What is Information Literacy?



there was a time when books used to be the primary source of information but today we find ourselves bombarded with an overwhelming amount of it from a multitude of sources information is as abundant as the world is vast it comes in a variety of forms and can be accessed in different ways when it comes to the information we have available to us the sky really is the limit this can result in many challenges when it comes to accessing and using information first it can be very easy to waste time trying to find the information we need especially if we don't know where to look it can also be difficult to compare the reliability of one source with that of another especially if we don't understand the context of the information or know how to research the credibility of authors that's why we need to possess skills that will allow us to determine the what when and how for using information effectively what we need is information literacy so what exactly is information literacy information literacy is a set of skills that helps people navigate through information overload something we experience virtually every day there are six main concepts that encompass information literacy they may sound confusing at first but bear with me number one Authority is constructed in contextual number two information creation as a process number three information has value number four research as inquiry number five scholarship as conversation and number six searching as strategic exploration okay so I know that probably didn't make a lot of sense to you so what does all of this mean in plain English let's break it down so back to the first concept of information literacy Authority is constructed and contextual this means that it's important to learn how to identify the reliability of an information source which often depends on the context of the information it also means respecting intellectual property give credit to the source when you share bits of information a photo video or anything else you didn't create yourself and be sure it's okay to use before sharing the second concept of information literacy is information creation as a process understand that information undergoes a process of research creation revision an often peer review before it is distributed this results in information that exists in various forms and methods of delivery understanding this will help you select a source that fits your information need the third concept is information has value not only can information be sold but it also serves as a means of Education information can influence people and it can help individuals understand and navigate the world the creation and sharing of information can also be influenced by current events in the economy just take a look at how information is created and shared during an election the fourth concept of information literacy highlights research as inquiry research is an inquisitive process that often consists of trial and error when attempting to find reliable and relevant sources of information it is essential to learn how to examine information to determine if it fits your need asking questions is an important part of this process another important skill related to this concept is the ability to organize and synthesize information for example how well can you incorporate sources of information into a research paper concept number 5 is scholarship as conversation scholarship for academic study is really a conversation that exists among people within a certain field when a new book or journal article is published it contributes new insight to an ongoing conversation regarding a certain topic because of this it is important to recognize that scholars will offer different perspectives and ideas it is also important to give credit when quoting from other scholars work the sixth and final concept of information literacy searching as strategic exploration effective research involves developing a strategy and refining it as you go research doesn't happen in a straight line sometimes you'll need to make course corrections along the way this final concept involves knowing how to identify and use the best research tools including how to form the best keywords for your search so how do the skills surrounding these concepts apply in the real world beyond the classroom here are a few examples once you develop these skills you will know how to find reliable and relevant information online you will also be better equipped to safeguard your personal and financial information you will understand that information shared on social media is often biased or even false so some research may be involved before trusting a source you will also know how to be informed when making big life decisions like buying your first home you will be able to recognize that intellectual property comes in many forms such as a photo video or song and a share these items requires the permission of the owner as well as citation of your source and finally you will be better able to have informed conversations with others and respect different viewpoints you

8 thoughts on “What is Information Literacy?”

  1. I’m thinking about sharing this link on every Facebook post I see that gives biased and faulty POLITICAL news without proper credibility and such… lol

  2. I LOVE this video. I'm working on an online information literacy course for my university and would love to use it as an introductory video. I tried to embed it, but received a message that it's not playable on other websites. Is there a way I could share it? I would include a citation, of course!

  3. Do you mind if I use this video for a professional development – training – for teachers in my district?

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