Central European University A Program for University Teachers, Advanced Ph.D. Students, Researchers and Professionals in the Social Sciences and Humanities Summer University
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Digital Literacy for Open Societies
July 9 – 13 2001
Lyn Robinson works as a freelance information specialist in London, with a particular interest in the impact of new technologies on information communication and society. She has worked with the Open Society Institute's Network Library Program since 1996, and has travelled widely within Central and Eastern Europe to deliver courses and workshops. Lyn is an experienced lecturer, running several IT related courses in the UK for ASLIB, the Association for Information Management, and for City University, London. Previous positions have included IT Manager for the British Postgraduate Medical Federation within the University of London, and Manger of the Medical School Computer Unit at University College London. She is the author of Installing a Local Area Network, an ASLIB Know How Guide, and a collection of papers, articles and reviews.
David Bawden is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Information Science at City University London, where he has been based for 10 years. His teaching responsibilities include knowledge organisation, information retrieval systems, and healthcare information services. He has a first degree in organic chemistry and MSc and PhD degrees in information science. Having worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 12 years, he works as a consultant for several industrial companies, and leads training courses in London for Aslib (the Association for Information Management) and for the British Library. His research interests include information literacy, knowledge management, IT applications, and the history and philosophy of library / information science. He is the author of three books, and over 100 articles. David has taught on the CEU's SUN course on Libraries and the Internet in 1997, 1998 and 1999, and on the SUN course Digital Literacy for Open Societies in 2000. He is a consultant and project evaluator for OSI's Network Library Program, and a mentor to NLP Fellows.
The purpose of the course is to provide participants with knowledge, understanding and skills in the area of digital literacy, and to enable them to conduct teaching and training in this topic.
We take digital literacy ("literacy for an information age") to mean:
The concept is rooted in Popper's thought on sources of knowledge, and on critical evaluation and analysis. It has come to prominence with the growth of networked, digital information. Promotion of digital literacy is a significant task for the formation and strengthening of open society.
The role of librarians, and other information specialists, in promoting digital literacy, is a relatively new topic for the Library and Information Science (LIS) discipline, but it is receiving great interest, in terms of both research and of curriculum development for formal education and for in-service training, worldwide. This course will help LIS educators and trainers throughout the region to reflect on the concept and its significance, and to develop curricula, teaching materials and approaches.
On completing the course, participants will
This course is designed for teachers and trainers of librarianship, information science and related subjects, researchers and research students in these areas, and for practitioners of librarianship and other information disciplines, who have some responsibility for planning or conducting training.
All participants will have at least first-degree level qualification in a relevant subject area. They will either be employed in a teaching or training function, or will be engaged in professional practice or research and have some teaching or training experience.
Attention is drawn to the distance learning component of the course, which is exemplified more fully in the next section. Participants will be required to complete distance learning assignments both before and after the residential week, and must therefore have access to both electronic mail and the world wide web. A high level of self-motivation is essential.
This course contains an element of distance learning. It is designed to take advantage of computing and communications technology, so that students can continue to learn and develop skills from their home locations. Distance learning activities will include background reading, (both printed and online texts), writing of summaries, outlines and essays, searching for information, presentation of ideas via the web, discussion and communication via email and the preparation of teaching/reference materials suitable for local needs.
All students must be able to send and receive email, and to access the world wide web. It is not necessary for students to have access to a local web server for hosting material, although this would be useful. Students whose organization does not have a web server will be able to publish their work on the course web server.
The course is equivalent to a two-week residential course at CEU Summer University, which includes 50 hours activity time. The phases of the course are as follows:
During the initial distance learning phase students will be introduced to the concepts of remote education, as well as to the subject of digital literacy. Tuition will be via email discussion, guided reading, and a series of exercises delivered via email. Students will be required to submit brief summaries of work to both the tutors and their fellow participants via email and a discussion list respectively.
Teaching during the residential week in Budapest will be based on a series of lectures and demonstrations, which will be augmented by discussion work and student presentations during the classes. Reading assignments will be set from the books chosen to accompany the course (book donation), and there will be opportunity for practical work in the computer lab, where appropriate.
Throughout the main distance learning phase, students will be expected to undertake further research on the topics introduced during the residential phase. This will allow the students to gain skills in conducting research in a networked environment, in addition to progressing their knowledge within the field of digital literacy. Assignments will include an essay, preparation of teaching or reference material, and submission of the latter to the course web page. Communication with other students will be via a discussion list, while personal email will be used for communication between students and lecturers.
Following the course, participants will be encouraged to exchange views and communicate with each other, and with participants from previous summer school courses, and also with fellow professionals involved with the Network Library Program Training Centre Initiative.
Please note that distance learning events will be led by Lyn Robinson and David Bawden.
The concept of digital literacy is broad; the main issues will be introduced during the initial phase of the course, before the students arrive in Budapest. For the face-to-face week, the our subject will be divided into component aspects, which will each be explored in a series of half day sessions, using the teaching methods described above. Each half day will have a session leader(s), listed below, and will last for 2.5 hours.
The meaning of this central concept will be explained, and its relation to other forms of literacy (functional literacy, computer literacy, information literacy etc.) discussed. The significance of digital literacy for the development of open societies will be outlined.
Recent developments in computing and telecommunications technologies will be described, with regard to their role in information handling. Their current and future impact on libraries and information services, and on society in general will be discussed.
4. Information Resources David Bawden/Lyn Robinson
5. Finding and Accessing Digital Information Lyn Robinson
6. Evaluating and Organising Information Lyn Robinson/David Bawden
7. Digital Information in Libraries Martin Svoboda
8. Training the Trainer Tibor Koltay/Lyn Robinson
9. Libraries and Librarians in the Digital Age David Bawden/Lyn Robinson
10. Professional Visits
The exact course content will be confirmed over the next few months, and more detailed information will be made available so please check here regularly.
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Central European University does not discriminate on the basis of--including, but not limited to--race, color, national and ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation in administering its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs