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Teaching the Big 6 Promoting Student Information Literacy. Melissa Dow Computer Teacher Villa Maria Academy Lower School. Things to Think About. There are 540,000 words in the English language – 5 times more than in Shakespeare’s time.

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Teaching the big 6 promoting student information literacy

Teaching the Big 6Promoting Student Information Literacy

Melissa Dow

Computer Teacher

Villa Maria Academy Lower School

Things to think about
Things to Think About

There are 540,000 words in the English language – 5 times more than in Shakespeare’s time.

A single modern-day newspaper contains more information than an average person in the 17th Century was likely to come across in their entire lifetime.

In 1971 the average American was targeted by at least 560 daily advertising messages. Twenty years later, that number has risen six fold, to 3,000 messages per day.

Number of web pages in 1995: 1.3 million

Number of web pages in 2000: 1 billion

Number of web pages in 2005: 19.2 billion

The amount of technical information is doubling every two years.

By 2010, it is predicted to double every 72 hours!

An Example…….

Let s compare
Let’s Compare

When We Were in School


  • Books

  • Encyclopedias

  • Magazines/Journals

  • Television

  • Radio

  • All of these PLUS

  • Personal Computer

    • IM

    • Email

    • websites

    • Discussion Boards

    • Blogs

    • wikis

  • Cell Phones

  • Etc, etc, etc

Data smog
Data Smog

A term coined by author David Shenk, it refers to the idea that too much information can create a barrier in our lives. This data smog is produced by the amount of information, the speed at which it comes to us from all directions, the need to make fast decisions, and the feeling of anxiety that we are making decisions without having ALL the information that is available or that we need.

What is information literacy
What is Information Literacy?

Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." (American Library Association)


Why teach information literacy
Why Teach Information Literacy?

  • Amount of information out there

    • And it’s getting larger every day!

  • Gives students tools that will help them become life long learners

    • Real world situations

    • Future academic situations

  • Connections between academic areas

    • Life is not compartmentalized

  • More and more important to communicate effectively on today’s terms

How do you teach information literacy
How Do You Teach Information Literacy?

  • A way of making sense of information literacy

  • A process model of how people 0f all ages solve an information problem

  • A “framework” for solving problems

    • Real world

    • Academic

  • 20 years old – technology has now been incorporated into it

The Big 6

The big 6
The Big 6

  • Task Definition

    • Define the problem

    • Identify the Needed Information

  • Information Seeking Strategies

    • Determine possible sources

    • Select the Best Sources

  • Location & Access

    • Locate sources

    • Find information within sources

  • Use of Information

    • Engage

    • Extract information

  • Synthesis

    • Organize information from sources

    • Present the result

  • Evaluation

    • Judge the result

    • Judge the process

Lessons projects

  • Introduction

  • Citizenship: 6-8

  • Explorers: 7

  • Immigration - Digital Storytelling: 8

How can you get started
How Can You Get Started?

  • Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate

  • Start small

  • Focus on ONE Big6 step at a time

  • Get your administrator’s buy in

  • Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate


  • http://www.big6.org

  • http://www.linworth.com/big6/

  • http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/issues/infolit/informationliteracy.cfm

  • http://nb.wsd.wednet.edu/big6/big6_resources.htm

  • http://janetsinfo.com/big6info.htm