A Fair(y) Use Tale

Many of you may have already seen this video, but in case you haven’t I wanted to pass it along. I think it would make a great teaching tool about copyright! We’re always looking for content that addresses a topic such as copyright in a format that will engage students to think about the deeper layers of meaning behind an issue. With this video, you could discuss the nuts and bolts of copyright and fair use, but then could also have discussion about the format in which this is presented and the fact that it has been posted and reposted on YouTube. Thanks Stanford!

A Fair(y) Use Tale | Stanford Center for Internet and Society [beta site]



I really loved the post below from Barbara Fister at ACRLog. I’m picturing our library with giant earbuds. Our library is six stories tall. It would certainly capture students’ interest. The ETS’ ICT exam measures not only computer skills but also information literacy skills. We have been interested in a trial here on our campus. I just hope the jazzy new name doesn’t make it sound too frivolous to spend a lot of money on.


The ETS has renamed its ICT exam to iSkills to make it sound more relevant and hip. At least they didn’t call it iSkillz. I’m guessing people got tired of explaining the acronym – or correcting people when they assumed the C stood for computer. But in the rush to be cool, I wonder: Should UDub rename its LIS program iSchool? Should we drape giant white earbuds over our libraries to make them appear more plugged in? iDoubt it.”

Information Communication Technology Literacy

Back in November, Inside Higher Ed, ran a story about Information Literacy. They linked to a new report the ETS published with preliminary results from its new Information Communication Technology (ICT) Assessment. If you haven’t heard about it, this test assesses students abilities to use information technology to solve information problems using life like scenarios. I really like the concept of “information communication” literacy even better than plain ole “information literacy”. It really gets at the heart of the issue that technology and information are becoming increasingly inseparable. If you google “information communication technology” AND “information literacy” you find mostly British and Australian sites. The US should jump on this bandwagon and adopt this language. I think it would strengthen our arguments urging information literacy initiatives.

Jobs, News and Views for All of Higher Education – Inside Higher Ed :: Are College Students Techno Idiots?
“Overreliance on Google is only one of many technology problems facing college students. A new report released Tuesday by the Educational Testing Service finds that students lack many basic skills in information literacy, which ETS defines as the ability to use technology to solve information problems.”

Educause Gets Net Savvy

Here’s a new white paper published by Educause that is right on the money in describing students’ habits and attitudes and the need for information literacy. I haven’t had time to read the entire paper yet, but just the quote below looks highly promising. Thanks Diana Oblinger! Sorry you couldn’t make it to our CALC Summit in May!

EDUCAUSE Quarterly | Volume 30 Number 1 2007
Constantly connected to information and each other, students don’t just consume information. They create—and re-create—it. With a do-it-yourself, open source approach to material, students often take existing material, add their own touches, and republish it. Bypassing traditional authority channels, self-publishing—in print, image, video, or audio—is common. Access and exchange of information is nearly instantaneous.

Master Plan – About the power of Google

In his blog, Unit Structures, Fred Stutzman pointed to this site. It is a documentary, a la Googlezon, created by a team of undergraduates from the University of Ulm, Germany. It paints a sinister picture of Google’s intentions and its ability to compromise individual privacy rights. I think it would be a great discussion piece in a classroom setting. Not only is the content interesting and engagingly presented, but it is entirely undocumented. Not a single citation. Therefore, after discussing the allegations the authors make and their truth or falsehood, it would be a logical next step to evaluate the site’s accuracy and reliabilty. Double whammy!

Master Plan – About the power of Google

Inside Higher Ed :: A Stand Against Wikipedia

Today must be wiki Friday 😉 A report from Inside Higher Ed, quotes Wikipedia officials’ reaction to policies by university professors that ban the citing of Wikipedia in student bibliographies. Note that neither policy mentioned was designed to stop students from using Wikipedia as a starting point for research, but rather to keep them from stopping there!

Jobs, News and Views for All of Higher Education – Inside Higher Ed :: A Stand Against Wikipedia
Wikipedia officials agree — in part — with Middlebury’s history department. “That’s a sensible policy,” Sandra Ordonez, a spokeswoman, said in an e-mail interview. “Wikipedia is the ideal place to start your research and get a global picture of a topic, however, it is not an authoritative source. In fact, we recommend that students check the facts they find in Wikipedia against other sources. Additionally, it is generally good research practice to cite an original source when writing a paper, or completing an exam. It’s usually not advisable, particularly at the university level, to cite an encyclopedia.”

Association of American Colleges and Universities Embraces Information Literacy

Today on the Association of College and Research Libraries’ blog, ACRLog, Barbara Fister reported that, while attending the AACU Midwinter meeting, she “was struck by how much faculty and administrators embraced information literacy as one of several key intellectual and practical skills, identified in the AAC&U’s Greater Expectations report and revisited in a just-released publication, College Learning for the New Global Century.”

She also reported that, “also discussed at the conference, and worth a read, is a survey of business leaders and new graduates about what areas they feel need more emphasis in college. Seventy percent of the employers surveyed said colleges and universities should place more emphasis on learning how to locate, organize, and evaluate information. (The recent graduates were less convinced; only 48% felt it should receive more attention – but still, that’s nearly half!) “.

I am so encouraged by this and it further supports what we are seeing on our campus. Faculty members are beginning to understand the value that teaching information literacy concepts can bring to their curriculums. We are currently testing our new pilot information literacy program in English Composition, Exercise Science, and Mass Communications courses. The next crucial step is to convince administrators and curriculum committees on campus. These concepts are so important in helping our University meet its goals to educate students for today’s technologically rich and information saturated society. The challenge for librarians is to provide enough staff to meet demand. Is it more beneficial to the library to explore models where we provide training and resource material for faculty so that they can incorporate information literacy lessons into their courses? Or is it more beneficial to the library in the long run to teach the sessions ourselves so that we remain part of the teaching process. I believe that, because of our lack of staffing, we may have to look at implementing the first model to some extent, but I do value the face to face time I get with students and would hate to see that disappear completely.

Have a great day!