July 19, 2007
K-16 Educational Programs
The UIUC Library is unusual among research university libraries in that our system includes a high school library - a distinctive feature that allows us to reach out to local students (and parents), and to take a broad view of information and technology literacy as a critical component of lifelong learning.
For over a decade, students at University Laboratory High School have been required to take a two-semester Computer Literacy course sequence - a sequence that includes the study of safe, responsible, and ethical use of information and communication technologies. Classroom faculty, librarians, and school counselors come together in this program to present role-playing scenarios, facilitate online discussions, and helping students to engage in discussion and debate on the ethics of information use.
This program dovetails nicely with the NetSafe program recently developed by the Illinois Library Association. The NetSafe bookmarks provide an opportunity to extend the Uni High information skills curriculum, both by reinforcing lessons given to students on "Safe Blogging" and "Cyberbullying," and by providing another avenue for discussing information skills instruction with parents (who already take part in the course Web site evaluation project). They also provide an opportunity for us to work with our colleagues in local public and school libraries also taking part in NetSafe.
Safe blogging, or the related issue of appropriate use of social networking sites, is an information and technology literacy issue that bridges the gap between high school and college, and the University Library is fortunate to have a unique resource for studying that transition (and helping to prepare future college students for the rigors of academic life) in the Uni High Library and its librarian, Frances Jacobson Harris.
Posted by swalter at July 19, 2007 8:04 PM
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