This week we are launching our new information literacy tutorials in a subject called Information Savvy. If you are wondering what information literacy entails, it’s the ability to find, evaluate, effectively communicate and manage information in today’s digital world. It’s also the ability to create original content by processing information and using it correctly.
The launching of Information Savvy is very special to me. In the past couple of years, I’ve come across a lot of articles and posts about the demand for 21st century skills and the need to be prepared for the digital world. There is a lot of discussion among educators and employers about the lack of information literacy skills in our population.
Of course, this made me think of our mission at GCFLearnFree, which is to teach people the skills they need to succeed in today’s world. These skills, especially in regards to technology, are no longer limited to learning just a specific software or device. In today’s digital world, people need to know how to find, manage and communicate the information they encounter online and through their devices.
So, my team set out to create learning content that teaches information literacy. This was not an easy subject to tackle and I give a huge amount of credit to my designers Stephen and Bronwen. We spent a lot of time researching and wrapping our heads around this content and figuring out how to present it to our learners in an appealing way.
Some of the things we cover in Information Savvy include:
- How to tell if a website is legitimate or questionable
- Useful Google tips and tricks, even for things you didn’t know you could find on Google
- How to create a paper, article, presentation or blog without plagiarizing
- Where to find Creative Commons content, so you are not violating copyrights
We have also tried to be innovative with this content by creating more interactives, slideshows and conceptual videos. The following is an example, a video on how to synthesize information to create content that is uniquely your own:
Another thing we decided to do, is innovate the way we package and market these tutorials. First, we replaced our linear lesson format with learning modules that give the learner more opportunity to explore and choose what they want.
Then, realizing that learners may not be that excited by the subject “information literacy,” we set out to name and market our tutorials with short, action-related or descriptive phrases that invoke a sense of “getting better at something.” We especially hope the idea of becoming more savvy will entice learners.
The first topics in Information Savvy include: Search Better and Use Information Correctly. Later, we hope to add topics on Managing Information, Understanding Data and Infographics and Exploring Media Messages.
As I mentioned before this is a very special project for me. There is very little learning content currently available that teaches people these essential skills and ability. It is my hope that people enjoy learning how to be more savvy with information and that we can continue to produce more learning like this.
To get started, visit Information Savvy.