Friday, May 16, 2008

Flying out of WILU

The last (half) day at UBCO and WILU was no less interesting than the first two days ... 'Caught a wonderfully energetic session with Faridah Ibrahim from Singapore's National Library Board who gave us the rundown on various initiatives that the NLB had been mandated to carry out. ("Cool Stuff: Enticing the IT Savvy Learners to Information Literacy Through New Approaches and Programme Design"). She made it clear that IL was a high priority with the government of Singapore and that a very systematic approach was being taken to help all members of society become better acquainted with information resources.

The Plenary session, with Judith Peacock (from Australia) and Nancy Goebel followed and that pair took a rather unorthodox approach to wrapping up the conference. A highlight was the division of the audience into small groups and the ensuing contest which tested our ability to remember key points from various presentations. Very engaging and a lot of fun!

They finished up, however, with some sobering remarks, based on what they had seen and heard during the previous couple of days. Peacock said that "if we are not strategic, we will become redundant and the university will not need us." She suggested that "it's all about partnerships" and that we need to engender literacy learning in the fabric of the curriculum and the university. She admonished us to "think recursive and iterative" and "process, not tools; macro, not micro." Most importantly, we need to "think big" and remind ourselves that what we do in the classroom isn't important, but what the student does over 4 years IS.

I left UBCO with a nifty little cooler/bag and a tasty takeaway lunch, and lots of ideas to bring home to the coast.

But first - a couple of days in the area to relax and get in a little flying were in order. It was off to Vernon for the afternoon and some paragliding! The temperature was sultry and there was little action in the way of thermal activity, but I managed to get a couple of flights off of King Edward ridge in Coldstream. Featured above is Glenn Derouin getting off (at King Eddy).

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