Information Literacy: The Basics

By  |  0 Comments

Information is something that you encounter every day, from many different sources. Knowing what is factually correct and what is inaccurate is incredibly important, in your everyday life, learning and your job. Having good information literacy skills allows you to understand the value and credibility of the information you come across, and how to use it. These are skills that can be taught at a young age and continually developed to ensure that you are a savvy learner throughout your life. 

What is it?

The first question is what is Information Literacy? It is the ability to critically reflect upon information, identifying, evaluating and using it effectively. It is a particularly useful skill to have in this digital age, and knowing what websites are reputable and which ones are not is essential when looking for information, for example in an educational context. Many teachers and educators can benefit from Information Literacy and Digital Citizenship training, so that they can teach their students how to effectively, safely and correctly use the internet and digital sources to access information.

What are the skills?

There are many different skills that come into play when you are developing and using your information literacy. These include:

  • Research – information can be described as the resolution of an uncertainty, and to find this resolution you will need to do your research. You will gather, analyze and interpret information in order to discover your resolution, and this itself involves many other skills including problem-solving, note taking, attention to detail and time management. 
  • Critical thinking – this is the ability to objectively analyze a situation in order to form a judgement. When looking at different pieces of information and sources, you will need to analyze them without bias to discover if the source is reputable and the information correct. 
  • Communication – another part of information literacy is the ability to understand information communicated to you, and to be able to communicate yourself to others. This involves both speaking and listening, as well as other forms of communication such as writing. Good communication skills are essential in any workplace and in most scenarios, and can help you effectively and accurately convey information to a wide range of people.
  • Computer literacy – a large part of information literacy involves looking at different websites and evaluating their legitimacy as sources. Therefore, a level of computer literacy is required in order to successfully navigate the internet, and the different types of software and devices you may be using.

Information literacy is incredibly important in evaluating and understanding the legitimacy of information and sources that you may come across, especially digitally. 

It combines both technical and personal skills to help create learners that are confident and capable, and can objectively analyze sources in order to understand and critically reflect on the nature of information, the different social, cultural and philosophical impacts and the technical infrastructure. Teaching information literacy and digital citizenship are incredibly valuable in helping people understand how to use the internet to find information in a safe and effective way. 

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply