Thursday, January 06, 2005

Information Literacy: Learning How to Learn

Information Literacy: Learning How to Learn. This essay is by Holly Barton. It is part of the The Rhode Island Foundation Teachers in Technology Inititative Fellows Research. I can not find a date on the essay.

From the site:

Why do we send children to school? Is it to implant certain facts, figures, and formulas into their heads to make students ready to enter the world? Do textbooks contain all information important and relevant for a student to survive in today’s marketplace? Can the curriculum touch upon all of the topics that a student needs to know to be an effective member of society? Can educators provide all the information important for students to know so they can become contributing members of society?

Learning doesn’t stop at the school steps and it continues throughout life. To prepare students for the world, we must teach them how to learn. Perhaps the most valuable skill we can give children during their formal school years is the ability to use information to construct knowledge.

Through the advances made through technology, the walls of the classroom and the library have expanded to include the entire world. Technology gives us physical access to a wealth of information. However, the information housed on servers throughout the globe and in software and print resources is so abundant that finding what they need is a daunting task. Students must possess information literacy to put the information to good use.

Information literate students access, evaluate and use information from a variety of sources. They are organized investigators who question and wonder, find and sort, consume and gulp information. They think, create, summarize and conclude. They communicate effectively and reflect on the process as well as the product. The natural juxtaposition of information literacy to current educational issues alerts one to the importance of creating information literate learners who will succeed in the Information Age.

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