated using a second orthography. A radical example of this would be conversion of Chinese writing to a Roman script (whether phonetic or just the 'standard' orthography of a language like English). Less extreme examples would be the conversion of the German รถ to 'oe' in English in transliterations of names like Goethe. Essentially the current possibility being explored is that the conversion of information and understanding from one form to another is a kind of conceptual transliteration.

What educators are positing, then, is that taking the events of the week and composing a rap song to communicate it to peers (see Events of the Week in Rap) constitutes an attempt at the highest part of Bloom's taxonomy, creation of new communication from what has been learned.

Now this sort of creative impulse is not new. Indeed, it has been a part of the education system for aeons. What is new is the priority this sort of skill is being given. Sir Ken Robinson is not the only educator calling for a redirection of our schools to put greater priority on the creative and artistic mindset. What does seem to be new is the acceptance of transliteracy skills as providing heightened chances that our education system may actually help prepare our students for a working world that we cannot possibly conceive, given the extremely rapid innovations that are transforming the career landscape. With so many current jobs having been invented in the last five years, it is impossible to conceive jobs that our current secondary students may find themselves, not to mention the technologies they may be using in their work, home, and social lives.

It has not been my goal in this post to discuss the notion of transliteration fully, nor to give more than the barest introduction to this new process. Clearly, it is a concept and practice that will bear further attention.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Williams Lake

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