Being Information Literate in the 21st Century

An article that I read called “True or Not,” where information literacy, and how to evaluate sources was considered. One of the questions posed was defining information literacy. What does it mean to be information literate? Can it truly be defined? It is such an ambiguous term. I think that the main meaning of information literacy is the ability to be able to look at information and discern whether it is valid and reliable or not. To be able to find the bias is also important.

So being information literate is being able to evaluate information. But how do we teach this skill to students when they have so much information at their fingertips that they must sift through? Teaching students the basic ways to evaluate sources is essential. There are simple thing that don’t take too much effort. When looking at an article, check the date it was published and see when, or if, it was updated. Check the credentials or authority that the author has and the sources the author uses. Also, the amount of bias there is and how in depth the topic is covered.

I believe by empowering the students with the knowledge they need to be information literate and providing specific ways to check different works, we can prepare our students to use this medium successfully. Having the knowledge to evaluate sources is very powerful and important, especially now in the 21st Century, with so much information available at the push of a button.

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