Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Information Literacy--Teaching Students in the Digital Age

As educators who advocate the use of technology in education, we have a responsibility to ensuring that we and our students develop not only literacy skills, but Information Literacy skills. On Alan November’s website, November Learning, there is a wealth of information on information literacy, including an Information Literacy Quiz and follow up activities.

This is a great way to find out what skills you have, or to find out what skills students have (probably no younger than middle or high school students). It is very eye opening to see how websites evolve and change over time. The activity on website validation was really thought provoking. It gave great examples of how to sort out facts vs. misinformation. I especially liked using the Wayback Machine at www.archive.org. While many websites changes are for the better, it is surprising to see how some websites have changed in order to deceive, including sites funded by White Supremacy groups.
While the dangers of allowing young people access to chat rooms or not supervising their Facebook/My Space pages have been made quite clear, the importance of teaching students that just because it is on the Internet does not make it true is really emphasized by this activity. I encourage all parents, educators, and teens and young adults to go through these activities in order to gain information literacy.

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