Category Archives: Information Literacy

Google’s Digital Literacy Tutorial

I recently stumbled upon an information literacy tool put together by Google for educators called the Digital Literacy Tour.  It appears to have been around since at least September 15, 2009.  I’m not sure how I ran across this resource, but the parallels with educating users about the digital environment caught my attention and deserve discussion.

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This is an excellent resource for educators who want to discuss aspects of safety, ownership (copyright in disguise), courtesy, honest, and how to avoid some of the threats or dangers of the Internet.  It is also tied into the larger Google for Educators site, which has resources classrooms, classroom activities and posters, an educator’s discussion group (email list), and information about a Google certification program for the professional development of teachers.

The three “Workshops” provided on the Digital Literacy Tour includes the topics of detecting lies and staying true, playing and staying safe online, and steering clear of cyber tricks.  Each consist of four or five resources (videos, guidebooks, handouts, and a presentation to accompany a lesson).  The workshops are geared toward K-12 primary & secondary education students and educators of those age groups.  Parents should also take a look at the Digital Literacy Tour so that they are aware of the issues (plus they may even learn a thing or two)!

While the videos are short in length (roughly under 2 minutes long–see example), they do a good job of educating students on the basics of being a responsible Internet citizen in entertaining ways.

The instructor guidebooks are under 30 pages, and packed with useful info.  Below is a sample table of contents from the Playing It Safe Online guidebook.  There are a few lesson plans with subsections of topics for educators to cover, and all of the lessons are short and to the point which make them ideal for working these topics into the curriculum on the side OR devoting an entire class(es) to the topic at hand.

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Sample Overview of the Playing It Safe Online Guidebook
Teaching Tips 1
Lesson Plan 1: Personal is Personal 2
Lesson Plan 2: Be Respectful to Yourself and Others 5
Lesson Plan 3: Be Street Smart 8
Instructor Toolkit:
Lesson 1: I Know/I Want to Know 13
Lesson 1: Video Summary Staying Safe Online, Part 1 14
Lesson 1: Guidelines for Creating Strong Passwords 15
Lesson 1: Password Activity: Answer Sheet 16
Lesson 1: Reputation Management: Profile 1 – Answer Sheet 17
Lesson 1: Reputation Management: Profile 2 – Answer Sheet 18
Lesson 1: Reputation Management: Profile 3 – Answer Sheet 19
Lesson 2: Video Summary Staying Safe Online, Part 2 20
Lesson 2: Online Citzenship Rules 21
Lesson 2: Actions to Take with Online Bullies 23
Lesson 3: Video Summary Staying Safe Online, Part 3 24
Lesson 3: Street Smart Activity: Answer Sheet 25

Image source: Google's "I Keep Safe document"

The student handouts (see example) include activities that help students identify key characteristics of digital information and the Internet, such as a checklist comparing three different web sites and common domain name extension (e.g. .edu, .com, .org, .gov).

And to round out the resource, there is a PowerPoint document for each of the workshop topics that educators can use for classroom presentations (see example).  The outline of each parallels the videos that students watch.  This allows the educator to go at their own speed to cover the topic at hand.

Overall, this will be a very useful resource for educators (and parents) to educate their students on “digital literacy.”

Guided by Barcodes

QR codes link patrons to the library
By Meredith Farkas
Shared from the American Libraries web site

Whenever I’ve created an instructional handout for students, I’ve struggled with what to include. For everything that ends up on the sheet, there’s usually five times as much that would be useful to students in the class. I include the URL to a web page with more content, but URLs are often long and I wonder if students will take the time to enter a long URL into their browsers.

Imagine if students could simply scan a barcode at the bottom of your handout with their cell phone and be taken to a website or tutorial you’d created. This sort of seamless access is now possible with QR codes. Also known as Quick Response codes, QR codes are 2D barcodes that any camera-enabled mobile phone can read. There are many free websites where you can generate QR codes. You can program the barcode to take users to a website; dial a phone number or send a text; or pull up text, image, or video content. To scan a QR code, mobile users need to download one of the many free QR code readers available…

Read original source…

Teaching Librarians How to Teach

The American Libraries Magazine published a wonderful article by Char Booth entitled, “Instruction Literacy.”  It discusses the role librarians serve as educators, but how very few librarians are formally trained how to teach.  This is very true!  There is always the opportunity to learn from within the trenches, but how much better of a librarian could I be with formal education training? If I were to take my graduate courses again, I would definitely take at least one class that practically taught me how to be an effective teacher (in fact, this is one of my personal goals).

Source: American Libraries Magazine, June/July 2010

To the left is Char Booth’s USER method diagram.  There are many models that have slight differences, but I like this model because of the layout, is memorable, and is specifically geared toward teaching.

The framework covers the aspects of reflective practice, education theory, teaching technologies, and instructional design.  Notice the numeric sequence which also spells USER.

Understand. In the first stage, investigate the learning scenario.

  • Start by identifying a problem that instruction can solve by asking, “What is the challenge learners face, and how can I help them meet it?”
  • This is followed by analyzing the scenario, which involves considering the conditions and constraints of each element of instruction: learner, content, context, and educator. Listing these specifics provides insight into who your audience is, what they need to know and why, the resources you bring to the table, and how the learning environment can be shaped to facilitate a positive learning experience.

Structure. Next, define what you want learners to accomplish and outline the strategies you will use to present active and learner-focused content.

  • Begin by creating targets—goals, objectives, and outcomes—that help you streamline your content and activities and evaluate whether learning has occurred.
  • Identify methods to a) involve learners using delivery techniques, technologies, and activities; and b) extend the interaction by supporting students along the continuum of learning.

Engage. Subsequently, create your instructional objects and participate in the learning interaction:

  • Develop the materials of instruction, e.g., the syllabus, outline, handout, lesson plan, and/or course guides in a live interaction; or the storyboard, game, website, or tutorial in a web-based interaction. This begins with creating prototypes, gathering feedback, then revising and finalizing your learning objects.
  • Deliver instruction by developing an implementation plan, then capturing and sustaining learner attention through engaging delivery.

Reflect. Finally, consider whether learning has occurred and how you might improve your instructional product.

  • Assess your impact by determining whether participants have met the desired performance targets.
  • Consider how you might revise and reuse your content in the future.

Read the original source: American Libraries Magazine, June/July 2010)