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Information skills are abilities needed to get, process, and present information in effective and efficient ways. It might be taught both directly and indirectly to the children since they are young. Narration method is one simple way to proceed the information directly for younger children or those who are in grammatical stage. Once they reach the logic stage, more detail direction regarding information skills should be presented as they will have more complicated source and need of information.
Information comes in many different forms. it can be in forms of pictures, movies, magazine articles, newspaper, post, advertisement, etc. The existence of the internet has added the source of information for everyone. Library is also a storage for a lot of information. The sophisticated smartphones and gadgets just make the information stream faster and easier.
When I was in the public school, teachers always asked me to write assignments about certain subjects without telling and teaching me how I can get the information collected. I could write easily, but it was without any guidance how to get my writing more original. There wasn't any internet yet. When I was teaching at school, the internet started to turn up. I could see the students just copy and paste the information into the assignment paper easily. Even right now when I attend a presentation, I often see that some presentation broke the copyright.
Well, I could see that the ability to master the information skills is more and more crucial alongside with the stream of information technology growth. Not everyone is able to narrate a resource read systematically using acceptable language as soon as he or she absorbs the information. Even when there is any, he or she should have been able to proceed and filter the information spontaneously. Even to do proper narration kids need to be directed so they can make the next process better structured. There are some versions of methods and series of process needed to master the information skills. Here I would like to adapt the version of Gwen Gawaith in “Action Learning”
It is the process when learners determine what they want to find out. The main purpose of this stage is to get the information stream focused on what we need or want to know. It would be better also when the information we have is organised based on correct subheading that we have arranged previously. Therefore, it is the time to:
- Recall and list the previous knowledge
- Draw a mind mapping diagram for subheadings
- List and classify our questions into groups of subheadings
- Point out our inquiries' scopes and sequences
- Make a layout to filter and group the collected information later
We can say that this process is the spinal cord of the research process. Therefore, it might take the longest time to finish. When the scope and base of the research skill is solid, than we can continue to the next steps more easily.
When the basic of the inquiries has been set up, we just need to get the proper source to get the information needed to find out as it is set on the previous stage. There are plenty of information sources available. It depends on your capability to reach them. Here are some resources that we need to get kids learn how to search for information:
- Library Not everyone knows how to use the library. There are some skills need to learn:
- Alphabetical order
- Dewey numbers
- manner in the library
- using both manual and computer catalogues
- The search engine browsing
In this stage, learners need to learn how to absorb all of the information gathered from the previous process by using their five senses:
Many learners don't know how to select the information needed. Thus, learning to filter the information is also one purpose in this step.
As the name, Recording, it is a process to record all of the selected information that has been suited to our need. There are some kinds of recording process:
- Taking picture
- Shooting video
- Scratching or doodling
Recording is shorter or much simpler than drafting. It is not as detail as drafting, but rather than using symbols, keywords, and short phrases in note taking. While using the video or picture shooting is in a brief and simple way rather than in detail or edited ones.
This is the stage of presenting information toward the audience. First of all, learners have to learn to know their audience. Different audience should have different form of presentation. Next, learners should acquire and learn step by step some kinds or methods of presentation. For example:
- Computer presentation program like keynote, power point, and open office
- Written forms like report, poster, brochure, etc.
- Arts forms like dance, drama, music, picture, etc.
Presentation also includes the process of citation.
To get better result in the next “research” or activities, there should be “a thinking about thinking” to get a better next process. This process should include a review from the first stage till the last one. Evaluation is a learning process of all previous learning processes. Most people will be amazed by the final result. I think it is a kind of camouflage that all educators should be aware of. The most original learning result is the processes themselves.
Information Skills are used across the academic subjects. In the Big Book Of Homeschooling Ideas, I write about how to incorporate the information skills into research in the logic stage. Check out the book, by clicking the picture bellow: