Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Financial Fluency

Information fluency applies to a variety of topics including financial fluency. 

We've created a new category to our Annotated Links that currently has one listing by the University of Denver that covers a range of topics related to financial apps:

  • Mobile Banking
  • Mobile Payments
  • Budgeting Apps
  • Cybersecurity Tips for Fintech Apps
  • Fintech Resources for Each Stage of Your Life 

Each section provides helpful step-by-step instructions to help reduce financial risk when using online resources. 

If you have similar resources to suggest, please send the links to our Help address.


Thursday, May 5, 2022

Beyond Information Literacy?


The differences between illiteracy, literacy and fluency are fuzzy, at best, when it comes to digital information competencies.

The Spring 2022 Feature article in the Full Circle Kit examines the lines between incompetence and fluency using the results of a study conducted by 21cif at Northwestern University's Center for Talent Development. 

The data suggests that a minimum competency for someone to be identified as 'literate' is a 60% success rate on search and retrieval tasks. The point at which fluency starts is less clear.

Read the whole article here

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Recommended reading: Why we need information literacy classes By VICTOR SHI Chicago Tribune


The following article by Victor Shi, an eloquent Gen Z'er appeared recently in the Chicago Tribune (May 2, 2022). He makes a good argument for the need for information literacy instruction.

Fifty years ago, the national networks CBS, ABC and NBC dominated television screens in America and were the primary way voters obtained information. Each network, along with newspapers and radio, told its audience facts first, and all agreed on what the facts were. That meant Americans had a shared understanding of the truth — which is what led to the erosion of both Democratic and Republican public support for then-President Richard Nixon during the Watergate investigation.

But the time of Democrats and Republicans agreeing on facts is no more. In the early 1980s, cable news networks emerged. The late ‘80s and early ‘90s brought the internet, and Six Degrees became the first social media platform later in the ‘90s. With each development, avenues for information grew more abundant. People weren’t confined to newspapers and the three news stations for information. Instead, we gained the ability to access information anywhere — and with less and less scrutiny.

Read the whole article here

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Online Security Guide for Parents

We regularly receive resources to share on our links site. The most recent is an article on Digital Safety for Children authored and published by WikiHow.

Online Security Guide for Parents

WikiHow's Guide features a concise glossary of terms and guidance on digital safety with links to external resources for the following topics:

  • cyberbullying (how to recognize and mitigate it)
  • online predators, grooming and private message etiquette
  • online privacy, content exposure and boundaries
  • monitoring Internet exposure and filtering media
  • managing screen time and fostering healthy relationship

If you are looking for helpful tips to share with parents or students, give it a read.

Monday, February 7, 2022

Facts as Weapons

For a long time we've emphasized the importance of fact checking. But even facts that 'check out' can be used (incorrectly) as weapons in information wars.

The following article by the Consilience Project, How to Mislead with Facts, describes how "verified facts can be used to support erroneous conclusions."

A quick recap:

  1. Taking facts out of context, or failing to report sufficient context.
  2. Cherry-picking facts to support a particular point of view (which has other valid sides).
  3. Reinterpreting facts to persuade readers that a particular outcome is unquestionable.

When 'conclusions' like these are amplified on social media they really do have an impact, even if they are misinformation based on verified facts. 

The need for information fluency and not taking for granted everything we read is as true today as it was when the Internet first appeared. The article offers guidelines in terms of questions that are good to ask of any information. Here are just a few:

  • Has a reliable source been cited to support the facts?
  • Have the facts been corroborated by multiple independent sources?
  • What is important to know about the contexts in which the facts have been validated?
  • How much will the fact hold true beyond the context in which it was validated?
  • What additional facts must be considered?
  • In what ways can the fact be framed emotionally and taken personally by different types of people?

When facts are used as weapons (e.g., to vilify a political party, a scientific finding, a leadership decision, etc.) the task of not falling prey to misinformation requires more than reading. If recent events have taught us anything, is that information can't be taken at face value without some degree of risk. Unless readers exercise care and learn to evaluate facts on their own, they are increasingly at risk.


Thursday, January 13, 2022

Winter 2022 Full Circle Kit Release


In the new Full Circle Kit for Winter 2022 we feature two guest authors.

Patrick Dennis, an Adobe associate, contacted us with a resource he helped develop on the topic of Plagiarism. It's an excellent overview of the subject, including these sub-sections:

What is plagiarism?

Types of plagiarism

Consequences and results of plagiarism

How to identify plagiarism

Using plagiarism detection tools

Recognizing common detection-avoidance tactics

How to prevent plagiarism

Prioritizing proper citation

Focus on time management

Understanding the gray areas

Resources for students and educators to avoid plagiarism

Read the full article here 

Also in this issue: The Importance of Information Fluency by Anna Medina

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The Importance of Information Fluency

Today we feature a guest post from freelance author Anna Medina. She contacted us recently with this article about Information Fluency and its importance in writing and researching.

Why Information Fluency is Necessary to Be Efficient Today

By Anna Medina

Information fluency is a skill that not many people know of. And yet, it is by far one of the most important things you should know to be able to succeed today professionally and even more so as a researcher.

Information fluent individuals are able to consume information in a more critical and efficient way which allows them to become better learners, researchers, and professionals in their respective fields. Hence, here’s everything you should know about information fluency and how you can develop it in yourself.

What is information fluency?

To put it simply, information fluency (or information literacy) is a skill that allows you to evaluate and filter digital information before consuming it. In a way, information fluency is actually a set of skills. Once you have developed all of them, you become information fluent and can be more efficient when working with all kinds of information.

When it comes to the process itself, information fluency is applied at every stage of your research. It helps you locate and identify useful information, then retrieve and assess it, and finally use it to solve problems. Moreover, information fluent individuals are better learners are able to be more independent and critical while consuming information.

In some cases, information fluency is separated from information literacy. In this sense, information fluency is seen as a symbiosis of critical thinking, information literacy, and computer skills. Nevertheless, the essence of information fluency stays the same as it helps you achieve a particular set of goals.

What are the biggest benefits of information fluency?

Natasha Rooney, an expert in paper writing, says, “I do a lot of research on a daily basis. Every review of essay writing services I proofread has to be accurate and reliable. This is why I consider information fluency one of the most important skills in my arsenal. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to do my job right and to consume information while actually filtering it rather than doing so absent-mindedly.”

Indeed, information fluency is extremely useful for doing research. But besides that, there are some other benefits to having this skill, namely:

  • Learning in class and training to increase qualifications
  • Better decision-making and problem-solving capabilities
  • More productivity and efficiency at work

What are the most important information fluency skills?

George McConaughey, an expert from an essay editing service reviews site, explains, “Information fluency can’t really be simplified to a single skill. It’s a set of different skills you need to develop to truly understand how to work with information effectively. It’s valuable both for researchers and for professionals in all kinds of fields.”

The most common information fluency skills include:

  • Digital citizenship (safety and ethics when using information)
  • Researching and locating information (offline and online)
  • Critical thinking (at every stage of research)
  • Navigating digital information online
  • Evaluating sources (relevant, reliable, and credible)
  • Summarizing, paraphrasing, and note-taking
  • Creating and presenting information products
  • Avoiding plagiarism, referencing, and citing
  • Reflecting on the learning process

If you build and develop these skills enough, you will be able to determine your information needs and set appropriate goals. Then, you will be able to find and evaluate information. Once you have the information, you will be able to use it to solve problems. Lastly, you will be able to analyze your learning process and correctly reference the information you used.

How can I develop information fluency?

Whether you work for an essay writing service as a writer or you are currently doing research as part of your Ph.D., there are several main ways for you to develop your information fluency skills:
  • Higher Education: Your first option is higher education of almost any kind. In most higher education institutions such as universities and institutes, you will be developing critical thinking skills, referencing and citing skills, researching skills, and others. All of these will help you eventually become more information fluent.
  • Online Courses: Another option for you is to enroll in online courses. In this case, you will probably need to choose several different courses to help you develop different skills relevant to information fluency. For example, you can look for courses that focus on cybersecurity to learn more about digital citizenship. At the same time, if your courses require you to complete assignments (such as essays or presentations), you will naturally develop skills relevant to information fluency.
  • Self-Learning: If you are on a tight budget or prefer to self-study, then self-learning might be the best choice for you. In this case, you will need to look for relevant offline and online resources to learn more about information fluency. These resources can be anything from books to articles to videos.
  • Practice: Practicing your information fluency skills is crucial for you to perfect them. No matter which of the three routes you choose (higher education, online courses, self-learning), you will definitely need to practice as much as possible. Always consume information with a critical approach rather than doing so passively.

Some sources you can use to get started with information fluency include:

  • 21CIF: One of the best websites to start from when learning about information fluency. This is your definitive starting point to find out as much about the topic as possible.
  • Google Scholar: Throughout your research, you will need a reliable tool to find as many relevant sources as possible. Google Scholar is one of the most popular choices when it comes to such tools.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica: While Wikipedia might have a lot of information on all kinds of topics, it’s better to rely on more academic-based websites such as Encyclopedia Britannica.

General tips to follow when developing your information fluency skill set:

  • Use the 5As Strategy: The 5As of information fluency are Ask, Acquire, Analyze, Apply, and Assess. Ask meaningful questions that are relevant to the information you want to find. Acquire relevant, reliable, and credible information from offline and online sources. Analyze the information you have acquired to filter and organize it. Apply the knowledge you have from your information to answer the questions you had or to solve the problem you were working on. Assess your research process and decide what could have been done more efficiently.
  • Read Relevant Literature: Practicing your information fluency skills is important, but you can’t do it right unless you have seen previous examples of it. This is why reading relevant literature will be so useful. The academic texts you find will have reference lists that you can check to better understand how citing and referencing works. Likewise, the wording the authors use can be a great example for you to understand how summarizing and paraphrasing can be done right.
  • Never Stop Learning: Just like with any other skill, improving your information fluency requires you to engage in a continuous learning process. Once you have mastered the basics of information fluency, you will need to move on to more advanced skills while working to improve the level of your current skills.

Final Thoughts

All in all, information fluency is definitely a much-needed skill set for many researchers and professionals. By developing the skills associated with information fluency, you will be able to consume information more critically and efficiently. Use the tips in this article to help you get started and begin working on your own information fluency.

About the Author

Anna Medina has enjoyed writing ever since her university years. Upon graduating from the Interpreters Department, she realized that translation was not as interesting as freelance writing. She practices her skills writing on a variety of topics.


Source: https://21cif.com/fullcircle/winter2022/feature2