Information literacy: What it’s and why it issues

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This text was contributed by Invoice Schmarzo, the Dean of Large Information

What do you want to do to extend the info literacy of your group?

In a world the place your private knowledge (and the preferences and biases buried in that knowledge) are used to affect your behaviors, beliefs, and choices, knowledge literacy is a elementary and indispensable talent. And it’s not simply firms that want this coaching. Information Literacy needs to be taught in universities, in excessive colleges, in center colleges and even in grownup training and nursing properties.

Information literacy coaching wants to coach EVERYONE about how their private knowledge is being collected, analyzed, and used, in order to not be duped into actions, behaviors, and beliefs by organizations and individuals who perceive the way to manipulate your private knowledge to their profit.

However what are the tutorial necessities that comprise an information literacy curriculum? To facilitate that knowledge literacy training for my college students, I’ve created the Information Literacy Training Framework that gives a holistic synopsis on the info and analytic coaching necessities – subject material areas – for everybody to change into knowledge literate.

Determine 1: Information Literacy Training Framework

Let’s discover every of the Information Literacy Training Framework topic areas as a part of a two-part collection on Information Literacy. Then utilizing this framework, we are able to assemble an academic curriculum together with testing to measure and subsequently elevate the Information Literacy IQ of everybody (which I’ll must cowl in a future article…or possibly a future e book).

1.  Information consciousness

In “The Rising Significance of Information and AI Literacy – Half 1,” I mentioned the significance of knowledge consciousness and the way everybody must change into conscious of how organizations are gathering, analyzing, and utilizing their private knowledge.

Information Consciousness is knowing how organizations are capturing, analyzing, and utilizing your private knowledge (e.g., demographic, industrial transactions, monetary holdings, well being and train, leisure, political, and social knowledge) to determine and codify private behaviors and preferences that can be utilized to affect your actions, behaviors, and beliefs.

Whereas most of us intrinsically know that organizations are capturing knowledge about us, it’s the “invisible knowledge” (or “obscured knowledge”) that’s buried within the wonderful print of that web site or cell app Finish-Consumer Licensing Settlement that’s most troubling.

Determine 2: Your Private Information Captured by Third-party Information Aggregators

A working example is Google, which exploits or “monetizes” your knowledge within the following methods:

  • Google Adverts.  Permits companies to focus on their merchandise on-line based mostly upon your private exercise and pursuits. Google makes use of AI to create a profile of the shoppers’ behaviors and leverage the insights to focus on the appropriate particular person with the appropriate advert.
  • Gmail. Google additionally built-in a number of AI and ML algorithms to boost buyer expertise. One AI function is the good reply. Google AI analyzes your complete Gmail and proposes a reply.
  • Google Assistant. Primarily based upon your requests, this voice assistant can study your pursuits to seek for something – music playlists, eating places, finest seashores, or lodges – and make product and repair suggestions based mostly upon your pursuits.
  • Google Maps. Google Maps makes use of AI to trace the motive force’s route, estimate the place they’re headed and guides them to their vacation spot. It gives suggestions based mostly upon close by eating places, gasoline stations, and many others. based mostly upon your pursuits.
  • Google Images. Google makes use of AI mines your pictures to recommend pictures and movies that the customers can share with their pals and households.

Many organizations, like Google, present “worth” in return in your private knowledge comparable to free e-mail, free social media platforms, personalised internet experiences, free on-line video games, free navigational providers, and product and repair reductions (within the case of loyalty applications). It’s simply that customers must be conscious that there’s a “value” for these “free” providers, even when the worth isn’t as apparent as a month-to-month subscription charge.

What are you able to do to guard your self? This knowledge literacy framework might help you discover the reply. Step one is an consciousness of the place and the way organizations are capturing and exploiting your private knowledge for their very own monetization functions. Pay attention to what knowledge you’re sharing by way of the apps in your cellphone, the shopper loyalty applications to which you belong, and your engagement knowledge on web sites and social media.  However even then, there will probably be questionable organizations that can skirt the privateness legal guidelines to seize extra of your private knowledge for their very own nefarious acts (spam, phishing, identification theft, ransomware, and extra).

2. Determination literacy

Whether or not we understand it or not, everybody creates a “mannequin” to information their choices. In my weblog “Making Knowledgeable Choices in Imperfect Conditions“, I mentioned how people naturally create resolution fashions to help their choices, whether or not it’s choices about deciding what path to take dwelling from work, what to select up on the grocery retailer, or the way to pitch to an influence baseball hitter like Mike Trout. And the excellent nature of the choice mannequin relies upon upon the significance of the choice and the prices related to making a incorrect resolution.

  • With a excessive influence resolution comparable to shopping for a home, shopping for a automobile, or deciding the place to go on trip, we construct pretty intensive fashions by gathering and assessing all kinds of information in an effort to help in making an “optimum” resolution.
  • Different resolution fashions are much less impactful, so we use “guidelines of thumbs” or heuristic resolution fashions to help choices comparable to altering the oil in your automobile each 3,000 miles, seeing a dentist each 6 months, or altering your underwear a minimum of as soon as per week.
Determine 3: Knowledgeable Determination-making Framework

Determination Literacy is an consciousness of how people make resolution fashions – some very complete and others utilizing “guidelines of thumb” relying upon the price of the choice being incorrect – to assist us make extra knowledgeable, extra correct, extra worthwhile, and safer choices.

When making choices, how one frames the choice is all the things. Should you come into this course of along with your thoughts already made up (i.e., to show or validate a call that you’ve got already made), then you’ll gravitate in the direction of knowledge that helps your place and fabricate causes to disregard the info that runs counter to your place.  If in case you have a vested curiosity in a sure resolution end result, then your objectivity is threatened, and the outcomes of your evaluation are more likely to be biased.

Additionally, the human mind is a poor decision-making device.  Human decision-making developed from thousands and thousands of years of survival on the savanna.  People turned superb at sample recognition and extrapolation:  from “That appears only a innocent log behind that patch of grass,” to “Yum, that appears like an antelope!” to “YIKES, that’s truly a saber-toothed tiger!!”  Necessity dictated that we change into superb at recognizing patterns and making fast, instinctive survival choices based mostly upon these patterns.  

To make issues worse, people are awful quantity crunchers (guess we didn’t have to crunch many numbers to identify that saber-toothed tiger). Consequently, people have discovered to depend on heuristics, intestine really feel, guidelines of thumb, anecdotal data, and instinct as our resolution fashions. However these resolution fashions are inherently flawed and fail us in a world of very massive, broadly diversified, high-velocity knowledge sources.  

One solely wants to go to Las Vegas to see our human decision-making flaws at work. Yea, casinos don’t construct these magnificent monuments to human stupidity as a result of they offer away cash.

Determine 4: Human Determination-Making Flaws

Past knowledge literacy to prediction literacy: A framework

What do we have to do to extend the info literacy of our group?

On this article, I launched the subject material areas of the Information Literacy Academic Framework, a framework that organizations, universities, excessive colleges, and even grownup training can use to create a holistic knowledge literacy academic curriculum. Then I deep dived into the primary two topic areas of the Information Literacy Academic Framework:

  • Topic Space #1: Information Consciousness which talked about how everybody must be conscious how their private knowledge is being captured and used to affect or manipulate how we predict and the choices that we make.
  • Topic Space #2: Determination Literacy which mentioned how people make fashions of assorted complexity to make extra knowledgeable and correct choices.

In a world the place your private knowledge, and the preferences or biases buried in that knowledge, are getting used to straight affect our behaviors, beliefs, and choices, we should train knowledge literacy to EVERYONE.

In any other case, we may be persuaded into believing that the earth is flat…

This text is an element considered one of a two-part collection.

Invoice Schmarzo is an creator, educator, innovator, and influencer with a profession that spans greater than 30 years.


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