13 November 2013

Information Literacy: Process Model Evaluation

Information Literacy

Researching information literacy to provide a coherent step-by-step process to support learners is something of an ongoing process.

Today's learners, whilst able to 'use' the Internet for a variety of social purposes, are not actually as media-savvy as we assume. Whilst this notion seems incongruous initially, anyone involved with teens and tweens in the digital world knows that in reality, they are often not making great choices - even in social realms. Being able to use technology and being able to operate in the digital world successfully can be mutually exclusive; in matter of fact, "new technology challenges our understanding of what it means to be literate" (Consadine, Horton and Moorman).

Consadine, Horton and Moorman believe that the "extensive use of ICT often creates a false sense of competency"; the paradox is that this generation "have access to more information, than any generation in history" (Foehr, 2006; Lenhart, Arafeh, Smith, & Macgill, 2008; Lenhart & Madden, 2005; Lenhart, Madden, & Hitlin, 2005; Rideout, Roberts, & Foehr, 2005). 

Educators today have a duty to provide the skill-set that will allow learners to make the right choices - this is part of digital citizenship and of being able to operate safely in an online environment. Being able to make these choices however, requires a huge set of new literacy skills.

Searching has become synonymous with "Google" to a generation who do not look beyond the first few hits the ubiquitous search engine returns. Even more, they seem lacking in media literacy skills that would allow then to analyse and 'read' the constructs of the variety of texts they are presented with on a daily basis. Add to this a culture of 'cut and paste' and we have a recipe for an ill-equipped generation unable to think critically about the information overload they experience daily.

Information literacy concerns the need to be able to search, evaluate, synthesise and cite accurately and effectively. There are several processes involved and many process models are designed to address the steps involved. Six process models are compared in the table below. More can be found in greater detail HERE.

Considine, D., Horton. J., Moorman, J. Teaching and Reading the Millennial Generation Through Media Literacy

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