Information Literacy is a life skill.
You do it every time you read a book, watch a video, listen to a podcast, or consume any information. You are making (unconscious) decisions about the trustworthiness of the source, the accuracy of the content, and whether either is relevant to your situation.
Today, we are going to learn a bit on how information is created and presented, whether it is in a tweet (like the ones below from @Steak-umm) or a scholarly article found on JSTOR (such as “Recreating the Chinese American Home through Cookbook Writing”).
people think it's bizarre, ironic, and funny when a frozen meat company points out the importance of critical thinking, but chances are the same message would never "go viral" if it was from a person. our society values entertainment over truth and that's a huge problem— Steak-umm (@steak_umm) April 8, 2020
if people can be educated on the motivated reasoning behind where they get information from, while remaining open to expert consensus, there's room for thoughtful discussion that will hopefully bend toward the truth. but it has to start with genuine understanding— Steak-umm (@steak_umm) April 9, 2020
Trust is built upon credibility and authority:
"Credibility is based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used. Authority should be viewed with an attitude of informed skepticism and an openness to new perspectives, additional voices, and changes in schools of thought." - Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education
Credibility can be determined through the combination of different factors:
In fact, these factors are included in crafting your evaluative annotations.
One way to help determine credibility is to look at who created the content. Do a little research on the author or publisher.
Very closely related is the publisher.
Since @Steak-umm does not have formal expertise in the subject area of media literacy, why do we believe their tweets about it?
Let's do a little research. In April 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the official account for Steak-umm pivoted its Twitter presence from selling products to promoting critical thinking skills.
Another factor is to look at the type of information and format.
Where is the source published? How are they presenting the information? Why did they choose that format?
Publications (including newspapers, websites, podcasts, Instagram accounts, journals, etc.) often contain a mix of these different types of information. It can be confusing.
The next step is to look at the publication's intended audience.
Who is source written for?
@Steak-umm's intended audience is the general public. It is a popular source. By promoting critical thinking skills instead of selling its product, it could even be considered sensational.
Write an evaluative annotation for one of the tweets posted by @Steak-umm
Feel free to use the Annotation Builder to help you craft it.
Annotations are personal; they should represent your critical thinking applied to your paper or project.
Tips for writing annotations:
Learn more about the publication process for academic and scholarly sources: