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From Day One: An approach to information literacy across the curriculum

Browse recordings: livestream.com/educon5

Session Five: Sunday 12:30pm–2:00pm
Room 211
Sean Nash, Melissa Corey
Affiliation: Saint Joseph Missouri Public School District
Conversational Focus/Audience:
High School, Middle School
Conversation Description:

A unit on information literacy will not do in 2010. Nor will an entire course. Decontextualized approaches to this very real need are too disjointed to make a lasting difference. Approaches to literacy of any sort beg for context. They beg for relevance and authenticity.

Tacking "literacy" to the end of a word today can generate more than a light amount of controversy. The spectrum ranges from those who claim "literacy is literacy" to others advocating a new literacy for nearly any recent phenomenon. We unquestionably argue for the purposeful instruction of information literacy goals throughout the curriculum.

To manage the firehose of information available today, students must aquire this crucial literacy while deeply embedded within rigorous content. This need not be an ominous task for today's educators. We will begin this session by outlining a protocol collaboratively developed and implemented by an instructional coach and library media specialist in a Midwestern public high school. This protocol can be put into practice formally or informally and can be a smart, strategic approach for those with a curriculum already overloaded with content. Our simple approach has made inroads toward implementation of information literacy goals in every corner of our school in Saint Joseph, Missouri.

The bulk of the session will then feature a series of nested protocols to develop the stems of many more authentic mini-lessons that can seamlessly bring this important literacy across content areas. This set of lesson stems will be collaboratively created and archived digitally.

Conversational Practice:
As an instructional coach the past five years, I tend to use rather modified protocols, as well as multiple protocols within a session. Ultimately, we will all collectively plot attendee-submitted examples and ideas that fit the loose stem/protocol co-presented at the beginning of this session. These lesson stems will provide a solid starting point for anyone wishing to take back a simple but relevant model for building formal and informal information literacy skills in their students across any and all content areas.


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