Teaching Zack to Think

Information Literacy

"The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defines literacy as the "ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Literacy ----

"Is Google Making us Stupid? "

  1. Literacy as we know it is not enough. There is a new grammar and a new
    literacy that students must understand and develop.
  2. Students need to have access to learning on their terms.
  3. We should be putting more responsibility on our students.
  4. Students should be given more ownership of their own learning.
  5. Students need opportunities to do real work with real purpose for real people.

  • Able to work together at a distance
  • Ability to influence groups
  • Creative with results
  • Ability to be self directed

Getting Started:

  • Whale Watching
  • Search for Octopus
  • Sponsored Links
  • Archive.org (cfisd.com)


Typical web-based information gathering:
  • Get on Google
  • Type in a word or two
  • Scan the first page or two of results
  • Find what's needed or try again

The problems with this method
  • The best results aren't always at the top - Search Engine Design
  • Poorly stated assignments - Write a paper on the octopus.
    Why was the Berlin Wall built?
  • No search strategy or knowledge of techniques - Not thinking about
    better search queries. AltaVista, Google's Advanced Search
  • Might not be using the best tool for the job.

Other tools available

Let's look at some other particular searches.
  1. Find census data from 2000
  2. Find information about Haiku coming from Japan
  3. Narrow a search about Mars to k12 resources written by NASA
  4. Locate cancer research from universities in New Zealand
  5. Information on turtles from schools in the U.S.

Fact or Fiction:



Read the URL


Evaluate the Content
  • Is the information on the web site useful for your topic?

  • Are additional resources and link provided?

  • Is the site current? Do you know when it was updated?

  • Do you think the information is accurate?

  • Does the information contradict information you have found elsewhere?
  • Example: All About Explorers
  • Other Sites to evaluate


Ask About the Author


Look at the Links

Are we searching for the right thing?

Additional Information and Resources

Thanks to Brian Mull for sharing his resources.