Infoliteracy means encouraging children to be skeptical and active not gullible and passive. How? Remember that thinking is questioning, and questioning is thinking; inquiry begins the search for clarity; only interrogation can ensure that knowledge will be acquired; and then ideation follows. The vital skill is Making Meaning from data. Raw data is no more knowledge than crude oil is jet fuel.

Understanding how to ascend from the confusion of raw data to the clarity of a Justified Belief is the gift that keeps on giving.

If a child is taught or even encouraged through rewards to just act like a sponge, and uncritically and passively absorb all the ‘information’ coming their way, they have no way of knowing its value. They become undiscriminating, unquestioning, gullible, credulous consumers of any data presented by any source claiming it as truth. 

 

They need to become Infoliterate not just data literate. We should not be preparing children to be contestants on Jeopardy by handing out rewards in the form of graduation certificates for those who can memorize. We should be preparing children to navigate life in the messy, mysterious, unfolding world of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. And skilled questioning is our children’s personal GPS. 

Excerpted from my book Hybrid Learning. 

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