Session: Instructional Strategies

What instructional strategies best help kids care about news and current events while gaining digital and media literacy skills that enable them to use library resources to gain knowledge and expertise on issues that matter to them?

Participants discussed a variety of strategies as well as the underlying assumptions and challenges associated with each. We acknowledged the need to connect to people’s needs and interests, including their interests in mass media and popular culture.

We discussed the role of gaming by learning about the work of the New York Public Library in developing an in-library game takes place on May 20. In the game, participants search for 100 artifacts that have changed the shape of human history.

We explored strategies for activating students’ intellectual curiosity.

We considered the role of social media – we are learning that tools like Facebook can be used to raise awareness as people share information about news and current events using their peer networks. One teacher created a Facebook group for the class— each week readings had a discussion students were requird to post things. Most interesting: faculty started posting links, then student students posting links.

In another example, faculty described their courses on the department’s group Facebook page to help students understand the curriculum in more depth.

When students have control over what they learn, the learning is meaningful to them. We can help faculty see the value of students forming their own learning agenda – just as we did in this conference.

What if we did an unconference with youth for an upcoming youth librarianship conference?

Teachers should try to let students be the teachers. In a programming class, students get the chance to be independent learners – learn on your own and come back and share it.

We had a discussion about the practice of taking students to bogus informational websites, like the Tree Octopus website, to help them understand that the web has no filters and that falsehoods can be made to look credible and authoritative. We wondered if the “gotcha” dimension of these activities makes a difference in student learning. Everyone agreed that a good debriefing is important.

When we identified “take-aways,” these included:

Have more forums where young people come together to explore this
Establish an unconference to address the apathy (using an online forum)
Librarians journalists provide ideas about quality/accuracy – let them learn and teach each other, give people choices and let them
Meet the students where they are – any topic is a place of discovery when we use kids interests
The power of storytelling to connect
How is media literacy being taught in schools is important
Questions about how we evaluate sources – not so easy
Everyone at any age can benefit from this
Get beyond the idea of satisficing – “what’s good and what’s good enough”
Examine: What does it mean to teach media literacy across various forms—learning to create makes you realize the subjectivity in everything. Awareness of constructedness is important.
Address the problems of skepticism vs cynicism