Information skills and critical literacy: Where are our digikids at with online searching and are their teachers helping?

Judine Ladbrook, Elizabeth Probert


International studies and theorists have posited that digital technologies play an important role in students' lives and that students display a broad range of literacy skills when using them. The New Zealand Curriculum (2007) states that students should be literate, critical thinkers who actively seek, use and create knowledge. This paper reports on findings from a New Zealand investigation of the extent to which students exhibited and teachers promoted critical information technology literacy skills. Using survey, diary and focus groups, the investigation explored teachers' beliefs about students' online information literacy and students' self-reported research strategies. Results from the investigation show students possess limited online information and critical evaluation skills and teacher pedagogical practice is not addressing this. The paper makes a case for teachers to develop both familiarity and confidence with online text types, alongside professional learning in online and offline information literacy pedagogical strategies.

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