Brown, N.E. and K. Bussert. Information literacy 2.0: empowering students through personal engagement.

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Brown, N.E. and K. Bussert.  (2007, May).  Information literacy 2.0: empowering students through personal engagement.  (Retrieved     from the ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 500-136).

An Annotation by Jeffery Ayer

Brown and Bussert, who conducted a study at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, from 2004-2005, look at how using Web 2.0 technologies like Flickr  affect the information literacy of students.  They define information literacy as “the set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information.”  They go on to define information literate people as “those who have learned how to learn.  They know how to learn because they know how knowledge is organized, how to find information and how to use information in such a way that others can learn from them.  They are people prepared for lifelong learning, because they can always find the information needed for any task or decision at hand.”

Brown and Bussert assert that “Common Web 2.0 applications such as blogs, wikis, and social bookmarking tools are ‘intrinsically user-centered and can be leveraged by Information Literacy (IL) instructors for a creative, student-centered teaching and learning environment.”  In using Flickr, instructors observed “a more active and engaging classroom dynamic.”  Interestingly enough, the hypothesis that the more students use the technologies, the more they become information literate, is actually reinforced in this study:  “The fundamental hypothesis underlying the use of social software to teach key information literacy concepts is that student learning will increase due to personal engagement, use of preferred learning styles, and application to daily life.”

They end by stating that overall, “students benefited from a fresh approach, one that is more focused on attributes of creativity, making personal connections and discoveries that can be directly related to everyday life.”