Students taking Media and Literature, a senior English elective, were lucky enough to visit the Newseum before it closed in 2019. The field trip was an engaging experience for all and laid the foundation for the class’s upcoming unit on modern media bias.
Thinkers. Explorers. Citizens.
Similar to our other Life Skills, we treat this as critical knowledge which is integrated across divisional curricula. We teach students how to examine a wide variety of sources, practice the research process, develop critical thinking skills, avoid plagiarism, and respect copyright.
Whether our students are learning how to identify bias in media, how to spot true news content versus a paid ad, when to evaluate a source, or how information posted online can affect future opportunities – Information Literacy empowers students to inquire, curate, create, and contribute effectively. Potomac incorporates digital information skills with more traditional ones as students learn to vet sources and analyze information – which are the cornerstones of the research process.
Starting in Lower School, librarians teach students how to find, organize, and use information. Teachers and students also engage in ongoing conversations about digital citizenship and maintaining a healthy digital diet.
middle and intermediate schools
As they move through Middle School, they begin to use library databases and practice effective search strategies. By Intermediate School students are engaging in activities and discussions around maintaining a healthy digital diet. Advisors initiate discussions and allow students to direct the conversation on the influences of technology on values, identity, relationships, and communication. Students also continue to develop skills around effectively using and analyzing information.
Upper School students continue to build their skills and awareness of information and media, growing into more critical and proficient creators and users of print and digital data. Technology and Innovation Coaches partner with the counselors to lead activities and discussions in classrooms and assemblies and offer parent forums.
Librarians, in collaboration with technology specialists, classroom teachers, and language arts specialists design projects that encourage the development of inquiry skills. Students preview, develop research questions, identify sources, develop search strategies, evaluate sources, discriminate between important and unimportant information, cite sources, create a product, and reflect on the research process.
To connect, it helps for students to start with a topic they are intellectually curious about. Whether it’s the history of a professional sports team, a human rights policy, or the evolution of artificial intelligence – it will take research.