Monday, January 24, 2005


Information Literacy Begins in K

Maybe I missed this New York Times article on Measuring Literacy in a World Gone Digital
"In an earlier time, information came, really, from only one place: the university library," said Lorie Roth, the assistant vice chancellor of academic programs for the California State University system, one of seven school systems that worked with the testing company over the last two years to develop the test. "Now it is all part of one giant continuum, and often the student is the sole arbiter of what is good information, what is bad information and what all the shades are in between." But not everyone agrees that measuring information literacy can be done, even with a standardized test."

"But the public wants accountability. People want to ensure that colleges are actually preparing students for the future - the future being an information society." The technology test will cost colleges around $25 a student - discounted to $20 for institutions that sign up during the first testing period. Students will take the Web-based exam in classrooms or instruction labs, logging on with access codes purchased by their schools. Scores in the first round will be aggregated for each institution; the company aims to make scoring for individual students available in 2006."

I've written about this topic before (It's Easier That's Why) and (Are Schools Really Changing?) Information literacy should start at the kindergarten level and fostered throughout the grade levels so that by college time there's NO need for a formal assessment. How many college students are tested on the Dewey Decimal system? Information literacy is being debated because the students are able to access information "without the help of a teacher." They know already how to access... but I do agree with this quote from the Times..."Knowing where and how to find information, they agreed, was just the beginning. Interpreting, sorting, evaluating, manipulating and repackaging information in dozens of forms from thousands of sources - as well as having a fundamental understanding of the legal and ethical uses of digital materials - are also important components."

We have to start sooner (with ourselves learning what's out there) as a educators. That way we'll be better prepared to teach the 21st century student.

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