Being part of an international research team is indeed an incredible opportunity and Stéphane Goldstein (InformAll) and myself (SP4IL) felt honoured to be invited to join an Erasmus proposal consortium to consider transmedia products to enable information literacy teaching in primary schools. The resulting successful bid to the European Union resulted in the formation of the BRIDGE project (BRIDGE, 2022). Last week we held our first face to face meeting in Castellón de la Plana in sunny Spain. We were not complaining that it was still 24C at 11pm!
The BRIDGE project brings together six nations UK, Greece, Turkey, Finland, Italy and is led by Dora Sales from Jaume I University, Castellón, Spain. The aim is that over the next two years we will create a transnational cooperation network for the exchange of good practices and resources for the joint promotion of information and digital literacy as a way of underpinning education in equality values in primary schools. This will enable primary school educators to make better use of digital technologies, develop innovative teaching, training and learning methods, and have quality resources to develop activities. The proposal is aimed for children in the approximate middle primary school stage (aged 8-11 years), and intends to take advantage of the educational potential of children’s literature (especially picture books) and transmedia to engage with students about equality, diversity and inclusiveness and global citizenship, and as a door to information and digital literacy activities that help to foster informed, enquiry-led learning and critical thinking.
The project will be conducted over 3 phases. Firstly, we are designing a questionnaire that will be distributed to primary school teachers involved in this age group to ascertain the status quo. This will consider the amount of information literacy teaching that currently takes place in each country and will try to identify the gaps that our database might fill as well as providing resources to underpin what is currently delivered through the curriculum. We are hoping to complete this and analyse the results by spring 2023.
The second phase concerns the design of an open access portal with selected resources and best practices to promote information and digital literacy in primary education. Not only will these resources be digital but we also intend to add picture books which can be used within the context too. Part of the phase one survey will ask teachers and librarians to help identify resources for inclusion but this is an area where we would welcome support. If you are working in a school or are a supplier and have products you think might meet the criteria, then please do get in touch with myself or Stéphane.
The final part of the project will be a training seminar, to take place in each country in October 2023, with guidelines on how to integrate information literacy for primary school curriculum. This seminar will also serve to disseminate and share the project’s materials and explain how to use them. Between October 2023 and the finishing date in spring 2024 we will be organizing promotional activities including newsletters, media papers and promo materials. Project news will be created and posted on websites and social network accounts. You can already follow BRIDGE on Twitter (@BRIDGEinfolit ) and we will be adding other social media accounts, appearing at conferences, writing papers for journals, and involving associated partners. More formally we will be organizing a total of seven multiplier events (at least one in each partner country) to disseminate the project results. The first six multiplier events will take place in September 2023, final one is scheduled for January 2024.
This is such an exciting project and unusually focusses on primary school students, setting out the fundamental principles of information literacy at an early age to grow global citizens. Please do take a look at the BRIDGE website and contact us if you would like to help further.
So now we leave behind three days of sun, sea, sangria in Spain (and a giant paella) and look forward to our second meeting in Corfu in April 2023. Information literacy research doesn’t get better than this!
BRIDGE (2022) BRIDGE – A bridge to support critical thinking and information and digital literacy at school. Equality values for primary education using children’s literature and transmedia. Available at: https://bridgeinfoliteracy.eu/
Sarah Pavey – Independent Consultant and Trainer and one of the Information Literacy Group’s School representatives.