In the war on fake news, school librarians have a huge role to play: Talking to an information sciences professor about the challenges ahead
by Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Verge, Nov 16, 2016

From the entire political spectrum in the post Presidential election period there has been considerable discussion about the role of “Fake News” and the role of new information sources.  Unlock Student Potential believes a K-12 Information Literacy Curriculum instructed by a certified school library media specialist is a critical part of the solution.

The Verge interviewed Professor Nicole A. Cooke of the University of Illinois for their article:

“Information literacy is just trying to get people to be savvy consumers of information, and getting them to be able to really interrogate the information that is available to them, to see what is quality, to evaluate sources, et cetera.”

Professor Cooke continues and makes the distinction between being able to use technology and information literacy:

“In some of the research that I’ve done, we’ve found that there’s a conflation of being able to navigate the technology and being able to evaluate and interrogate the information. There’s an assumption about millennials and younger people, that because they were raised on these technologies that they know everything. That they know how to get information and use it properly. And that may not be the case.

Even people who seem like they’re really talented with technology — that doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to evaluate the information they’re coming across. In that sense, with people just clicking and forwarding headlines, there’s too much speed here. I think we are perhaps less informed, just because of the speed of technology.”

Professor Cooke also discusses the well known challenges of school library media specialists, even in schools that are fortunate to have one, may not have the time to instruct to the best of their ability:

Yes and no. There are some amazing school librarians that are doing good work and I know they’re familiar with information literacy and what that means. I don’t know how much opportunity they get to actually do that. School librarians are doing 100 different things in the course of the day, but I’m positive that they’re covering it. Perhaps if given the time they could do a lot more. They have a lot of different class needs and they just might not have the time. I know that they are addressing it, and they do realize the importance of it. The earlier they can get the students to be more news literate and savvy information consumers, the better.

Read the full article here:

Article Cites Importance of Information Literacy in Regards to U.S. Presidential Election

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