COVID-19 and the Information Literacy Crisis

COVID-19 and the Information Literacy Crisis

In the Online searcher of september/oktober a warm plea for more attention and recognition for information literacy in education. Students are left too much on their own when it comes to seeking and assessing information. The author gives examples of students and professors who are unaware of academic sources, for example. There is the link with COVID19: need for accurate information and the presence of false messages and bias and tunnel vision of disseminators of information. Well, so much for a good and recognizable story. Still, his argument would gain strength if he further developed the concept of authority. The impression could arise that there is a dichotomy, on the one hand “authorities” who hold the truth, but are trusted less and less, and conspiracy thinkers who believe anything without “basis”. A good addition would be that those authorities do not form a homogeneous group and, moreover, authority is constructed and contextual (ACRL Framework). This variety of scientific insights ensures that science grows. In that context, it is worrying that scientists and professionals are being removed from social media platforms when their findings do not match the official COVID guidelines. The COVID19 policy (and the authorities behind it) is used as a yardstick. Here, too, lurks the same bias that the author warns about. Above all, let us ensure that the open debate continues and that we are critical of all sources of information. The author is quite right that this corona time has only underlined the importance of information literacy development. This also applies to our own skills and ability to think critically and prevent biases. [By: Harrie van der Meer]

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