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"Info what?" According to ACRL's Information Literacy Glossary, in a nutshell, it is the "set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information."
To be "information literate", an information consumer - like you - needs to be able to determine the credibility of an info bit as they do their research, whether it be academic, real-world, or recreational.
Making Good Decisions
Not all information is created equal.
When engaging in research, you have to be a savvy information shopper - and consumer. The Digital Literacy Project at Cornell University suggests:
- Know where and how to search efficiently to find the best information for your purposes (it may not be Google).
- Make good decisions regarding the quality and appropriateness of your sources, including whether a source is trustworthy and up to date.
- Know who has permission, or the right, to the sources you use.
- Know how to properly give credit to others for their ideas.
- Know the extent to which you can ethically remix or synthesize others' ideas and information in your own work.
The Information Diet by The modern human animal spends upwards of 11 hours out of every 24 in a state of constant consumption. Not eating, but gorging on information ceaselessly spewed from the screens and speakers we hold dear. Just as we have grown morbidly obese on sugar, fat, and flour--so, too, have we become gluttons for texts, instant messages, emails, RSS feeds, downloads, videos, status updates, and tweets. We're all battling a storm of distractions, buffeted with notifications and tempted by tasty tidbits of information. And just as too much junk food can lead to obesity, too much junk information can lead to cluelessness. The Information Diet shows you how to thrive in this information glut--what to look for, what to avoid, and how to be selective. In the process, author Clay Johnson explains the role information has played throughout history, and why following his prescribed diet is essential for everyone who strives to be smart, productive, and sane. In The Information Diet, you will: Discover why eminent scholars are worried about our state of attention and general intelligence Examine how today's media--Big Info--give us exactly what we want: content that confirms our beliefs Learn to take steps to develop data literacy, attention fitness, and a healthy sense of humor Become engaged in the economics of information by learning how to reward good information providers Just like a normal, healthy food diet, The Information Diet is not about consuming less--it's about finding a healthy balance that works for you.
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 2015
Skepticism is a Powerful Tool
Whether buying a new laptop or choosing to believe the latest rumor, you're constantly evaluating information - can it be believed? Your skepticism is a powerful tool in evaluating information.
Information comes in different formats, but there are some common elements that will help you decide what's credible. Consider:
- Authorship. Who is the author or producer of the information? Who is the publisher? What experience or education does the author have in this area? Are they an expert or experienced in the subject?
- Intent. What is the motive or intention for sharing this information? Educational? For profit? To sway public opinion for political purposes? This will help you consider the degree of objectivity of the information.
- Currency. How current is the information? How stable is it (will it be accessible in a year)?
- Verifiable. Is the information presented with verifiable facts? Are there references?
- Cross-Checked. Has the information been reviewed by experts? Has it been "peer-reviewed"? Do others you trust believe the information is credible?
Common Tips & Tricks
There are a multitude of acronyms and tricks to evaluating sources. Use the method preferred by your instructor, knowing that the important component is to develop a habit or pattern you can use when evaluating all information.
To evaluate News Stories
The WHY Method
This evaluation method places an additional focus on the editing process of a source.
This evaluation framework addresses privilege in publishing and asks students to investigate the privilege of the author
Have a CCOW
To evaluate any piece of information according to its Credentials, Claims, Objectives, and Worldview.