Senator Michael Testa’s legislation requiring New Jersey school students to be educated in information literacy was advanced today by the Senate Education Committee.
Sen. Michael Testa’s legislation requiring New Jersey school students to be educated in information literacy was advanced today by the Senate Education Committee. (Pixabay)
Testa’s bill, S-588, would direct the State Board of Education to adopt New Jersey Student Learning Standards in the separate content area of Information Literacy to better prepare students to find reliable, useful content online and avoid invalid and deceptive materials.
“With the proliferation of information sources in this high-tech environment, students must be taught to navigate the options and understand that not all info on the internet is credible,” said Testa (R-1). “Published information can be misleading and manipulative. There is no accountability, so students need to learn how to evaluate the material and use it effectively.”
Under the bill, the content area of Information Literacy will include: teaching students about the research process and how information is created and produced; critical thinking and using information resources; research methods, including the difference between primary and secondary sources; differentiating between facts, points of view and opinions; accessing peer-reviewed print and digital library resources; the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information; and the ethical production of information.
“Anybody can make a blog post, podcast, or YouTube video, but the information may not be reliable or accurate. The emphasis on information literacy will allow children to learn to search efficiently, gauge the legitimacy of online sources and make the most of their time at the computer,” Testa continued.
The information literacy learning standards mandated by the bill would be developed by a committee convened by the State board of education, utilizing the expertise of certified school library media specialists, teachers, and Department of Education personnel.