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Information Literacy: How can we help our students (and ourselves) become discerning users of the Internet. Ellen Phillips Instructional Technology Specialist Queens Office of Educational Technology NYC DOE. What is Information Literacy?.
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Instructional Technology Specialist
Queens Office of Educational Technology
Information literacy utilizes critical thinking through its skills of evaluating information
Information literacy also incorporates and supplements other forms of literacy such as:
Information literacy can be applied in any subject or area of study.
Fourteeen year old: “I’m working on a history paper about how the Holocaust didn’t happen.”
Teacher, after long pause: “Zack, where did you hear that the Holocaust didn’t happen?”
“The Internet. It’s on a web page at Northwestern University.”
We need to help our students develop skills that help them validate information, whether text, images or audio.
Take the information literacy quiz to see if you are:
Somewhat savvy (0-3 points)
Moderately savvy (6-8 points)
Downright Nerdy (10 points)
Each correct answer is worth 1 point.
Information Literacy Quiz from
The domain name is found after the http://and www. To the first forward slash /.
For example in the URL www.novemberlearning.com, novemberlearning.com is the domain name.
2. What clues in a Web address might indicate you are on a personal web site?
Look for a tilde “~” or the “%” sign or a personal name “jdoe” or the word “user” after the domain name and the first forward slash “/”.
3. Why might you use quotation marks when conducting a search?
Use “quotation marks” to ensure your keywords appear in your search results in the order you have specified.
Uniform Resource Locator
5. Identify three Boolean search terms.
And, Or, Not
6. How do you find the owner or publisher of a web site?
Go to www.easywhois.com and enter the URL of the site you would like to research.
School (outside the U.S.)
Most U.S. schools
Higher education in the U.S.
U.S. Government, add
Country code for outside
Higher education, not U.S.
Usually with a country code i.e.
Go to Google and do a site: command search.
9. How do you find the history of any given website?
Use The Wayback Machine
10. How do sites get to the top of a result list in
One factor used to rank sites on Google is popularity.
The more links to a site, the higher the ranking.
“Pubweb” means public web server.
This is a clue that this is a personal posting.
The name following
The ~ tells us this is a
Directory for abutz.
This is the intro
page of the site.
“northwestern.edu” is the domain name.
The site is from Northwestern University.
“edu” is an extension for U.S. higher learning.
“di” refers to the
The tilde is the second clue that
This is a personal posting. A
tilde indicates a personal directory.
Hyptertext Transfer Protocol
Is used to format and transmit data
over the web.
You can find a complete listing of country codes at:
Where is it ranked in the
WARNING: Some of the websites we will be exploring contain offensive material.
Look back at the history of the website.
See how it has changed, what has been
added and what has been deleted.
Who owns the domain?
Who owns HarryPotter.com?
Forward Links go from your page to another site. You control which sites
You link to.
Check for forward links at:
You cannot control who links to your site.
Go to Google. Type in “site;www.dhmo.org”
to search for back links.
Who is linked to the website?
Why are they linked?
What do other sites say about the material on the site?
All About Explorers:
How can you apply R.E.A.L. techniques to vet out this site?
READ the URL
EXAMINE the content.
LOOK at the LINKS.
How do you think the website design contributes to each site’s
appearance of legitimacy?
Based on your experience with this site, what problems do
you think your students might have conducting Internet research?