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New Media, Communication, and Society

A Fast, Straightforward Examination of Key Topics

Mary Ann Allison and Cheryl A. Casey

New Media, Communication, and Society is a fast, straightforward examination of key topics which will be useful and engaging for both students and professors. It connects students to wide-ranging resources and challenges them to develop their own opinions. Moreover, it encourages students to develop media literacy so they can speak up and  make a difference in the world. Short chapters with lots of illustrations encourage reading and provide a springboard for conversation inside and outside of the classroom. Wide-ranging topics spark interest. Chapters include suggestions for additional exploration, a media literacy exercise, and a point that is just for fun. Every chapter includes thought leaders, ranging from leading researchers to business leaders to entrepreneurs, from Socrates to Doug Rushkoff and Lance Strate to Bill Gates.

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16 Information Literacy (Cheryl A. Casey)

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CHAPTER 16

Information Literacy

Cheryl A. Casey

From cards to bytes

Dr. Michael Zimmer spends much of his time thinking about how to access information on the Internet. As the Director of the Center for Information Policy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a thought leader in Internet ethics and privacy, Dr. Zimmer doesn’t just access good information for his research. He writes about that access and how information is used.

Dr. Zimmer also remembers a time when he thought about information very differently. He is of a generation whose information world had changed completely by the time he graduated college. To successfully complete his college homework, he needed more than his skills in reading and writing. He also needed skills in retrieving information. This meant physically going to the library and “thumbing through cards to find what I was looking for” (see Figure 16.1).

Today, college students face a very different information landscape. Gone are the library card catalogs and manual searches through the stacks. The efficiencies of speed, remote access, and hyperlinks that Dr. Zimmer found “liberating” in graduate school are now the normal, defining features of the information landscape for children as young as elementary school (personal communication, August 17, 2015).

Learning how to use the card catalog system sounds hard and cumbersome. But students aren’t necessarily faring much better in this more “efficient” and “accessible” digital information age....

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