Information Literacy……

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I did not attend this week’s lecture as I was unwell, however I will attempt to add my reflections on the subject set for the tutorial BEFORE reading my classmates blogs!

Information literacy as I see it would be the amount of written information available to our students and this generation, more than any other, are exposed to a vast amount of information in all mediums. With so much to take in students today are required to be more critical of the information than ever before. Students, especially the younger ones, believe that everything they read on the internet must be correct, therefore teachers are required to reinforce critical thinking skills from an early age, when students are assessing any information.

When conducting my research I came across a website which, after critically analysing it, found it to be a reliable site for teachers to read. I was astounded at the research the author did with children regarding the authenticity of the tree octopus website. This is a must for all teachers and parents to read. Please make sure you watch the video (1.2) on the site. I like how they praise Australian schools for including digital literacy into the Curriculum!

http://multiliteracy.wetpaint.com/page/Critical+Literacy

Also included on this site are links to other useful sites, please check them out!

As teachers we also need to be aware of the search engines that our students are using. I am not a technological person and not savvy on how computers and the internet works however, how I would define a search engine would be, “a vehicle for searching for the information required on the internet, or the World Wide Web”.

The internet as most of us are aware is enormous and holds a vast amount of information which can be quite frustrating when searching as it takes time to sift through all the sites found from the keywords we use. It is also time-consuming to assess if the information is reliable and at times we are still unsure of the reliability.

The internet can be tricky and uses algorithms and other programs to position certain pages first leading the reading to believe they are more reliable and relevant, however as teachers we need to inform our students this is not always the case and teach them to be critical even of the search! Basically we need to instil in our students everything comes down to trust and honesty, in both the cyber and real world!

This brings to my mind an interesting point that was made at our Cybersmart seminar. Children on Facebook believe it when someone like Justin Bieber or Katy Perry becomes their ‘friend’ and chats to them. As the presenter pointed out celebrities wouldn’t be talking individually to their fans! This is where children need to know that not all in the cyber world is as it seems and they need to be critical of everything, sad as it is.

When it comes to search engines in the classroom teachers need to ensure all the safety filters are activated to make sure they don’t access inappropriate sites intentionally or unintentionally. There are a number of child friendly websites. Please follow the links listed to access them.

www.wisekids.org.uk/Kids_safe_search_engines.htm

www.aussieeducator.org.au/reference/computers/searchengines/specialist.html

If we are really concerned with our children accessing inappropriate sites or unreliable information from the internet we can always direct them to the books and journals, etc in the library, just like I used when I was at school and guess what?………….I was still able to be educated without the internet! 🙂

Now I have caught up with all my blogs all I have to do is go back and read my classmates ones under Out of this World Bloggers, and comment on them! I hope I get some comments on mine now that I have changed the format…………………………………

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2 Comments »

  1. Elisabeth Said:

    Great website recommendations thanks! I love the tree octopus video. I think that the part of the clip showing the photoshopping of the octopus into the tree would be great to show our student’s. It is so easy to think that a photo equals proof! I suppose this is a kind of visual critical literacy.

    I definitely agree that we still need to refer students to the library, but it is also our responsibilty to teach them how to make the most of the internet in a safe and critical manner.

  2. Mark Said:

    The tree octopus site is famous for catching students out – it’s a good place to start if you’re trying to get across the point about bogus websites/information and the need for critical literacy.


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