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Information Literacy Skills

The overarching goal of k-20 education is simple – to produce independent, self sufficient lifelong learners who can successfully navigate the competitive challenges of post secondary educational and/or workplace opportunities.

However, in today’s world, the teaching and learning process for doing so has become extremely complex.  Our rapid transformation into a technology driven, information society has dramatically altered the k-16 teaching and learning landscape.  And, as a result, the sustainability of our current economic foundation, strengthening our national security, even maintaining the very essence of our democratic way of life depends more and more on producing learners who not only know how to think, but know how to problem solve within a diversified information and communication technology universe.

In order to produce these types of digital citizens, we need to ensure that all learners develop the information literacy skill set that will provide them with a host of options and opportunities, beneficial not only to them individually, but also to our nation as well.

K-8 Information Literacy Instructional Blueprint

Educators all across the country are inundated with integrating changing, state curriculum standards as well as national curriculum efforts such as the Common Core States Standards Initiative within their daily lesson plan and classroom management activities. With all types of rules, regulations, ed reform policies and professional development missives coming at them from all directions, it is no wonder that many, either early on and/or late in their careers feel the sting of overload and/or burnout.

Information literacy is a learner centric instructional template that, if applied strategically, can foster the development of independent, self sufficient learners.  In fact, information literacy skills instruction cuts across all disciplines. Information literacy practice is not educator dependent.  Parents and families members can apply this skill set in supporting student learning at school, at home, and in the workplace.

By the completion of the 8th grade, every learner should know how to demonstrate and utilize baseline information literacy skills.  Having the abilities to define tasks and information needs as well as access and ethically manage a variety of information resources within a digital universe is key to producing the independent, lifelong learners in the 21st century.

College and career readiness success is built on a platform of information literacy and digital literacy preparation.  Without its specific inclusion in future educational and workforce development reform policies, our pathway to an effective economic and social recovery remains dim.

 K-16 and Adult Learners Information Literacy Principles

K-16 Educators and Adult Learning Trainers – there is no sequential order to using these principles.  Apply these guidelines to your classroom lesson plans and/or program activities to enrich your academic and/or workplace training content.

Parents, family supporters – you can use these principles as well while either watching television, and/or reading a book with your learner…question, question, question!

Define: Articulate a need for information as one or more relevant, focused, and manageable questions. Know where to locate and gain understanding of acceptable, common definitions of terms associated with the needed information.

Access: Search, find, and retrieve information from a variety of print and electronic resources (e.g., databases, Internet).

Evaluate: Judge the currency, appropriateness, and adequacy of information and information sources for a specific purpose.

Manage: Conduct a rudimentary and preliminary organization of accessed information for retrieval and future application.

Integrate: Extract and combine information from a variety of sources and draw fundamental conclusions.

Create: Summarize and adapt information to describe an event, express an opinion, or support a basic argument, viewpoint, or position.

Communicate: Adapt and present information for a peer audience.