What is information literacy? I found the article below and I think it summarizes it quite nicely.
“Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning.”
So how would you determine if you, or anyone else for that matter is information literate? Well, according to the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, an information literate person can:
- Determines the nature and extent of information needed
- Accesses the needed information effectively and efficiently
- Evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system
- Uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
- Understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and accesses and uses information ethically and legally
There is more detail in the article and I think it is worth a read. In my opinion and based on my personal experience, many folks in this information age we live in seem to really fall down on the evaluation stage. Too many people are taking what they read on social media or someone’s personal blog and making the giant assumption that all the information contained is true and reasonable. We should all carefully evaluate the information, the source, consider motivations and learn to think critically and ‘read between the lines’. A perfect example is a facebook post that went viral in Canada a few back that quoted a Vancouver Sun article as saying it was going to cost $5 billion to bring in Syrian refugees and that they would all receive somewhere in the neighborhood of $5000 a month for food, or something of the sort. The only problem was, there was no Vancouver Sun article and the information in the post was completely false. Learning to discern between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ information is an essential life skill in today’s day and age.