TeenTech launch 11-16 Research and Information Literacy Award

The CILIP Information Literacy Group, in partnership with the TeenTech initiative, is delighted to announce a new award for 11-16 year olds that will recognise excellence in research and information literacy. The Research and Information Literacy Award will celebrate how well young people can dispel the ‘Google Generation’ myth and show that they can be truly information literate researchers as they explore their ideas to make life better, simpler or easier.

This new partnership is the result of a productive meeting that Jane Secker (representing the CILIP Information Literacy Group) and Stéphane Goldstein (representing InformAll) recently held with Maggie Philbin, CEO of TeenTech, about the July 2014 UK Digital Skills Task Force’s interim report, Digital Skills for Tomorrow’s World.

Winners of the new award will have demonstrated their ability to search intelligently across a range of resources, including search engines like Google, make excellent judgements about the information they have found, and put it to ethical use in their project.

Research is an important part of any project; by finding out what has happened in the past, gathering information about previous developments, experiments, products and so on, young people can develop their own ideas and make sure they don’t re-invent the wheel!

A vital part of being a researcher is being information literate. What this means is being able to think about what they need to find out, to create a search plan and to select the sources they need to use. Entrants/competitors will devise well-thought-through keyword searches that are likely to find the information they need, not just by using search engines but other sources, including libraries. It doesn’t stop there; the information literate researcher will also show that they can use a range of evaluation criteria to suit their particular project needs. This can include checking that the information is up to date, finding out whether the information they are going to use is written by someone who is an expert in the field, and asking questions such as “Does the author of the information source found mention other research to back up their claims?” Finally, referencing their work to the highest standard will show that young people have clearly demonstrated their information literacy capabilities.

Dr Jane Secker, Chair of the CILIP IL Group, said: “We are really excited to be part of TeenTech and look forward to supporting participants in gaining the excellent information literacy skills necessary to generate the innovative, high-quality science and technology that the UK needs to remain at the forefront of the digital economy.”

Maggie Philbin, CEO TeenTech, said: “Search engines like Google are powerful and really valuable tools but, like any tool, students need to understand the best ways to use them. They also need to see how they can use them in conjunction with other ways of finding information.”

Schools or libraries can register their interest now for the awards for 2015/6, or can contact awards@teentechevent.com for more details.

More information on the TeenTech projects and their related awards

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