My year in review and goal setting for 2015

There is no denying 2014 was a busy year for me.  I’ve challenged myself in a number of areas, including contributing to the e-Learning Heroes community and actively using social media such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, ScoopIt, Delicious and Diigo.  I’ve developed and released an e-Portfolio and started my own YouTube channel.  I’ve taken myself out of my comfort zone and tried new things and in doing this have surprised myself with the possibilities.

The year ended with me attending a careers workshop run by Paragon Recruitment.  The agenda for this workshop was:

  • Where are the jobs for over 50’s
  • Why you can’t get a job, what are you doing wrong?
  • The resume/cover letter
  • Dealing with recruiters/agencies
  • Options – Should I  buy a franchise/business? Should I open a coffee shop?
  • What are the contracting options?
  • Tips and tricks for finding the elusive job

During this workshop one of the most interesting things I learnt was that only around 20% of jobs are advertised now – the rest are filled through word-of-mouth, referrals or by other means such as professional networking.  I have personally experienced this over the last few months with an increasing number of direct approaches by recruiters based on my social media career profiles.  The message this sends to job seekers is that they will no longer be able to rely solely on the system of applying for advertised positions but will need to adopt a more pro-active strategy to secure employment, including serious professional networking.

Even though it seems I’m on the right track as far as building my professional network, in this regard I’ve set myself some further specific goals for 2015.  One of my goals is to contribute more to online discussions in the fields of e-Learning, instructional design and knowledge management.  The other is to start a weekly summary of what my week has brought as far as learning goes.   Being organised enough to collate learnings on a weekly basis seems like an enormous challenge at this point, but not insurmountable.

If you don’t know exactly what you want, how will you find it, how will you inform others and how will you target your perfect job?

As part of the careers workshop I attended in December, I have been given some homework – the first of eight stages.  Stage 1 is about defining what it is I really want in a career.  I’ve been challenged to imagine I’m the director of my life and write a “reverse job description” – a short 1-2 page description of my ideal job/role/career as if I already have it and am working on it.  Being realistic about my skill set and honest with myself about what it is that I really want to do and what I’m passionate about are elements of the self-reflection I will need to do for this homework.  The idea behind actually writing this down is that this will put the wheels into motion and opportunities will present themselves.

I’m certain this year will bring many opportunities and challenges and I’m looking forward to the learning, sharing and hopefully success that comes with these.

What will the new year bring you as far as your career goes?

Information literacy

We live in an information society where the creation, distribution, use, integration and manipulation of information is a significant economic, political, and cultural activity and where it has become increasingly clear that we cannot learn everything we need to know in our field of study in a few years of university.  Information literacy equips us with the skills needed to become independent lifelong learners.

According to the Alexandria Proclamation:

“Information Literacy lies at the core of lifelong learning.  It empowers people in all walks of life to seek, evaluate, use and create information effectively to achieve their personal, social, occupational and educational goals. It is a basic human right in a digital world and promotes social inclusion of all nations.”

As depicted in this video by Angela Green, true information literacy involves both thinking and doing, and encapsulates the knowledge and skills of identifying when and what information we need, where to locate it, how to manage it, how to authenticate and critically evaluate it and how to use and attribute it appropriately.

 

Information literacy is important because it allows us to cope with what David Shenk refers to as the “data smog” (or the idea that too much information can create a barrier in our lives) by giving us the skills to know when we need information and where to locate it effectively and efficiently.

There are a number of information literacy models, some of which are claimed to be inflexible, out-of-date and even hard to apply in practice.  The SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy: Core Model, revised in 2012 from the original 1999 model, recognises that the information world itself is constantly changing and developing and provides for flexibility in its definition of the core skills and competencies (ability) and attitudes and behaviours (understanding) at the heart of information literacy development in higher education.

– SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy

The circular nature of this model demonstrates that becoming information literate is not a linear process and proposes that a person can be developing within several pillars simultaneously and independently as they progress through their learning life.

The SCONUL Core Model details a set of generic skills and understandings in seven “pillars”, with each pillar additionally described by a series of statements relating to a set of skills or competencies, attitudes and behaviours.

Are you an information literate person?

Information literate people:

  • Are able to identify a personal need for information
  • Can assess current knowledge and identify gaps
  • Can construct strategies for locating information and data
  • Can locate and access the information and data they need
  • Can review the research process and compare and evaluate information and data
  • Can organise information professionally and ethically
  • Can apply the knowledge gained

I’ve had a lot of fun creating this  interactive module which takes you through the criteria listed above.

 

Click on the image

 

References:

Association of College and Research Libraries: http://www.ala.org/acrl/issues/infolit/overview/intro
Wikipedia – Information Society: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_society
Wikipedia – Data Smog: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_Smog
The SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy: Core Model