Information Literacy

21st Century Learning by Anna & Karen

Information Literacy Needs Are Changing

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) recognizes that it takes multiple forms of literacy to now cover the umbrella known as Information Literacy. Under that umbrella includes such literacies as: visual, textual, digital, and technological. Regardless of the format that information is received, learners must be able to locate it, synthesize what it means, and use the information for it's intended purpose. Below, you will see several models that are being embraced to replace traditional literacy methods. School librarian leadership is crucial in helping school faculty to "shift their focus from teaching lower-order skills to higher-order competencies that involve interpreting, synthesizing, and constructing new concepts" (Sharkey 34).

Evolving Literacy

As technology continues to evolve, so do the literacy needs of students. We are not a paper and pencil society anymore. We are a society filled with various mediums and modes of communication (i.e. social networks, internet, smart phones, web 2.0, etc). Students are growing up in a society where endless amounts of information has always been just a few keystrokes away. Denise E. Agosto pointed out that "as a result, children are learning to read not just from interpreting traditional paper texts, but also from engaging with digital texts, such as sending and receiving online messages and playing interactive games online with other players" (36). Therefore, we as educators and librarians must adjust our methods to encompass the continually evolving definition of "literacy."

According to the standards for 21st-Century Learners, educators and librarians have a responsibility to teach students how to find, interpret, and evaluate information found on the internet while using different methods to synthesize and present the information learned and at the same time demonstrate the qualities of a good digital citizen and monitor their own comprehension.  They must learn that not everything on the internet is true, and they must respect other people’s intellectual property by abiding by copyright laws. 

How can Educators and Librarians facilitate teaching about multiple literacies?

1. Help them to recognize authoritative sources (.gov, .org, .edu).

2. Teach them to synthesize and present information by using web 2.0 tools (Popplet, Smore, Prezi, etc).

3. Help them to respect others intellectual property (copyright and citations).

4. Teach them to protect themselves and their identities (be careful what you post!).

Research Models for Teaching in the 21st Century

CPMLE--Core Principles of Media Literacy Education – Media literacy “is education that aims to increase the students’ understanding and enjoyment of how the media work, how they produce meaning, how they are organized, and how they construct reality” (Baker p. 10). The National Association of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) has developed six core principles in support for 21st Century Learning. Be sure to click on the CPMLE--Core Principles of Media Literacy Education link to learn more.

Common Core State Standards – Led by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association, these standards have been created to help additionally supplement what individual states have created for standards in helping ensure that high-quality education standards are in place. The efforts of the school librarian constantly working with classroom teachers to teach the standards helps students to better learn needed skills and inquiry processes, thus better preparing them for higher education. Be sure to click on the Common Core State Standards link to learn more.

INFOhio -- Helping to make sure that changes in how students are being taught are really changing, was the intent for the state of Ohio when they created INFOhio. It’s an online resource for educators to access professional development opportunities that embrace 21st Century learning. It’s content helps “to assist educators to differentiate instruction, engage students using various teaching strategies, and keep up-to-date on content and trends in education” (Schwelik & Fredericka p. 11). Be sure to click on the INFOhio link to learn more.

Transliteracy – Defined as a model of thinking that conveys “the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks” (Bush p.5). This research model puts into action what is written in the Common Core State Standards with an understanding that information is constantly changing so transliteracy is a life-long journey. Be sure to click on the Transliteracy link to learn more.

SLIM--Student Learning Through Inquiry Measure – Headed up by Rutgers University, SLIM is a reading model that was developed to help students build deeper knowledge and skills by focusing on the inquiry processes of learning. Specifically targeted to help school librarians, SLIM helps make comparisons and show progress in student growth. Researchers of this project mimicked principles based on the American Association of School Librarian’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. Be sure to click on the SLIM--Student Learning Through Inquiry Measure link to learn more.

TBI--Team Based Ingenuity -- Under the University of Massachusetts, the Center for Teaching and Faculty Development began a pilot program created to develop a program to train a group of faculty in the pedagogy of team-based learning while also providing an innovative structured environment, rich in technology. Focused on meeting the challenges facing the 21st century learner, written and oral communication were emphasized, teamwork, information literacy, the integration of learning, and the synthesis of inquiry. Be sure to click on the TBI--Team Based Ingenuity link to learn more.

The above mentioned are just a few strategies and models that educators and librarians can use to help students prepare and embrace being information literate in the 21st century. For more information on 21st century learning standards and web 2.0 tools, please visit the links below.


Agosto, Denise E. "More Than Just Books." Children & Libraries: The Journal Of The Association For Library Service To Children 10.3 (2012): 36-40. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text. Web. 6 Nov. 2013.

Baker, Frank W. "Media Literacy: 21St Century Learning." Library Media Connection 29.4 (2011): 10. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text. Web. 4 Nov. 2013.

Bush, Gail. "The Transliterate Learner." School Library Monthly 29.1 (2012): 5-7. Library & Information Science Source. Web. 4 Nov. 2013.

Hutton, Sarah, Robert C. Davis, and Carol Will. "Team-Based Ingenuity Supporting 21St Century Learners." Collaborative Librarianship 4.4 (2012): 149-164. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text. Web. 4 Nov. 2013.

Kalenberg, Kathy. "Go, Set, Ready: Collaborative Relationships For 21St Century Learning." Teacher Librarian 38.4 (2011): 44-46. Library & Information Science Source. Web. 4 Nov. 2013.

Microsoft Office. Girl Smiling While at a Computer. 2010. Photograph. n.p. Web. 7 Nov 2013.

Schwelik, Jennifer C., and Theresa M. Fredericka. "Infohio's 21St Century Learning Commons: Transforming How Educators Use And Think About School Libraries." Teacher Librarian 38.5 (2011): 21-26. Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text. Web. 4 Nov. 2013.

Sharkey, Jennifer. "Establishing Twenty-First-Century Information Fluency." Reference & User Services Quarterly 53.1 (2013): 33-38. Library & Information Science Source. Web. 6 Nov. 2013.

Todd, Ross J. "Charting Student Learning Through Inquiry." School Library Monthly 28.3 (2011): 5-8. Library & Information Science Source. Web. 4 Nov. 2013.

Todd, Ross J. "Visibility, Core Standards, And The Power Of The Story: Creating A Visible Future For School Libraries." Teacher Librarian 39.6 (2012): 8-14. Library & Information Science Source. Web. 4 Nov. 2013.

Assignment 3.2 Persuasive Presentation on Information Literacy

Created by graduate students Anna Davis & Karen Tassone


Fall 2013

LS 5443 Librarians as Instructional Partners

Dr. Hill