Thursday, November 11, 2010

Information Literacy and Real Life

I've been spending a fair bit of time developing a new set of lessons around the topic of "research", now that is has become "problematic" to use the existing set of online, interactive, self-paced lessons. For the next two weeks, in which our 'graduating juniors' prepare to move into Senior mode, they'll be revisiting a number of topics such as sources of information, assessing quality of information, you-know-the-rest.

It's lunchtime now, but I'm just having a quick cruise through news sites to see what current items I could work into the presentation and accompanying worksheets.

There still seems some debate as to whether or not restricting research to a single source was responsible for our Australian (southern hemisphere, big island-y thing on maps between the Asian sub-continent and Antarctica) prime minister being represented wearing an Austrian (central Europe, landlocked country near Switzerland) milk-maid outfit.

When I originally heard the breaking story this morning - yeah, OK, things are a little slow down here at this time of the year - my first thought was that the confusion of Austrian and Australia was due to geographical illiteracy. Maybe we'll never know.

Still, it's a nice example of what can happen when aren't sufficiently information literate. With the Internet (and yes, I still capitalise it as the proper noun that it is), now the whole world can squirm along with you when you achieve a Fail at this level.

Photograph above by Ray Strange.