For the past three years, I’ve collaborated with Spencer Brayton (Director, Lumpkin Learning Commons, Blackburn College) to bring our respective fields – information literacy and media literacy – together. Although they are often siloed (as is the case with most academic disciplines), there is much overlap between the two especially in the “critical” areas of both fields where issues regarding power and production of knowledge are key.
We developed and co-teach a media and information literacy course, a requirement for all communications and professional writing students at Blackburn (follow our class on Twitter #co233bc). We are currently researching the effectiveness of the various pedagogical approaches utilized in the course and are looking to incorporate more production and “making” components (see syllabus on this site under "teaching".
In the next couple of weeks, we will launch No Silos, a media and information literacy blog to discuss how and why we teach various concepts in our class.
As Doug Kellner and Jeff Share wrote a few years ago, “In the interest of a vibrant participatory democracy, educators need to move the discourse beyond the stage of debating whether or not critical media literacy should be taught, and instead focus energy and resources on exploring the best ways for implementing it.”
The implementing part is challenging but Spencer and I have benefited enormously from many in the field who’ve generously shared syllabi, tools, and lesson plans. By sharing our experiences and resources with other interested educators, we hope that the blog will be one way to return the favor, maybe even contribute a little to the field and encourage others to break out of the silos.