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How to Teach Information Literacy in an Era of Lies

The Chronicle of Higher Education – “Every day, critics of the American president decry his penchant for “false or misleading claims,” while he and his supporters fire back with accusations of “fake news.” It’s no wonder those of us who teach are worried more than ever about information literacy. The flourishing of misperceptions makes it harder for us to do our jobs in the college classroom. Many faculty members believe a key part of our role is helping students understand and thrive in the world as it is. But to do that, don’t we need to find some kind of shared understanding of that world? To succeed in college and in life afterward, students need to be able to tell a truth from a falsehood. And clearly, that is not as easy as it seems. I would argue that, whatever your discipline, you should be teaching information literacy — the capacity to understand, assess, evaluate, and apply information to solve problems or answer questions — as part of your courses. It’s a necessary skill to teach, even if you don’t see educating students to navigate the outside world as part of your mission as an instructor. Here are ways to incorporate much-needed information literacy into your courses this fall…”

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