The video “Life in the Information Age” (found in your NimbyWise resource) discusses the various ways in which the information age has changed the way we seek out and process information. In the checkpoint activity that you completed after watching the video, you “rated” your confidence with various tasks you may encounter in your daily life. Considering these examples, in your short response, discuss the importance of developing information literacy skills and how having strong information literacy skills could impact your academic or professional career.Information literacy is an essential skill that has important ramifications in
and real life. It is important not only for your individual success, but as a
to the success of our society as a whole.
We live in a world of exponential growth, and access to large amounts of
is changing how we live, work, and make decisions every day.
As we live in the information age, and work in the knowledge economy, knowing what
look for and how to access the right information at the right time is critical.
So much about how we use information has changed in the last few decades. In the
next few minutes,
we’ll take a closer look at the new information landscape and how it affects you
during your
time in college, your career, and other aspects of your personal life.
Years ago, when you wanted to talk to your friends, you had to meet in person or
each other on your parent’s landline.
Today, almost everyone has their own personal cell phone, and people consistently
connected to each other through texts, social media, and other apps.
In the future, people may talk less in person or by voice, as short video- and
communication become the default methods of communication.
Years ago, our worlds were much smaller. The majority of our experiences were based
the people and areas we grew up with.
Today, our personal circles have expanded across the globe; we can easily
with people from many different countries and backgrounds.
In the future, geographic distinctions will matter less as we continue to live,
and play online. Years ago, news and information came from
a small number of trusted sources.
Today, the news is personalized and self-edited—you can limit to seeing only those
media sources
that you agree with. Ironically, even though we can connect with anyone in the
world, many
people segregate themselves within their own small social group.
In the future, news will continue to become more personalized, and come from a wide
of sources. Years ago, it was relatively simple to tell
factual news sources from parody and humor sources.
Today, news, parody, and opinion are blurred. Comedy or opinion shows are often
in a similar format to news programs. Many websites appear to be credible news
and many of them incorporate just enough factual information that it’s easy to
confuse truth
with parody, hyperbole, or opinion.
In the future, more sources of fake news will exist online. Due to the popularity
of these
sources, some journalists and news broadcasters have begun to incorporate humor
into their
publications and broadcasts. Evaluating sources and locating original source
material will
be vital skills in determining fact from fiction in these cases.
The college classroom has also drastically changed for this generation.
Years ago, students took all classes in person with a professor.
Today, you may take self-paced classes online and communicate with classmates
through chat
and text.
In the future, students may be able to attend any university in the world without
ever leaving
home. Online education providers will thrive alongside traditional universities.
Years ago, students bought their textbooks from bookstores or borrowed used books
Today, you can buy or rent textbooks online and often price-shop due to the variety
In the future, students may never use print textbooks—instead using tablets and
e-textbooks. Years ago, if you needed information you had
Today, you have a computer in your pocket. You can get information not only on
when you need it, but it is constantly pushed to you through email, messages, and
In the future, avoiding becoming overwhelmed by information overload will require
the ability
to sort and prioritize the flow of information. Years ago, before the Internet,
for information for a research paper meant using card catalogs and indexes.
Today, databases are everywhere, but were you ever taught how to use one? You may
really comfortable with Google, but what about specialized academic sources? People
that because you grew up with technology that you know how to do everything.
In the future, students will learn how to search at an early age, as knowing how to
find the right information will again be more important than memorizing
Years ago, students were limited to print sources they could purchase or get at
library, like encyclopedias, journals, books, and newspapers, that were created by
authors and publishers.
Today, you have access to vast amounts of information online. While some of it
from trusted sources, much is crowdsourced information as in Wikipedia or forums.
it’s hard to tell the difference between a journal or a website when it’s all
In the future, who knows what new information sources will be available to us
Changes to the job market and economy because of the information age have been
Years ago, to get a good job you needed to leave college with the basics, and
would teach you what you needed to advance.
Today, because people change jobs and careers quickly, companies invest less time
and training employees. They expect graduates to hit the ground running with
problem solving
and critical thinking skills.
In the future, students must be able to teach themselves, learn new things quickly,
continue to be life-long learners to keep up in the knowledge economy.
Years ago, the day-to-day work of an employee was fairly stable, and followed a
process. It was easy to excel in a job when you knew exactly what to do and what
was expected
of you.
Today, business moves and changes quickly and constantly. Employees must be
able to experiment, learn quickly, and pivot to new strategies.
In the future, innovation will continue to be key to success. The ability to accept
and learn to thrive in that environment will separate the average employee from the
So what does this mean?
We may at times feel overwhelmed by all this change, and information overload. The
age did not come with instructions, but learning to navigate this landscape is
highly rewarding.
Access to information and the ability to share it with others has accelerated
progress in
medicine, technology, and many other fields.
Progress can happen faster with sharing information worldwide. New industries and
career paths
offer opportunities not dreamed of a generation ago. And we have more opportunities
than ever
to stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues—and to interact with new
and cultures.
We all have benefitted in some way from the information age. Taking ownership of
information skills and developing them further will help you personally be
successful in
this exciting time.

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