Information literacy

Information literacy is the literacy devoted to being informed about information. How do we know what we are looking at on the web? Is it true? Pure hype? Just believable enough that we don't question it? Resources on this page are devoted to helping us understand the credibility of the information we consume.

Invitation to readers: please add your resources to this page.
Please add any resources here related to information literacy. Also, feel free to add links to any of the pages you see in the navigation column at the left. When in doubt about where to add something, please add it to the "Other" category and I will sort it out later.

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General resources

The information Catch 22. The fact is that we are caught in between two uncomfortable realities as digital age information consumers: 1) we have nowhere near the time we need to effectively deconstruct the overwhelming amount of rapidly changing, largely unreviewed information in order to detect its bias and determine its veracity, however, 2) we are more dependent than ever on the information we consume and are considered ill-prepared if we have not consulted the web for any important decision we make. Thus, we have less time to understand more information that is becoming increasingly more important to us but that is less likely than ever to be reviewed in any meaningful way. Catch 22 on steroids. Here are some resources to help us address this.

Quick information assessments (aka fine tuning your gut hunches):
More thorough assessments:
Truth out (as in "outing the truth") sites:

Other resources
  • Detecting Bull, by John McManus. From the website: "Detecting Bull exposes the biases of both audiences and journalists, helping us notice how we interpret the world as well as how media do. It lays open the fundamental conflict of interest all news providers face between maximizing audience and servicing advertisers on the one hand and on the other, providing a picture of the world upon which citizens can act."
  • Taming the Wild Wiki, by the Media Awareness Network. Lesson plan for grades 7 to 9. From the website: "Students are introduced to Wikipedia, the user-edited online encyclopedia, and given an overview of its strengths and weaknesses as a research source. They are taught how to evaluate the reliability of a Wikipedia article and then attempt to improve an existing article."
  • Study: Wikipedia as accurate as Britannica, by Daniel Terdiman, staff writer (CNET, 12/15/2005). From the article: "Wikipedia is about as good a source of accurate information as Britannica, the venerable standard-bearer of facts about the world around us, according to a study published this week in the journal Nature."
  • Kids and Credibility: An Empirical Examination of Youth, Digital Media Use, and Information Credibility, by Andrew Flanagin (Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of California) and Miriam Metzger (Associate Professor also in the Dept of Communication at the University of California). It is the first large-scale survey to examine “children’s online information-seeking strategies and their beliefs about the credibility of that information.”  The authors, conducted a web-based survey of 2,747 children, ages 11 to 18, and their parents. The report is part of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and Learning.