Search literacy is an important element of the 21st century learning. The web is teeming with all kinds of information and part of this information is nothing but junk. To let our students and kids surf this ocean of information without equipping them with the necessary gear is analogous to canoeing through turbulent waves, chances of staying afloat are next to impossible.
Howard Rheingold, a renowned academic scholar and author of "Net Smart: How to Thrive Online", refers to this phenomenon as crap detection. In an article he posted a couple of years ago entitled Crap Detection 101, Howard talked about the different techniques to help learners and Internet users sift the good information from the bad. Here is an excerpt from it:
The first thing we all need to know about information online is how to detect crap, a technical term I use for information tainted by ignorance, inept communication, or deliberate deception. Learning to be a critical consumer of Webinfo is not rocket science. It’s not even algebra. Becoming acquainted with the fundamentals of web credibility testing is easier than learning the multiplication tables. The hard part, as always, is the exercise of flabby think-for-yourself muscles.Learning to critically 'consume' web content requires some explicit practice and mastery of key search and web navigation skills. To this end, I am sharing with you some excellent interactive tutorials ( published by: Vaughan Memorial Library, Acadia University) to help your students develop search and web literacy.
Please bear in mind that these resources are only for use for non commercial educational purposes. Read more about the requirements of use of these tutorials from this page.
1- Research It Right!
This tutorial teaches the different steps involved in doing research.
2- Searching with Success!
This one provides precious information on how conduct effective searches online
This one touches on three key areas: how to select academic resources wisely, how to improve search results, and how to locate the information you are looking for.
This one underscores some essential questions you need to ponder about when evaluating online sources.