Information Literacy: How can wehelp our students (and ourselves) become discerning users of the Internet Ellen Phillips Instructional Technology Specialist Queens Office of Educational Technology NYC DOE
What is Information Literacy?• Information literacy is a set of skills that enable individuals to recognize when information is needed and to have the ability to locate, evaluate and effectively use the needed information.
Information literacyutilizes critical thinkingthrough its skills ofevaluating information
Information literacy also incorporates andsupplements other forms of literacy such as: • Computer literacy • Media literacy • Research literacyInformation literacy can be applied in any subject or area of study.
Why is information literacy important for our students? True StoryFourteeen year old: “I’m working on a history paper about how the Holocaust didn’t happen.”Teacher, after long pause: “Zack, where did you hear that the Holocaust didn’t happen?”“The Internet. It’s on a web page at Northwestern University.”
Seeing is no longer believing.We need to help our studentsdevelop skills that help themvalidate information,whether text, images oraudio.
How much do YOU know about information literacy? Take the information literacy quiz to see if you are: Somewhat savvy (0-3 points) Moderately savvy (6-8 points) Downright Nerdy (10 points)Information Literacy Quiz fromNovemberlearning.com Each correct answer is worth 1 point.
1. Do you recognize the domain name in URL? The domain name is found after the http://and www. To the first forward slash /. For example in the URL www.novemberlearning.com, novemberlearning.com is the domain name.2. What clues in a Web address might indicate you are on apersonal web site?Look for a tilde “~” or the “%” sign or a personal name “jdoe” orthe word “user” after the domain name and the first forwardslash “/”.3. Why might you use quotation marks when conducting a search?Use “quotation marks” to ensure your keywords appear inyour search results in the order you have specified.
4. URL is an acronym for… Uniform Resource Locator5. Identify three Boolean search terms. And, Or, Not6. How do you find the owner or publisher of a web site? Go to www.easywhois.com and enter the URL of the site you would like to research.
7. Identify threse extensions and what they represent:.org organization .com company.sch School (outside the U.S.) .k12 Most U.S. schools.edu Higher education in the U.S. .gov U.S. Government, add Country code for outside Higher education, not U.S. U.S..ac Usually with a country code i.e. “.ac.uk” .net network.mil Military .co Company
8. How do you find out who is linked to our school’s website?Go to Google and do a site: command search.9. How do you find the history of any given website?Use The Wayback Machine10. How do sites get to the top of a result list in ? One factor used to rank sites on Google is popularity. The more links to a site, the higher the ranking.
What to look for when Reading a URL• Do you recognize the domain name?• What is the extension in the domain name?• Are you on a personal page?
“Pubweb” means public web server. The name following This is the introThis is a clue that this is a personal posting. The ~ tells us this is a page of the site. Directory for abutz.http://pubweb.northwestern.edu/~abutz/di/intro.html “northwestern.edu” is the domain name. The site is from Northwestern University. “di” refers to the “edu” is an extension for U.S. higher learning. next subdirectory or folder The tilde is the second clue that This is a personal posting. A tilde indicates a personal directory. Hyptertext Transfer Protocol Is used to format and transmit data over the web.
Country CodesYou can find a complete listing of country codes at:http://www.theodora.com/country_digraphs.html http://www.redcoat.me.uk http://www.state.de.us/facts/ushist/revfacts.htm
Examine the Content1. Is the information on the website useful for your topic?2. Are additional resources and links provided?3. Is the site current? Do you know when it was last updated?4. Do you think the information is accurate?5. Does the information contradict information you have found elsewhere?
Evaluate the content on these sites. www.frogsonice.com/froggywww.exploratorium.edu/frogswww.frogville.com
Using Google, conduct a search for keyword: Martin Luther King Look for www.martinlutherking.org Where is it ranked in the search results?WARNING: Some of the websites we willbe exploring contain offensive material.
Ask About The Author1. Is the author’s name provided?2. Is there a contact person or an address provided?3. Is there biographical information provided about the author?4. Does the author seem knowledgeable? Is he/she an expert in the field?5. What kinds of results do you see when you do a search on the author’s name?
The Wayback Machine www.archive.orgLook back at the history of the website. See how it has changed, what has beenadded and what has been deleted.
www.easywhois.com Who owns the domain?Who owns HarryPotter.com?
Look At The Links• What are the URLs of the forward links?• Are any of them links to academic sites?• Do the domain names change?• Are all the links by the same author?
Forward Links go from your page to aYou link to.Check for forward links at: http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/
Back Links go from another site to your page.You cannot control who links to your site.Go to Google. Type in “site;www.dhmo.org”to search for back links.1.Who is linked to the website?2.Why are they linked?3.What do other sites say about the material on the site?
Choose ONE of these sites:All About Explorers:http://www.allaboutexplorers.comVictorian Robots:http://www.bigredhair.com/robots/index.htmlDog Islandhttp://www.thedogisland.com/
Consider the following questions:How can you apply R.E.A.L. techniques to vet out this site?READ the URLEXAMINE the content.AUTHORSHIP.LOOK at the LINKS.How do you think the website design contributes to each site’sappearance of legitimacy?Based on your experience with this site, what problems doyou think your students might have conducting Internet research?
For more information, go tohttp://novemberlearning.com/resources/information-literacy-resources