Friday, May 18, 2012

Information Overload: TMI

The plethora of educational acronyms now includes a new one: TMI--too much information.  We are no longer living in the Information Age, but are now living in the age of misinformation.  My son remarked, "did you know that 80% of statistics are made up on the spot?"  And I replied..."Like that one?"

I believe the impetus behind the Common Core focus on information, problem solving, and writing from the text, comes from the need to separate belief, hearsay, and opinion from truth, fact, and foundational knowledge.  Not only to students need to know how to speak and write with authority, but they need to be able to place credence behind their claims. 

This generation has grown up watching detective shows, Judge Judy, reading crime novels (check out the Grisham YA book on featuring kid lawyer Theodore Boone) and crime scene serials that have disgusting content far beyond imagination.  As a result, students may have trouble discerning truth from error.  They have Too Much misinformation in their brains.  

   David Coleman says, "CCSS calls for rigor," and rigor is not Google.  

In her book, Web of Deception, Anne Mintz likens our students to Internet Nomads wandering aimlessly or naively, on the Internet only to find misinformation.  [
Anne goes on to paint a picture of a world of misinformation from Journalism to Education.  This book alone should justify the need for librarians and information literacy instruction.  The Misinformation Age is documented in this book, with "content farms" being exposed as credible spammers spawned to make money.  This book is freely readable on GoogleBooks.

Common Core Takeaway: 
More importantly, I firmly believe that the crafters of the CCSS, knew that this MISINFORMATON AGE is the environment in which the next generation will have to function. Perhaps that is why they need to cite their source, speak with conviction, draw evidence form the text, persuade with statistics and write reliable, credible, papers that are backed up with facts.  We are living in a data-driven society and they will need to learn how to do more than "tweet" and update their status.   Let's prepare them! 

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