Open Future NZ "It's in the regular practice of reading, writing, discussion and analysis that the skills to deal with information develops"

Information Literacy Practices

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  The starting point for all new knowledge is your own primary experience.  

Here is my list of essential skills that make up "information literacy practices".

a) Each person having his or her own information.  Your own primary experience should generate notes, records and measurements based on that experience.  Journals, diaries, bench notes and memories are production tools.  You've probably broken a few things, and repaired a few things (sometimes badly).  What did you learn?  Your formal education neglected to teach you the simple skill of making personal records to gather your own information.  You are the only source of your own understanding.  There are no experts who can do that for you. 

b) Collecting secondary data from the Internet, radio, books, television or in conversations and letters.  Access to these records is desirable. 

Modern tools like Google search, Wikipedia, YouTube, or BBC TV and Radio archives provide you with a wealth of secondary information sources online.  But the ability to know what's interesting or useful and the ability to choose wisely from the resources available depends entirely on you personal knowledge and you own primary experience. 

c) Making an effort occasionally to find the pattern that this data offers.  Engage in the process of professional reflection.  Trying to understand it, to turn it back into information.  You need to learn what the data means.  Reading material doesn't mean you "know it".  Choosing what to "know" and integrating it with what you knew before is a task that takes time and effort. 

WWWLink Install Copernic Desktop Search on your computer .  Now you have indexed access to all your own writing on your computer, to your email and to any text by other people that you've chosen to store. 

d) Local FileDo something with the new ideas you are generating, talk about it, make plans, do something practical, or communicate what you are thinking, maybe by email.  Doing something practical is a good test.  If it breaks, go back to the beginning.  Quite a bit needs to be known about any subject in order for anyone to use the new understanding effectively.  Educational specialists often speak about learning as though immediately after the lesson you can have full understanding.  Often when you learn things, full understanding of what you know comes weeks, months, even years later.

Learning the bugle
Learning based on primary experience

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