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You can do BIG things with Big6 Skills! Big6 is a six-stage model to help anyone solve problems or make decisions by using information. Some call it information literacy, information communication, or ICT skills, or a process, but we call it the Big6.
Using the Big6 information literacy process, you will identify information research goals, seek, use, and assemble relevant, credible information, then to reflect— is the final product effective and was my process efficient. The Big6 information literacy process is completely transferable to any grade level, subject area, or workplace. Big6, state and national instructional standards, and your curriculum all work together hand-in-hand.
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I frequently hear complaints about "today's youth" - short attention spans, Google- and Wikipedia- dependent, screen-addicted, etc. "Why they don't even know basic history - like who fought with us in the Revolutionary War."
Well, let's consider just one development - the exponential growth of data/information. We all talk about this - http://www.forbes.com/sites/gilpress/2013/05/09/a-very-short-history-of-big-data/ - but really reflect on it for a minute. If we take a conservative estimate - that data/information double every 5 years - that means that compared to when their parents were in school (just 20 years prior), information has doubled four times! That's 16 times more information than their parents had to cope with! And that's a conservative estimate.
"The problem is humans can't keep up with all the technology they have created," said Avivah Litan, an analyst at Gartner. "It's becoming unmanageable by the human brain. Our best hope may be that computers eventually will become smart enough to maintain themselves."
Why do kids use Google, social media, smart devices? Because it helps them to better cope with the continual tsumani of information. In fact, I maintain that today's youth are the most information-savvy students ever. Yes - thety look for instant results - because they don't have the luxury of time to do it any other way.
Research does indicate (http://projectinfolit.org/component/k2/item/73-latest-research) that while students are highly competent in searching, using, processing, and presenting information. But, they have trouble with more complex, ill-defined problems. As educators and parents - that's what we can help with - providing learning opportunities for kids to dive deep into content, to be able to size up a problem, task or issue and reflect and ponder.
So, let's recognize the difficulties and challenges we all face in the information society. Let's applaud our youth for gaining understandings and skills to cope - even as we encourage them to add depth and critical thinking.
July 13, 2015
Last changed: Jul 13 2015 at 9:01 AMBack to Overview
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