Today I had the absolute pleasure and privilege of working with the Year 12 & 13 students at Aurora College in Invercargill. Aurora is a small co-educational Year 7-13 secondary school, which is part of the group of schools working in our project.
Following on from our initial Hui in February I was invited by their lead teacher Kirsten Erasmus to present an introduction to their senior students about information literacy skills needed for successful learning.
I had two one-hour sessions, the first with Year 12 students and the second with Year 13 students. I kicked off by talking about what makes us successful learners and why a positive attitude is vital to push through when things are hard.
We then went on to cover
- the importance of following a research process
- using a research pathfinder to keep on track
- Google searching strategies for successful searching
- moving beyond Google and using databases
- evaluating information and being critical thinkers
We also spent some time looking at how and why to take notes, which was a revelation to a large proportion of the students. Many admitted to not taking notes at all. My own impression is that the “cut and paste” method is still well and truly alive and kicking.
I loved working with these young people and getting the opportunity to talk with some of them about their learning and their aspirations for after their time at secondary school has finished.
I also loved the opportunity to talk with the teachers who were able to come along to one of the sessions. I believe I may have found a couple of new flockmates (if you don’t know about flockmates then you can check out my interpretation of it here) to share with and bounce ideas around with. It’s always exciting to meet other educators who are enthusiastic about teaching these vital skills to our young people, so to Kirsten, Robbie and the rest of the team at Aurora, thank you for being willing to share your students with me and to carry on the professional conversations about how we can best incorporate information literacy skills into our practice.