Thursday, April 23, 2009

YouTube and Info Lit

There has been a lot more talk about bringing videos and other multi-media into the information literacy classroom. Here is a description of a presentation from the LOEX conference describing a lesson that starts with a news clip and has the students find additional information using the research techniques we model.

Problem Based Learning meets Web 2.0: Using a YouTube video to teach information literacy in a Problem Based Learning format
Frances A. May (University of North Texas)

Most of the available knowledge about NetGen or Millennial students indicates they are visual and kinesthetic learners, who like to work in groups. In addition, they get their information primarily from news media on the web. To capitalize on these trends, a powerful way of teaching information literacy was developed, combining Problem-Based Learning techniques with a 3-minute BBC news clip on YouTube. They were asked to list facts, define the problem, determine what other information they needed, and then shown how to find books and articles on the topic. They were then asked to propose a solution based on what they had learned. The librarian acts as a guide on the side, asking questions of the students to draw their knowledge and experience into the class, thus creating more interest and buy-in on their part. The skills thus learned are transferable. And it can be done in a 50 minute session.

The widespread lack of knowledge of media and visual literacy are limiting the ability of our students to think critically. It is a broad generalization to say that most people get their information from news broadcasts via television or web; however, it is probably an accurate observation. Therefore, incorporating visual media into an information literacy instruction session helps students of any age to be better informed citizens and more critical information consumers.

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