Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Information Ocean

J often gets homework assignments that involves researching for information to write a report or complete a project. The topics are fairly straight forward being that the "researchers" are only 6-8 years old. I usually help her find the information from credible sources on the Internet and will check out some books from the local library if time permits.

Watching this video about the role of a school librarian in the 21st century gave me much food for thought. Specially when the librarian featured in it talks about growing up in an information desert whereas kids today are in an information ocean and drowning in it. Information fluency is as she points out is a crucial survival skill in the world that J and her peers are growing up in. It is just as if not more important than learning to read for these kids.

There is just too much information out there and not knowing to navigate successfully can determine whether they will sink or swim in this "ocean". A big take away for me from watching this is to start teaching J to find her way around search engines and be able to tell good information apart from the bad. You can't emphasize to kids soon enough that credibility is not conferred on a piece of information just because it showed up in Google search.The importance of this had not fully registered with me until hearing from a vanguard of library science and its use in elementary schools.

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