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What is Information Literacy?
Information Literacy is defined as a set of abilities to:
  • recognise when information is needed
  • locate and evaluate information
  • effectively and responsibly use the information

Information literacy is not the same as computer literacy that requires a technological know-how to manipulate computer hardware and software. Nor is it the same as library literacy which requires the ability to use a library's collection and its services. There is however a strong relationship between these concepts. Each of the above-mentioned literacies require some level of critical thinking.

What shoud we know about Information Literacy?
The need to evaluate the credibility of information is nothing new. However, since anyone can now make a webpage, how can we tell if the information is reliable or not? There is also the reluctance by many students to look for information from tried and true sources such as well-indexed books given the time factor . This along with the temptation to value information simply because it came off of the internet often results in poor quality of the information gathered.

Not only must we be discerning learners but, in addition, we must be constantly learning. As the pace of global change has increased, so has our need for learning. Change requires us to know more and learn more about the world around us.external image infolit1.jpg

What are the implications for teaching?
Because becoming information literate is an active process, requiring the seeking out of knowledge from multiple sources rather than passively receiving and repeating back facts, the teacher's role must evolve from the giver of knowledge into being more of a coach or guide. Teachers must develop ways to involve the students not only in using classroom materials but also in using resources from the broader community and the mass media.

Teachers must also prepare students early on to "learn how to learn" and carry these skills into other areas of their lives so that they can be independent seekers and consumers of information throughout their lives. Our PeaK-ICT vision is that Kawerau people will be confident, connected 21st century thinkers and learners who pursue digital knowledge and enrich others through whakawhanaungatanga

21st Century Thinkers and Learners
positive in their own identity
work well with others as team players
self planners
motivated and reliable
effective users of ICT tools
flexible thinkers
realise their cultutal distinctiveness and potential
members of our town
active seekers, users and creators of knowledge

reflective learners
This means shifting some of the responsibility of gaining knowledge from the teacher to the student and allowing students to develop questions, strategies to search for answers, and formulate conclusions.

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What are the implications for learning?
Becoming information literate will involve a drastic change from the way many students are accustomed to learning. First of all, it requires they become more self-directed in their learning. This kind of independent, active learning prepares students for real-life problem solving . Becoming information literate, students will also assume more responsibility for their own learning either individually or in work groups. As they develop competency with their use of information resource options, they also become aware of their individual styles of learning and preferred ways of assimilating knowledge.

One successful method for developing information literacy skills is through resource-based learning which involves having students assume more responsibility for locating the very materials from which to learn. It also provides an added advantage (i.e., it allows students to choose materials that match their academic levels and preferred learning styles thus individualising the learning process.

What are the implications for schools?
In order to produce learners who are information literate, schools will need to integrate information literacy skills across the curriculum in all subject areas beginning in the junior, moving through and to the senior classrooms. These schools gnerally have a strong commitment to excellent educational outcomes for the students in the areas of critical thinking, problem solving, and information skills;

The Information Process using the Koru or Knowledge Spiral.doc
Searching the Internet - Tips for Students.doc
Using Search Engines Worksheet.doc
Big 6 Notemaking Sheet.doc
big6LessonPlan for teachers.doc

Information Literacy Models
SAUCE Model - A process for students to use in resource, problem solving and inquiry learning

Adventures of Cyber Bee - Research Tools
Notemaking sheet for print and electronic resources