Monday, January 14, 2013

Information Literacy Skills Instruction at Home - Part 1

Charity begins at home. The same goes with Information Literacy.

When my eleven year old daughter, Zoe asked permission if she can go online to search for information on the weak points of the human body, I allowed her. She knows how to turn the laptop on and connect online via broadband. Google is the search engine of choice. Over the years, she has acquired the habit of thinking aloud, especially when she's unsure of her thoughts or when the ideas in her head are all a clutter. Saying the words aloud helps her think.

I have not taught her yet that writing  ideas down will help in finding clarity. That would be the next lesson.

So, when she blurted out, what are the weak points or weaknesses of the body, I knew she's using her brain to access information from Google. I stepped in.

I told her, "You don't type the whole question on Google. What is it that you want to know?"

She replied, "I want to know the weak points of the human body."

"OK. I can identify two phrases that you can use to search in Google. Weak points and human body. That's all you need to type in Google." I said.

"Oh. Thanks, Ma!"

In less than a minute, Google gave her hits.

"See," I said. "Weak points and human body are key words to help you search faster online."

She clicked a link and started reading. I was amused at how amused she was learning the different weak points. I learned too that many weak points are found in the face. It was interesting stuff. She got her notebook and took notes. Luckily for her, the site she was on had text that was easy to read. When stumped with a difficult word, she paused and asked, "Ma, I need to check the dictionary."

She used the dictionary app in my MacBook. When it did not give her the meaning of the word, she called again for me.

"It's not in the dictionary."

"Use World Book Online. Your word must be a difficult one."

"Yeah. The word is radius but it's not about the topic I'm reading on the human body. Look here."

--To be continued--

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