What is information literacy?
“The ability to think critically and make balanced judgements about any information we find and use. It empowers us as citizens to reach and express informed views and to engage fully with society.”
CILIP Information Literacy Group
Why should I teach information literacy?
Almost three-quarters of young people say social media is an important source of news to them – although there is growing awareness of its trustworthiness only around a third of young people will question what they read. (Ofcom, 2019)
What can I do?
Educators have responsibility to teach digital literacy, as part of the Technologies curriculum:
- Searching, processing and managing information responsibly, TCH x-02a
- Cyber resilience and internet safety, TCH x-03a
and the literacy and English curriculum:
- Recognise the difference between fact and opinion and progressing to evaluative comments about relevance reliability and credibility with appropriate justification, LIT x-18a
That’s why we’ve developed this page to support you as you teach more effective searching, increased awareness of platforms, and the ability to recognise the difference between fact and opinion. We believe it’s increasingly important that we educate children and young people about how the web works and how the information on it is created and manipulated. As learners increase their knowledge and understanding of the web and online platforms, they should be encouraged to apply the critical thinking skills they have learned in literacy lessons – leading to a healthier, happier and smarter online experience.
Who can help?
Hopefully we can. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, get in touch on twitter @DigiLearnScot.
Information literacy is also a key role of school librarians and they are always willing to support learning about it. Find out more about how school librarians can support information literacy learning. The literacy and English curricular team at Education Scotland have more on their national Professional Learning Community site:
Spotting Fake News
In this blog post below, learners watched a ‘news story’ and, after evaluating it, wrote their response and justification on the blog page below.
Watch video with your own learners and see if they agree with the learners from Falkirk:
This is an example of using digital literacy (blogs) to engage learners.
This site has lots of free lessons and resources, including this series of lessons on how to interpret and evaluate information online. The lessons are progressive, relevant and each one comes with activities that are easy to adapt for your learners’ needs.
The Detective Digiduck story and resources from Childnet, and author Lindsay Buck, are a great introduction to CRIS and information literacy. In this story Digiduck finds that not everything on the internet can be trusted and that you need to check the reliability of it from a range of sources.
Read the story, listen to the author read it, and access resources here: Detective Digiduck! – Childnet
This site has lots of information, videos and activities to support you develop your learners’ understanding of what fake news is and how it affects us.
The NLT has a fake news and critical literacy resources page with cross-curricular resources for learners of all ages.
They also have their Words for Life page that explains what fake news is, how to spot it and links to The Guardian NewsWise content and has a section on child-friendly news sites: Child-friendly news | NewsWise | The Guardian
Moving Image Education has lots of resources and information to support you teach film literacy, including this activity that supports learners evaluate and analyse YouTube content. Let the learners lead the learning by selecting their own video and then analysing it with this scaffolded activity.
Older learners (YouTube appropriate)
Ofcom hosts this site which contains information about media literacy – what it is and how to teach it – alongside reports that explain how, what and why children and young people are accessing media. Read the latest research on the impact of covid on children’s media lives here.