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Information Fluency Project


Information Fluency Project

What's the DIF? Digital Information Fluency that is? This group is dedicated to the proposition that part of the mission is to teach 21st Century Information Fluency Skills to each other and our students. (Let's share ideas and energy!)

Members: 224
Latest Activity: Apr 5, 2015

Information Fluency: New Connections for a New Year!

Information Fluency: Getting Ready for a New Year!

Carl Heine writes the Internet Search Challenge blog.

Dennis O'Connor writes the The Keyword blog

Diigo Social Bookmarking: Information Fluency Group

New!  Give us a Like? Information Fluency Page on Facebook

New! Information Fluency Digital Magazine

For Email Marketing you can trust

Discussion Forum

Tutorial & Game: Checking the Accuracy of a Website 4 Replies

Started by Dennis O'Connor. Last reply by Dennis O'Connor Oct 26, 2012.

Information Investigator 3.1: Apply now for a free preview!

Started by Dennis O'Connor Aug 31, 2011.

Publish Your Best Practice

Started by Carl Heine Feb 4, 2010.

Diigo Social Bookmarking: New Bookmark Sharing Group

Started by Dennis O'Connor Dec 28, 2008.

Paraphrased or Plagiarised? Beta Testers Needed 12 Replies

Started by Dennis O'Connor. Last reply by Carl Heine Nov 12, 2008.

Internet Search Challenge

US students fall short in 'fake news' digital literacy tasks

Finnish sources recently shared the results of a study at an international school in which students "significantly outperformed U.S. students on tasks which measure digital literacy in social media and online news." source

The study suggests the differences are due to the way the Finnish curricula facilitates students' critical thinking skills, compared to the US.  In the Finnish International Baccalaureate school, critical thinking skills are taught explicitly in dedicated courses as well as the more traditional core subjects. In the US, critical thinking instruction occurs implicitly into subject coursework. For example, a course called Theory of Knowledge is aimed at developing critical thinking skills. Other courses extend this development in subject matter areas.

One takeaway from this study is the benefits to students who receive explicit instruction in critical thinking throughout the curriculum. Stanford University researchers, upon whose work this research is based, has labeled US students' abilities to discern fake news 'dismaying' and 'bleak.' 

Programs for facilitating critical thinking, when it comes to fake news, are available on sites such as Information Fluency. What is needed is the will of educational leaders to dedicate space in curriculum and instruction to their application.

Here are just a few of the resources that are available around which to design a course or embed in traditional subject matter:

15 Challenges (includes 8 Challenges on Investigative Searching/Thinking)
WSI (Website Investigator)
Author Tutorial (Investigative Searching/Thinking)
Publisher Tutorial
Bias Tutorial
Freshness Tutorial

The results of the study may be found in the April 2019 Journal of Research in International Education.

Introducing the 15 Challenges

Confused by where or how to get started on the path to Information Fluency?

Introducing the 15 Challenges, a new portal to Information Fluency. By completing these fifteen challenges, users are introduced to essential digital searching and evaluation tasks that include:

  • browsing
  • truncation
  • effective keyword queries
  • basic operators
  • finding better keywords in snippets
  • database selection
  • evaluating an author
  • evaluating a publisher
  • detecting bias
  • checking online reputation
  • fact checking
  • freshness checking
  • creating proper citations

Read more about the 15 Challenges in the Spring 2019 Full Circle Resource Kit

Winter 2019 Full Circle Kit

The winter 2019 Full Circle Kit is now available online,

This quarter the topic is helping know where to look--database mining. This is different than data mining in that the process relies on student thinking to select relevant information, as opposed to software and algorithms that detect patterns in massive amounts of data.

If you find yourself creating search lists for your students, you need to read this article.

In addition to the feature article (viewable without a subscription), there is also a guide to curricular integration and assessment (with a subscription).

If you know a database you recommend students mine for information, post your suggestion here along with the type of assignment (e.g., history research paper). We'll gladly add your recommendations to the Feature article and credit you.

Winter 2019 Full Circle Kit

Author Detective

Introducing the third revision in our series of Investigative Searching tutorials: AUTHOR.

No need to rely on the old Flash files any longer. There are 11 challenges in this set, from finding the name of an author to evaluating the author's credibility.

Get started here:

Publisher Detective

Just released: Publisher Detective

Try it for free for a limited time. Nine exercises to help searchers track down and evaluate publishers of online information. Helps in the hunt for credible news.

This replaces the flash version archived on our site.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Information Fluency Project to add comments!

Comment by Dennis O'Connor on October 18, 2009 at 2:38pm
It ain't easy being green....

Finding Kermit was the inspiration for one of the first Internet Search Challenges created by Dr. Carl Heine.  The task is to track down a picture of Kermit ready for graduation in the least amount of time. 

Many teachers use this as a whole class lab activity.  Put up a search challenge and then it's off the races!  This game is live, just click Google to start the timer.

This activity has been available online for years along with nearly 100 other Information Literacy Games at

For news of the latest Search Challenges subscribe to Carl Heine's  Internet Search Challenge Blog!
Comment by Dennis O'Connor on August 14, 2009 at 1:46am

Website Investigation 2010.

1000 7-12 graders at Northwestern's Center for Talent Development took this self-paced course this summer!

We got great results! Open for guest viewing.

Produced by the 21st Century Information Fluency Project @
Comment by karenklieg on June 11, 2009 at 5:46am
Hi Dennis,
Looking at your blog as I am working on our wiki for our Librarian Web 2.0 Smackdown at NECC. Hope you'll stop by! Joyce Valenza, CathyJo Nelson, Keisa Williams, Wendy Stephens and I will be running it.

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