Search Literacy

April 4, 2006 at 12:34 pm Leave a comment

Reading John Battelle's Searchblog a post about Search Literacy with the quoted comments below sets me on the hunt for others of the same mind.

"Are schools handling this yet? Or do they mostly assume that the search box is self-explanatory?"

And Mr. Battelle's comment: "It made me think – perhaps it is just a matter of some simple training. Or maybe it's a bit of both, as the more one learns how to search, the more pointers one gets, the more one might develop critical thinking skills essential to good searching. I wonder, is there an opportunity there somewhere? "

This sounds like part of the curriculum I've been building in my posts on Information Literacy.

A link to related comments from Gary Price leads to more information about approaching this literacy question. He says elsewhere "People can't use what they don't know about. "  Check out the toolkit site.  OK, we're getting somewhere now.  I think I'm uncovering the community of practice I was looking for.

And in the comments, some interesting points:

"My personal, knee-jerk take is mildly fascist: students ought to be taught the rigors of Boolean operations from about second grade. But I would settle for ten to fifteen minutes per searcher, too," from Dean C. Rowan, who continues to say, "shouldn't we prefer never to have to search at all? Stated another way, one day the search engines should be intelligent enough to anticipate and preempt (or resolve) the information need."

Or can I just spawn a few ghosts to track down the answers?

I think training in Information Literacy ought to begin in elementary school.  I don't think it's truly broached until junior high in our school district – not in an organized way, in any case.  I'm amazed when the teacher sends homework home with the charge, "Use the Internet to find the answers."  Not a lot of guidance there. 

And also from the comments, some links to explore from Anne Van Camp:"Check out our website at and for some real fun, check out and do a search on "immortality."  Some interesting plugs to check out I suppose.

And Katie Miller, mentioned and the fact that,"…There are national and state standards for both teachers and students for tech literacy (which would include Internet searching). "  I wonder where to begin looking for standards like this and the efforts toward meeting them.


Entry filed under: information literacy.

Information Literacy and Search More items to add to the IL curriculum

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