What is information literacy?

If you are information literate, you are able to
· identify when you have a need for information
· find the information you need
· evaluate it and use it effectively to meet your needs

Why do I need to be information literate?

Even though the rate that we can generate and transmit information has increased dramatically since stone-age man first chiselled a message onto a clay tablet, the rate that we process it has not altered.

We still read at about 300 words per minute and speak at about 120 words per minute.

It took 1750 years for the knowledge that was known at the time of Jesus Christ to double. Now it is estimated that it doubles every four years. Our current prep students will have to deal with at least 16 times what is currently known by the time they reach Year 12.

We cannot teach our students facts and figures that are not yet contemplated. But we can teach them how to find and use those facts and figures when they are needed.

How can I become information literate?

At St Dympna’s, we teach students through the Guided Inquiry method, so they have skills to meet their information needs.
Want to know more about this? Ask to be invited to join our Ning, i-inds, where you can learn much, much more!


The Guided Inquiry approach teaches a process that can be used whenever information is required. It can be modified to meet the user’s needs and circumstances. It is based on how we believe students learn and encourages them to become independent lifelong learners.

What is the St Dympna's Guided Learning Approach?

  • Launch - What is the problem I have to solve?
  • Access - Where can I find the information I need? How can I search these sources effectively?
  • Develop - How can I organise this information so that I can understand it better?
  • Demonstrate - How can I share this information with other people?
  • Evaluate - What have I learned from this?
  • Reflect- Where to from here?

As you can see, this forms the acronym Ladder - the Ladder of Learning, or as we like to call it, LOL!!


The world beyond Google

Believe it or not, there are other search engines out there besides Google!
Although Google might be useful for general searching, there are times when you need a specific type of information - that you can get quickly and easily by using a particular search engine that specialises in that information! Most people don't know this - and so they waste hours 'Googling' stuff they could find with one or two clicks using another search tool!

So be smart - use the Noodletools interactive questionairre to find out exactly which search engine is best for your research needs! You can find it here!

Are you interested in finding out just how many different search engines there are? Noodletools to the rescue again! This one page resource lists a huge number of search engines, with a brief description of what they are best used for. Check it out!

What about Copy and Pasting?

You cannot just copy another person's work without giving credit to them! This is PLAGIARISM, and is never acceptable.
There are a number of ways you can avoid plagiarism.

Always give credit if you use another person's work or take another's ideas. You do this by referencing their work and listing them in the Reference list at the end of the assignment or project.

Sometimes people give permission for you to use their work under certain conditions. This is called a Creative Commons Licence. For more information on Creative Commons, check out the video below.