Educator Focuses on Information Literacy

PEYTON, Colo. — Information is easy to find today, piled into powerful indexing websites like Google. Students must learn how to use it, according Megan Taylor, a history teacher at Sand Creek High School in Colorado Springs.

“This is about information literacy – using information,” said Taylor, standing in the school’s library April 12, surrounded by about 120 student projects. Tables held their exhibits and research papers, while computers displayed their documentaries and websites.

Find a turning point when an idea or event changed the world. That was the only project guidance Taylor gave her 10th-12th grade students in Falcon School District 49.

The teens turned their attention toward social issues, human rights and global conflicts. They chose their medium for presentation, as Taylor coached them through identifying trustworthy resources and discovering a culminating thesis.

“They’re learning to use information,” said Taylor, “maneuvering through reliable sources on the Internet, finding what you can trust and what not to, and how to interpret it.” After two months, the students presented their innovative, creative and technological explorations.

Taylor said the first-ever event was the school’s largest research exhibition, and she’ll continue it under a competitive atmosphere. Students from different classes filed into the library April 11-12, rating the projects for their historical and presentational quality.

“I’d like to see this become like basketball season,” she said. “This is a competition like a sport, just a different venue.

“It takes a lot of work to weed though all the information available today… this is preparing them for college, careers and they’re learning an important life skill.”

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