Quest for the Truth: PES Students Learn to Find Reliable Information

February 10th, 2009 by Adam

All that glitters is not gold, and everything you read on the Internet is not true. Finding reliable, factual reference information in today’s high technology world is not easy, but Plymouth State University’s Lamson Library and Learning Commons is showing Plymouth Elementary School students the best way to ferret out what’s fact from fiction.

Nearly 60 eighth-graders from PES are attending two-hour tutorials at Lamson to learn how to navigate through the overwhelming amount of information on the Internet and choose find dependable reference material. While the assignments the students are given are simple, the instruction at Lamson sets the stage for more important reference work they will need as adults, like analyzing financial information or gathering information as part of a job.

Lamson Outreach Librarian Anne Kulig said knowing how to locate factual information on the Web is a critical skill and it’s never too early to learn.

“It is extremely important for children to learn how to evaluate good sources of information from bad sources,” said Kulig. “These students are digital natives; they understand how to use technology, we’re teaching them how to use it wisely.”

During the work sessions at Lamson, language arts students are introduced to basic library reference tools and shown how to find books and other reference material that is accurate.

Eighth-grader Cody Gibbs said he’s starting to realize how to get information that he needs.

“This can do me a lot of good,” Gibbs said. “I can use reference books and I know how to use a database now.”

PES special education teacher Barbara Rankin said the students are learning the basics of good research.

“We go through the research process, choosing sources to get good information in order to answer specific questions,” said Rankin. “They need to know anything can be put online.”

PES Language Arts teacher Elizabeth Cahoon noted the amount of information available
to students today is a blessing for education, but children need tools to use it wisely and she’s grateful PSU is involved in the process.

“It’s phenomenal to have access to this library and its resources, but our students need some skills in realizing just how valuable this can be,” Cahoon said.

“I think it’s awesome,” said Devin Julia, a PES eight-grader. “I know projects will be harder as I grow older, so it’s nice to know how to use the Websites.”

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or Bruce Lyndes