Tips for Improving Information Literacy

  • Gwinnett students prepare to be lifelong learners by “learning to learn,” developing the ability to locate, evaluate, and use the information they need. As teachers and media specialists guide students through the research process, literacy skills are reinforced and content is learned. Here are some ways you can help your child pump up those research skills.

    Show interest in the research and be supportive, but don’t do the research yourself. Children learn by doing. Information literacy skills are part of the K–12 curriculum and even the youngest students learn to locate age-appropriate resources to answer questions. Have your child explain the project to you. What topic is he researching? What does he want to know? What does he already know?

    Help the student plan a timeline for completing each research step. Planning is a very important part of the research process and a skill that carries over into all areas of your child’s learning.

    Encourage your child to use appropriate resources through her school media center. The GCPS Media Web Resources are subscription databases available at school and from home, chosen to support Gwinnett’s curriculum. The media specialist can provide passwords and more information for at-home access.

    Be familiar with the research process model and know the steps involved in research. In “learning how to learn,” students use a five-step research process that enhances media literacy skills.

    • Planning… Research begins with a question or problem, an interest in a subject, curiosity about “why” or “what if,” an apparent contradiction or discrepancy, or a combination of these. Narrowing the topic and selecting and locating resources are part of this step.
    • Drafting… Gathering information through observations or resources, the student takes notes and develops citations. Organizing his information, he draws conclusions and summarizes research in a draft.
    • Revising… The student reviews the document for clarity and purpose, requesting feedback from a peer reviewer or teacher. Using this feedback, the student revises the research project.
    • Editing… The researcher prepares the final product, using proper grammar, usage, mechanics, and spelling, and documenting resources in the appropriate format.
    • Publishing/Presenting… The student shares the research project with various audiences, and discusses, evaluates, and reflects on the process and conclusions drawn.