With the internet, students have constant access to an overflow of information. While this is a convenience for some, it can be detrimental to those who do not use proper discretion when selecting their sources. Oftentimes, students will choose whichever document supports their argument without verifying its credibility.
This is one of the main reasons why many students have a difficult time understanding the difference between scholarly and popular sources. The article, “Scholarship, Practice, and Leadership” defines each type of source and explains how to properly use each in different types of writing.
As stated in the introduction, a scholarly source is defined as “a document that has been peer-reviewed,” (Norman & Smith, 2015). In order for a source to be considered scholarly, it must go through a process where other experts in the fieldcheck the accuracy of the information presented as well as offer constructive criticism.
This process guarantees that only the most accurate and up-to-date information is published. On the other hand, a popular source is defined as “a document that has not been peer-reviewed,” (Norman & Smith, 2015). This type of source is not held to the same standards as a scholarly source and therefore, the information contained within may be inaccurate or outdated.
With this knowledge in hand, students can begin to understand when it is appropriate to use each type of source. As stated by Norman and Smith, “scholarly sources are the best choice for academic writing because they present the most current research and ideas in a particular field,” (2015). In other words, when writing a paper for school, it is always best to use scholarly sources.
These types of sources will provide you with the most accurate information to back up your arguments. On the other hand, “popular sources are generally more appropriate for general interest writing because they are easier to read and understand,” (Norman & Smith, 2015). So, if you are writing an article for a school newspaper or blog, popular sources are more than acceptable.
It is important to remember that just because a source is scholarly does not make it 100% reliable and vice versa. It is always best to use multiple sources when researching a topic in order to get a well-rounded view of the subject. However, if you must choose between a scholarly source and a popular source, the former will always be the better option.
With the speed with which this information age has arrived, some of our basic talents have been somehow abandoned. According to Russell (2009), a librarian who regularly meets with campus instructors to address any concerns they may have, professors are concerned that students do not have a grasp of what constitutes high-quality academic information. (p. 92)
Furthermore, these instructors are concerned about the “digital native” label given to this new generation and the assumption that all students are equally comfortable and familiar with technology (p. 92).
It is now more important than ever for educators to model good digital citizenship. As digital citizens, we have a responsibility to use technology in ways that are respectful of others and contribute to a positive online community (Sharkey, 2010). This means being aware of the implications our actions may have on others, as well as ourselves. It also includes using social media responsibly and critically evaluating the information we find online.
Digital citizenship doesn’t just benefit those who participate in online activities; it also helps create a better internet for everyone. By modeling good digital citizenship, we can help make the internet a more positive and respectful place for everyone.
Teachers must not allow information literacy in the classroom to have a detrimental impact on scholarship, practice, or leadership. Instead, they should embrace the potential of information literacy and profit from educating children how to conduct appropriate research, analyze and apply their findings in a more responsible manner.
Teachers must also model good scholarship, practice and leadership. In this way, information literacy can lead to more responsible and effective use of digital technologies in education. When teachers use digital technologies in their classrooms, they should do so with a purpose and goal in mind, rather than using them for the sake of using them.
Digital technologies can be used to support various aspects of teaching and learning, such as assessment, communication, collaboration, and content management. However, it is important that teachers use them thoughtfully and not become reliant on them. Over-reliance on digital technologies can lead to less effective teaching and learning. Therefore, it is important for teachers to strike a balance between utilizing digital tools and maintaining personal connection with their students.
Information literacy is a tool that, when used correctly, can lead to more effective and responsible use of digital technologies in education. When teachers take the time to educate their students on how to use digital technologies responsibly and with purpose, they are setting them up for success in the future.
When a student decides to research something, the most common issue they face is a lack of validating data. While searching for information may be simpler and more convenient, students frequently look for broader phrases that do not provide results that are relevant to their study (Holliday and Fagerheim, 2006).
A student’s ability to effectively locate and use validate information is a skill that will undoubtedly follow them after they graduate. As such, it becomes the responsibility of educators to ensure that students have opportunities to develop these skills while in school (Holliday and Fagerheim, 2006).
One way educators can provide these opportunities is by incorporating scholarship, practice, and leadership into their curriculum. By doing so, students are exposed to the three main pillars of education and are given the chance to explore each one in depth.
Scholarship allows students to learn about the different methods of conducting research and how to apply them in a real-world setting. Practice allows students to put what they have learned into action by working with others on projects or assignments. Leadership provides students with the chance to explore their own leadership style and how it can be used to positively impact their community.
Incorporating scholarship, practice, and leadership into the curriculum not only benefits students, but also teachers and the community as a whole. Teachers are able to stay up-to-date on the latest research and trends in their field, which they can then apply to their own practice. They can also use their knowledge to mentor and support other educators who are looking to improve their own practice. As for the community, by having members who are informed and engaged in education, it creates a more positive and supportive environment for all.