Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Philippine eLib Launched

And so I read from Von's blog that the Philipine eLib was launched. Good for us! I first heard about the project last August 2004 at the Philipine eConference at the Ateneo. I visited the website and I was impressed at the design of it. It also appears to be "user friendly" (and i mean it, the positive way...). It is easy to navigate and it's index page contains the basic information a reader or user needs to know.

With the eLib, collge students and academicians have an online resource they can access even when at home. And, don't forget, it's Philippine Made. As a graduate student, it would save me a lot of time when doing research as far as gathering info is concerned. I can narrow down my info choices using such databases. Scholars can easily focus, get organized and make decisions on the next step to take in their academic endeavors because such info are available. It will surely help a lot of people in the academe and in the field of science and technology, research and the humanities.

Now I feel the impetus to make Information Literacy a part of the basic education curriculum. Grade school and high school students must be prepared to tackle more difficult materials in the future; to be able to master the skill of separating the chaff from the grain when using a variety of information resources; to make value judgements on the information at hand and to be able to communicate the gathered information for the benefit of others. With such sophisticated tools for research and learning, the responsibility of educators in the basic education is heavy. It is one that "we" must carefully plan and study; to look into strategies of facilitating this new literacy to younger learners is extremely important.

Others may think that ICT Literacy is enough to keep the young scholar alive and kicking. Think again. And think hard we must. Being able to know the ins and outs of computer software, hardware and infrastructure is different from being able to construct an understanding of conepts and ideas. Better still, go beyond that understanding to define and apply one's own.

At the recently concluded IFLA Workshop for Public School Librarians and Principals, IL was heralded as a literacy that leads to life long learning. Simply put, IL is helping children become better readers, better learners. Some always tie IL with ICT Literacy. I beg to disagree. I think IL deserve to be with it's twin sister, which is Reading Literacy. Both adhere to the Cognitive and Constructivist Learning Theories. Both find a place in the teaching of content areas. Both can be used as approaches, even strategies for learning.

Filipino librarians may be building the technological infrastructure as a means to organize information and provide easy access. But, it is my constant reminder to myself, and to those who share the same vision, that children in the schools should be given the exposure and training necessary for them to make meaning out of the information flooding them everyday; to be responsible for it; to create their own and share it with those who will also learn.

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