March 28, 2014

2.2 Information Behaviour

I was interested to read about INFORMATION STYLES in Bawden & Robinson and found myself most closely relating to “Unsettled, self-conscious seeker” at times, when I seem to randomly jump from this link to that link, and must admit to feeling some anxiety that perhaps I have missed something along the way.  Bookmarking tools like Delicious and Diigo help me to feel more like a “Confident Collector”, although I did take some comfort in their findings that unstructured and serendipitous findings of information are often found to be more important than structured searching, and experience has certainly taught me this.  However, while some of my best “finds” have been by accident, more of the “gems” that I find now come from links suggested through social media such as Twitter and forums.

I do see myself as an INFORMATION HUNTER currently – an organised and predictable information gatherer in narrowly focused areas.  Much of my online searching for use as an educator starts in Youtube or Google.  One of the reasons for me taking part in this course was to become more of an INFORMATION ENTREPRENEUR – someone who helps to create an information rich environment, using many sources and strategies…something like Joyce Valenzia (I attended one of her workshops a few years ago) – what an inspiring INFORMATION ENTREPRENEUR she is!!

The Information Processing Model I am most familiar with is a student friendly linear one that I have explicitly presented and worked through with the children in the past.  From memory I think it moved through these steps – define, brainstorm what you already know, what do you need to find out?, where can you find that information?,  how will you best access that information?, record your information, edit and publish, present.  However now I tend to think about and present it more implicitly within the context of “PROGRESS CHARTS” that I regularly use with the classes I teach, to help them break open a problem based task, and follow a process moving them from information consumers to information participants to information producers; I like to think of it as moving them from PASSIVE users of information to ACTIVE users of information.  And it’s not such a linear process anymore – there’s a lot more to-ing and fro-ing with more feedback from myself and their peers helping to shape the process.

I am using Austin’s Butterfly as an analogy a lot with students at the moment, to help them consider how well they are using and creating information, and trying to help them persevere to develop something they can truly be proud of.

I came across the 21cif website serendipitously earlier this term, and I have been using some of the suggestions, tutorials and challenges in some of my classes, being a co-learner with my students.  I am confident that the learning coming from my involvement in this course, and my involvement in 21cif tutorials and challenges will help make my information behaviours much more confident and effective, and then I can model that for my colleagues and students.