Thursday, July 22, 2010

What a Surprise: Schools Need to Teach Information Literacy

via @BlueSkunkBlog

I don't know whether to groan or cheer.  David Pogue interviewed John Palfrey, author of Born Digital.
 Take home quote
 I think almost no emphasis is being put on giving kids the skills that they need to sort credible from noncredible information. Schools have to wake up and have to give those skills to our kids. It’s the critical thinking skill of the 21st century that they’re going to need, sorting credible from not credible information. And I think we’re asleep at the switch.


  1. This is what school librarians are trained to teach. And what are school districts doing? Laying off their certified school library media specialists in droves. Why? Because everything is on the Internet! This feeling goes all the way to the top when our Secretary of Education completely ignores the role of the school library whenever he discusses education. Hopefully the word is starting to get out that this is a critical skill. It isn't something that is taught in a 15 min. workshop or even in one class. It is ongoing and needs to be imbedded in every subject/content area. Unfortunately, most teachers also don't have the skills in this area.Many of them went to school before the Internet was the source of information that it is today. Younger teachers also didn't get this training, although there is common misperception that if someone can use technology tools it is the same as being information literate. Some districts, because of the strong presence of their media specialist(s) (think Joyce Valenza, Buffy Hamilton, Shannon Miller to name just three)are making sure that their students are learning this important and vital skill. I am fortunate to work in a district that understands the critical role of the school librarian in teaching these skills. Information literacy needs to be viewed as equally important as reading and math skills. We need highly qualified teachers to help students learn the skills of information literacy so that they will be as fluent in this area as we expect them to be in other content areas.

  2. I'm with you all the way! I probably should have better clarified my groan/cheer comment. Cheer because someone out there (besides us) is advocating for this, groan because just what is it he thinks most of us DO all day?

    But you're absolutely right, many schools just don't get it. I, too, am fortunate to be in a school that believes in this.