Information Obesity: The web site

Further study

Accredited programs of study are available based around ideas developed in Information Obesity. Whether you are interested in a full Masters' degree program, stand-alone professional development credits, or an information obesity training course, please contact us to discuss your needs.

The MA: DTCE degree

As well as accompanying the book, www.informationobesity.com also serves as a resource for teaching which takes place on the MA: Digital Technologies, Communication and Education at the University of Manchester. Andrew Whitworth, author of the book, is the Programme Director for this degree. The overall objective of the degree is to learn about the use of digital technologies, the broadcast media, and/or interpersonal, group or organisational communications techniques to enhance practice and the professional and academic development of educators in technology-rich environments.

Image: screen shot of www.MAdigitaltechnologies.com

The degree can be studied either on-campus in Manchester, at a distance, or as a combination of the two. It usually takes between one and three years to complete, depending on the chosen mode of study. You do not need to have prior experience as a teacher, nor particular technical skills (though you do need a first degree and to have reached a certain level of English language skills). All versions of the full degree program start in September each year.

Graduates have moved in several directions: into teaching, though with enhanced status and responsibilities (particularly, but not only, in the field of ICT); into further academic study; into the policy making field; and into work as learning technologists whether for software companies or in some kind of educational institution. For example, Marilena, who designed this site, is a graduate of the degree and now works as a learning technologist for Manchester Business School. For more information, see www.MAdigitaltechnologies.com.

Back to the top

The Media and Information Literacy course

All the course units in the MA: DTCE are studyable as stand-alone professional development credits, accredited by the University of Manchester. (Note, however, that you should always check with your professional body and/or employer regarding whether they will accept these credits.)

The course unit most directly connected to Information Obesity - and for which it acts as a key text - is the Media and Information Literacy course. This course addresses the question - how do new digital information and communications technologies change the way people make knowledge from information? How has the extraordinary explosion of access to information changed what education should be? What new or modified skills do we require in order to sustain our ability to learn in the information age? And how can we, as teachers, help develop these abilities in our current or future students? This course unit has been recognised as an exemplar of "learning literacies" education by the LLiDA project.

Image: screen shot of the Media and Information Literacy Moodle site

The course can be studied on-campus in Manchester, but those wishing to take stand-alone credits will probably find it easiest to study using the distance learning materials (screen shots from which are shown above and below). The course is also available on a CD-ROM for those who have slow or unreliable internet connections.

Image: screen shot of an online discussion

Note that you can start your studies on this course at any time. Assessment deadlines fall in January and May each year and credits confirmed at exam boards (see chapter 13 of the book...) which follow shortly after these deadlines. The cost of the course is currently (2008-9 academic year) £324, a figure which will rise over time with inflation. If you are interested in studying this course please contact us directly.

Back to the top

Information Obesity: training courses/consultancy

If you've been inspired by the book, you may feel as if the policies, activities and strategies your organisation uses to manage information are in need of change. How can you and your colleagues avoid ceding more and more of your cognitive capacity to technologies or systems which are incompatible with your local-level needs? How can you reassert some control over your community's information processing? How does your organisation affect the way you think, and is this preventing you (and it) from meeting strategic goals?

One- and two-day training courses are available to help you develop your own community-level solutions. There is no set template for these: rather, we will work with you to develop a session that meets your particular needs and requirements. The sessions are suitable for any type of organisation, and employees at any level from senior management to "shop floor".

Prices are available on application (contact Drew Whitworth). Discounts are available for voluntary organisations.

All information on this site is © Andrew Whitworth 2009. Site design by Marilena Aspioti. Information on this site can be freely reproduced and used for educational and/or non-profit purposes. For commercial use, contact the copyright holder.