In today’s age, we are drowning in information and no aspect of life is untouched by this massive volume of information. To survive and succeed in various aspects of life, one must become an informed learner with the ability to analyze, research and use information critically. According to Smeaton (2016), “Informed learning offers a holistic approach to information literacy development that prompts learners to reflect on their information using experience and then apply their associated learning in new ways and contexts“(p. 15).
This article dealt with informed learning and is based on a literacy workshop conducted in the library of an Australian high school. This school was in a low socio-economic community and the study aimed to develop literacy in a fun and innovative way. By presenting a “zombie apocalypse” scenario to the students, they were tasked with developing a plan of saving the world using the information available in the library while a Manga artist led the students and helped them create illustrated stories.
Researchers collected and analyzed the data. The main focus was on instilling the idea that knowledge is power and how it can be helpful in such a scenario. While some students interpreted the activity as merely an art lesson, others understood it to be a life lesson and even an informed learning lesson. Smeaton found that “Students who experienced the workshop as an informed learning lesson understood it not only as a lesson in technical art skills, but also a lesson about the importance of information. This suggests … students became aware not only of what information they need, but how they use information to learn“(p. 21).
The findings are significant in the sense that the students who saw this as an informed learning lesson gained valuable skills regarding the use of information in various aspects of life. Similar activities can help students hailing from a disadvantaged background learn the value of information and benefit greatly in their educational careers as well as in regular, daily life.
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Smeaton, K., Maybee, C., Bruce, C. S., & Huges, H. (2016). Crossing Literacy and Informed Learning Boundaries with Manga. Retrieved November 24, 2018, from https://eprints.qut.edu.au/93680/.