Question of the Week - Weeks 4 & 5Discussion Topic for Two Weeks: We are bombarded daily with information from the media, newspapers, magazines, radio, and the World Wide Web. Is all information equal? Is it accurate, worthy of our attention? How do you decide which information to take in and which to discard? What is information literacy? How will you teach your students about information literacy?
Is all information equal? No, not at all. The student researching information must ensure that the information is complete, accurate and not simply bits and pieces of watered down information from someones personal opinion, but instead solid information that can be backed up by facts and experts in that field.
Is it accurate, worthy of our attention? Some information on the WWW is very accurate, for example if the student is researching international affairs, CNN would be a good source of accurate information, as CNN is usually very careful about what news they release to ensure accuracy of the report before it is released to the general public.
How do you decide which information to take in and which to discard? Whenever I have my students do research on the web, I have them search for the most accurate and up-to-date information on the given subject. I encourage them to seek information that is backed up by facts, research and respected subject matter experts (SME) in the field or subject they are researching. Lots of information out there is not factual and at most, someones personal opinion. One should be careful and do the research to ensure that the information they seek is in fact - factual.
What is information literacy? Information Literacy is the ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information for the issue or problem at hand. It can also be defined in terms of a set of competencies that an informed citizen of an information society ought to possess to participate intelligently and actively in that society.
How will you teach your students about information literacy? By explaining to them the importance of identifying and gathering accurate information and effectively using that information for the project at hand. I would also provide them a listing of what I feel to be reliable sources of information to assist them in their research. Today's technology has provided students a way to access information that was unheard of in years past. I would encourage my students to use this technology to its fullest.