Introduction to Part Two of Meet The Stars

Life in Hollywood is prone to scrutiny. Media can spin events to cast stars in a favourable or an unfavourable manner. The public must not only scrutinize the information to determine its validity, but also analyze the data for value, relevancy, quality and suitability; and then subsequently turn the information into knowledge (ALA, 1989). To expect students to question authenticity of material or to conduct an effective search, learners need to possess "a toolkit of powerful search strategies to speed them past Info-Glut and Info-Garbage to the very information they need" (McKenzie)

Information literacy is not the same as information and communication technologies or technological literacy. Information literacy goes beyond merely having access to and knowledge of how to use the technology. It is "the ability to access, evaluate, and use information from a variety of sources (NETs) in order for students to be "effective users of ideas and information (Information Power).

In Part Two, we will explore digital tools to help learners effectively and efficiently create fascinating questions, search for quality information; consume, think about, manipulate, and coalesce their findings; create a product or make decisions; communicate the ideas; and continually reflect upon the process (Loertscher and Todd).

The learning blocks in Part Two will challenge you to examine the concept of information literacy in a participatory culture (pdf), to explore your own values with regards to banning, blocking and filtering, and to design or redesign a lesson that reflects your new understanding of information literacy for the 21st Century.

Block Five - Behind The Scenes

Introduction

Imagine yourself as a storyboard artist of an anticipated Hollywood blockbuster. Your main role is to interpret the script into images that will best convey the story and characters presented by the writer. The process of visual thinking and planning helps the film directors and cinematographers visualize the scenes and find potential problems before they occur. Similar to brainstorming a story draft, placing ideas on storyboards fosters communication and collaboration inside with the group to determine if changes are needed to evoke stronger reaction or interest.

Block Five Overview

In this block, you will work with online mind mapping tools, explore search strategies in traditional search engines, and compare them with new visual search tools appearing on Web. You will also learn about, and begin to use, a social bookmarking tool.

Outcomes

The learner applies digital tools to gather, evaluate, and uses information to:
  • plan strategies to guide inquiry.
  • locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
  • evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.
  • process data and report results

Achievement Indicators

Each learner will
  • create a mind-map using an online tool and uploaded it to a blog
  • compare traditional and visual search engines and post observations
  • create an account at a social bookmarking service and add tag sites
  • add a social bookmarking widget to a blog


Learning Activities

Developing and Narrowing The Topic

Mindmapping (concept mapping) is a simple, yet powerful tool, for organizing information around a central idea. Its nonlinear format allows thoughts and ideas around a central main topic to be organized in a diagram - organizing brainstormed thoughts, relationships, and connections between ideas.

There is a slight inconvenience of “messiness” involved in the process of preparing hand written mind maps. Web applications allow mindmaps to be created easily. Ideas can be moved as more complex thinking emerges. The diagrams of relationships can also be stored and printed for easy viewing for all.

The most notable Web based concept application for creating a basic and simplistic mindmap are:
  • Bubbl.us - A simple and free web application that lets users brainstorm online. All nodes look and act like bubbles and are not customizable in any way. Bubble.us does not allow you to export or import your mind map diagram, but it does allow you to save an unlimited number of diagrams and also share and collaborate on diagrams with other users. The only way to get a copy of your mind map is by using the print feature to get agliffycycle.gif hard copy or by using the “Print Screen” button on your keyboard to save the diagram onto your computer.
  • Gliffy - A free web-based diagram editor that lets users create and share flowcharts, network diagrams, floorplans, user interface designs and other drawings online. Gliffy allows users to create all kind of diagrams and not just mind maps. Diagrams such as flow charts, floor plans, layouts and technical drawings can be created. You can print or even export a diagram into SVG, JPG or PNG. Gliffy also has a collaborate feature, where you can invite other users through email to join and edit a diagram online
  • Mindomo - A free mind mapping tool that lets users create, edit mind maps, and share them. Other helpful features include the ability to import, save, open, publish, zoom and print mind maps.
  • MindMeister is a great online mind mapping application; however an invitation is required to join.
  • Thinkature - Not only a mindmapping tool, but can be used to communicate by chatting, drawing, creating cards, and adding content from around the Internet.

Mindmaps can be used to not only to organize information, but to generate ideas for reports, presentations, projects, novels - the list is endless.

tryitout.jpgMindmap a synthesis of your selected book. Synthesis goes beyond a summary or a retelling of key points, but how the book changed and added to their thinking. It includes the reader's connections, visualizations, and opinions that contributed to the reader's personal overall meaning of the text.
Upload to your blog.

Locating Resources: Developing A Source List

Search engines are the World Wide Web's equivalent of a library catalogue. However, because of the enormous size of the Web, no search engine includes everything that is on the Web. Just as there are different ways to search for a book in the library, there are different ways to locate resources on the internet. Power searching cuts past the "data smog" (Shenk).


Search tools
Google is the most used search engine on the web. Google Librarian Central offers great resources (posters, bookmarks, etc) that can be used with both staff and students.
Ask, a search engine arising from the previous, Ask Jeeves, is challenging Google. Give it a good look and see how it compares to Google.
Google and Ask.com - a happenstance comparison is a useful comparison from the Librarian in Black.

Next examine the new visual search engines that are appearing. How useful are they? How can they be used to narrow and focus student searches? What role can they play in developing good search strategies and techniques?

tryitout.jpgChoose a branch of your mind map that particularly piqued your interest during the reading of your novel and involves unanswered questions or the desire to gather further information. Perhaps it is the historical setting, a character's motive, or a reoccurring theme in literature.

Conduct a search using two or more search tools. Compare the results. When using Google and/or Ask employ the search techniques outlined in Powerful Searches to refine your search efficiently and effectively. Post a summary of your search and your observations on your blog.

ProQuest Database Widget
Follow the directions asnew.gif outlined on the Proquest Widget page above and you will be able to put a ProQuest search bar right into a wiki or blog page. Too cool! Note: I can add the code that is generated to a wiki page and I could add it to the html page element in Blogger but it would not allow me to search. However, I thought this would be a very useful addition to a pathfinder page.

Collecting and Organizing Sources Using Social Bookmarking

As you embarked on a power search, you most likely visited sites that you would like to access again. Social bookmarking allows multiple users to save favourite sites on the Web, instead of inside your browser, making them accessible from home, school, the library, or anywhere with Internet access.

Social Bookmarking in Plain English
This short, descriptive and informative video from CommonCraft, outlines three important points about social bookmarking - how to start, tagging, and the social aspect of social bookmarking:

Link to the video at Common Craft. Please note that this is not YouTube!

Explore the social bookmarking site: Del.icio.us.
The video below from U Tech Tips provides a useful introduction.

View examples of social bookmarks: Donna's Bookmarks and Donna's links tagged informationliteracy
delicious-logo.png
tryitout.jpgCreate a del.icio.us account.
Add and tag your favourite sites.
Add the delicious - as a 'page element' to your Blogger blog. You may want to watch Donna's screencast on how to add the feed to your side bar

Social Cataloguing - Optional

This section is OPTIONAL! However, it is a logical continuation from social bookmarking and teacher-librarians might find the concept of an online tool that allows one to tag, organize, and share personal libraries interesting. The article below, Tags help make Libraries Del.icio.us, discusses the social cataloguing tool, LibraryThing and describes how libraries are using it. You may want to spend a few moments looking at LibraryThing to see how you might use it in your library. Donna and I use it to share the resources and Carlene's Library Thing. Donna purchased it for the Division Office as she does not have access to an automated catalogue at this time.


Learning Resources

Del.icio.us Tutorials
A 2 1/2 minute screencast demonstrates how to get started
David Warlick has prepared two handouts which provide step-by-step instructions on how to create and use del.icio.us bookmarks

Extend Your Knowledge
7 Things you should know about Social Bookmarking from Educause
All Together Now: Social bookmarking offers a new way to store and share Web sites By Donna DesRoches; School Library Journal, 2007

Tagging
Tags Help Make Libraries Del.icio.us by Melissa L. Rethlefsen; Library Journal, 2007
Traditional library Web products, whether online public access catalogues, library databases, or even library Web sites, have long been rigidly controlled and difficult to use. Patrons regularly prefer Google's simple interface. Now social bookmarking and tagging tools help librarians bridge the gap between the library's need to offer authoritative, well-organized information and their patrons' Web experience.

Social Cataloguing - LibraryThing
Chief Thingamabrarian: LJ talks to mastermind of the LibraryThing Web site, bookhound Tim Spaling. Article by Melissa L. Rethlefsen; Library Journal, 2007


Timeline

Participants are expected to complete this block, Behind The Scenes, by October 13, 2007.


Block Five: Behind the Scenes| Block Six: The Talent Agent | Block Seven: Digital Citizenship | Block Eight: The Screenwriter |