When we talk about wanting to build “good digital citizens,” we’re also talking about the need for students to be information literate—the two go hand in hand! As a result of this connection, information literacy and digital citizenship instruction often intersect. So we asked some of our favorite colleagues: “What is the most important thing you do to create digital citizens?” Some of their responses speak to this intersection…
Pam Harland (@pamlibrarian), Librarian, Sanborn Regional High School (NH): “I meet teachers and students at their point of need and provide them with just-in-time information literacy instruction embedded across the curriculum. When students hear the same consistent message (how to research) from all of their content-area teachers, it becomes a habit.”
Stony Evans (@stony12270), Library Teacher, Lakeside High School (AR): “I enjoy helping student patrons question and evaluate information sources. I also work to help them access credible information sources using print materials, electronic books, databases, and Internet search techniques. Britannica School is part of that authoritative tool set!”
Sue Kowalski (@spkowalski), Instructor of School Librarianship, Pine Grove Middle School (NY): “Exposure to a variety of tools, resources, experiences, strategies, and practice in authentic applications”
Dr. Laura Shenenman (@DrLauraSheneman), Librarian, Region 1 Education Service Center (TX): “The most important way I support information literacy is by providing a set of high quality instructional resources to my regional area of students and educators. These resources have already been evaluated for authority and accuracy.”
Digital citizenship is a fundamental part of information literacy. As we teach students how to be good digital citizens, we are also teaching them where to find information, how to know if the information they have is accurate and appropriate, and how to responsibly use what they discover.
Integrating these skills across the curriculum through authentic tasks—and with guidance around which sources to use and why—will help all of our students be better citizens in both the digital and physical worlds!