Digital de-biasing techniques for an engaged society (Debates) conference

I haven’t posted for a while and so thought I would try and do this more regularly.

I chaired a very successful conference last month on negative behaviours in social media and how to tackle them (Debates Conference). If you are interested in such things especially the role of information and digital literacy in addressing such negative behaviours please join our Facebook page:

Debates on Facebook


AMORES research paper accepted for ECIL 2015, Tallinn, Estonia

I’m delighted to say that my research paper entitled Digital literacy for school teachers: a participatory approach which is about the #amoresproject has been accepted for the European Conference on information Literacy (ECIL) to be held on 19-22 October 2015, at Tallinn University, Tallinn, Estonia.

A new methodology for using ICT and digital literacy to encourage a love of literature

Announcing the availability of a new teaching resource from the #amoresproject. The new teaching methodology focuses on improving students engagement with literature through interactive and collaborative use of ICT to create e-artefacts (for example online videos, comic strips and animations) and the opportunity to critically reflect on their production through participation and social interaction. Silkeborg_10_14 We worked with our teachers from Croatia, Denmark, Poland, Sweden and the UK to create the new teaching methodology. This new methodology includes new instructional strategies, teaching methods and learning activities. You can find this resource at The official title is: (D2.7) Methodology for teachers in teaching national and European literature supported by interactive ICT tools Creating e-artefacts is a learning strategy that involves the highest order learning skills, standing at the top of the revised Bloom’s taxonomy. The pedagogical theory that best describes learning by creating is that of Papert’s idea of constructionism. This not only emphasises the learning that is triggered by the constructivist approach of activity-based learning (or learning by doing), but also the importance of the learning that occurs as a result of discussion leading to shared meanings. This then led to the importance of two elements of the methodology:

  •  Encouraging students to learn by creating
  •  Encouraging students to learn by sharing and discussion

Kolb’s learning cycle is used to consolidate learning. This involves encouraging students to reflect on activities and develop their activities based on their reflection. Kolb also emphasise that learning is improved via reflection. With this in mind the methodology contains two additional elements, that of:

  •  Encouraging students to maximise their learning by scaffolding activities around creation, observation and reflection
  •  Encouraging students to develop “metacognitive” approaches by reflecting on their learning

Students’ reflecting on their learning also has the additional benefit of providing much needed data on the effectiveness of the learning activities. Recommended teaching methods are:

  •  collaborative or individual creating of e-artefacts based on works of literature
  •  sharing e-artefacts
  •  discussion of e-artefacts
  •  reflection on the process of creation of e-artefacts and on the whole learning process.

The recommended learning activities should align with the teaching methods, which include learner-generated content such as creating an e-artefact that can be shared in and between schools and discussed face-to-face and via videoconferencing. Social interaction is a central part of the methodology because it enables annotation, co-creation and feedback on the development of artefacts; it also provides a basis for team- and trust-building between the participants.

AMORES revised MOODLE learning materials for teachers on interactive ICT tools in teaching national and European literature

This eight week online AMORES course (D2.6) from the #amoresproject is for school teachers to develop basic skills necessary to use interactive ICT tools to create e-artefacts effectively, and for creating activities which will motivate students to read and learn about their national literature and national literatures of other European countries. What we mean by e-artefacts are videos, online comic strips, animations and/or games. The aim of the training is also to empower teachers by developing their competence and confidence in using interactive ICT tools in the classroom. It is recommended that the course has a moderator to guide online discussions. If the course is moderated, it will also facilitate communication, collaboration and sharing of good practice among participants. The course materials may be used by anyone with a basic knowledge of computers and with internet access. The course resources and activities may be used as self-study materials. The course contains a wealth of content – both project outputs and links to resources outside the project. The contents of the course includes a two week optional pre-workshop to introduce participants to Moodle. After this there are 6 activities for approximately one week each on, using the creation of movies to educate, comic strip generators, games-based learning, Edmodo (the secure online social medium for school children and their teachers), videoconferencing and finally planning implementation and reflection. Parting of the waves_lego It is also important to note that the timetable for each section should be adapted to suit the purpose and the requirements of the course participants – we set aside a week for each section, but you may decide to set aside more. Other aspects of the course may also be adapted to suit the purpose and the requirements of the course participants. It is recommended that the course is run during the school year, since if the course participants are teachers they may well wish to try out the new technologies with their students during the course. The success of the course very much depends on the moderator(s) providing clear and explicit guidance, as well as the participants having a clear idea of what they wish to get out of the course and the motivation for doing so.

AMORES deliverables now on stream

I am delighted to inform you that one of our key deliverables, the Technology Selection Report, is now available from this website. Why might you find this useful? The selection of online tools  is for teachers and facilitators of learning who are thinking about using ICT in new ways to support learning in the classroom. The ICT tools that we have identified to support the AMORES methodology meets the requirements of the recommendation gleaned from our user needs analysis results. The selection and evaluation of interactive ICT tools is based on a rigorous analysis using the SECTIONS model (a framework for selecting technology developed by Bates and Poole).

What does it contain? The report analyses online tools for video creating and editing, making online comics, social networking and online classrooms, videonconferencing and games based learning. We make comment on things to consider and make specific recommendations to help the decision making of those who are thinking about using online tools in the classroom. Each online tool is examined in terms of the students and how they might use them. We consider such things as whether the tools are safe and secure and what skill level is required to use them. We look at ease of use and if they will contribute to learning. Cost is an important consideration that we also investigate, not just financial but also in terms of time and effort involved in using the online tool. Teaching and learning benefits are examined and ask the question, does the online tool enable students to engage with the literature they are reading? Interactivity is another issue we look at especially in terms of whether the tool encourages students to reflect in the literature they are reading. The report examines organisational issues such as, are there support structures in place to manage student access? We also comment on the novelty of the tool and whether it will enhance teaching and learning in new and unexpected ways.

Finally, the report details which tools we used for the project and also gives a list of online tools that we recommend for future use. We hope you find this excellent report useful in your teaching delivery.

See our website for more details:

First day of sabbatical

Actually not quite but it feels like it. Great start to my sabbatical with a meeting of the AMORES Steering Group. This is a European Union project to enable school children to discover a love of literature through digital collaboration and ctreativity. The AMORES project focuses on improving literature learning across Europe by improving students engagement with literature through a methodology based on interactive and collaborative use of ICT as well as on improving digital literacies of both students and teachers through the creation of e-artefacts, critical reflection on their production and their use in social participation. Schools from Croatia, Denmark, Poland, Sweden and the UK are participating. For more info visit:

Pre-pub version of information literacy and cognition article available

Finally got around to making the pre-publication version of this article available: Walton, Geoff and Hepworth, Mark (2011) A longitudinal study of changes in learners’ cognitive states during and following an information literacy teaching intervention. Journal of Documentation, 67 (3). pp. 449-479. ISSN 0222-0418 If you are interested you need to visit Northumbria University Institutional Repository to download.

Excellent book review of our Emerald publication Developing people’s information capabilities volume

Once again I’m very pleased, this time because the book Developing people’s information capabilities, edited by Mark Hepworth and I, was given an outstanding review in the Journal of information literacy this month. Evi Tramantza notes that, ‘This is one of the most exciting titles I have come across in the information literacy literature for some time’. Praise indeed! Mind you we pursuaded some excellent authors and big hitters to write for us such as, Sheila Webber, Christine Bruce, Heidi Julien and Sam Chu as well as a range of new authors. What I like about this book is that it is about information literacy from all over the world and in many different settings.

New publication on information literacy and Summon

I was delighted to hear that the proceedings of the 2nd Information Literacy & Summon conference held in 2013 have been published as a single volume under the Creative Commons licence, and are available to download from conference proceedings. The papers are a lively mix of lightning talks and longer papers, offering practical teaching tips, engaging activities, and reflections on the role of the teaching librarian in the age of discovery systems. Above all, they consider how best we can seize the opportunity to shift our practice from telling to teaching, to help our students to create an informed and reflective relationship with academic information.

Contributors include Emma Coonan, Dave Pattern, Sandy Buchanan, Adam Edwards, Vanessa Hill, Eleanor Johnson, Geoff Walton, Tim Leonard and David Jenkins. If you feel inspired after reading, don’t forget that the 3rd Information Literacy & Summon day is coming up soon, on 15 July at University Campus Suffolk in Ipswich. See Summon day for more details, or contact Becky Blunk ( for more details.

New information literacy book from Emerald

A bit remiss of me not to mention this earlier. For those of you into information literacy research from around the world, I’m delighted to let you know that Mark Hepworth and I have editred a new book Developing people’s information capabilities: fostering information literacy in educational, workplace and community contexts which was published in October 2013 and launched at the European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL) held in Istanbul last October.

It covers information literacy work from Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Canada, South America, UK and the USA. The book has chapter contributions from highly regarded authors in the field for example, Christine Bruce, Sam Chu, Bill Johnston, Heidi Julien and Sheila Webber as well as a host of new authors.

More details can be found at:

ISBN: 978-1-78190-766-5
eISBN: 978-1-78190-767-2