Updated: Mar 23
Information is everywhere — in the air, in our water and food, in our clothing. It's even in our bodies. The amount of information we encounter every day is simply mind-boggling. So it's no surprise that people have a hard time knowing what to believe anymore.
In this guide, we'll look at how you can be more successful by being information-savvy. We'll talk about where you should focus your attention and how to avoid being overwhelmed by the deluge of data coming at you every day.
A Teachers' Guide On Being More Effective With Information
If there's one thing we can point to that has changed the lives of human beings for the better, it's information. And when we say "information", we don't mean reading a book or watching an educational video.
Information is not knowledge, but rather, it's data. Information is the currency of the 21st century. With so many sources of information around today, it can be hard to know what’s true and what isn’t.
The first step is knowing the difference between information and knowledge:
Information is data that can be used to make decisions or solve problems; knowledge is what we gain from using that data.
So, here's a simple guide to being information-savvy.
Do You Really Need To Read The Newspaper Every Day?
Some people are so immersed in their work that they have no time for leisure or relaxation. But this is a mistake, because leisure and relaxation are essential to good health and productivity.
If you don't take time to relax and unwind, it can lead to stress and burnout. And if you don't take the time to learn new things, you could be missing out on important information that could help your career — or even save your life!
The problem with many people is that they don't take enough time to learn new things. They think they already know everything there is to know about their field of interest, or even about life itself.
But as we've seen before, when you stop learning new things, you start dying — mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You become stagnant; stuck in your ways; less happy; less successful; less willing to adapt to change; less able to respond positively when things go wrong in your life (and believe me: sooner or later something will).
A great way to avoid this trap is by reading widely and regularly — which means reading more than just the newspaper every day (although we recommend doing that too).
But don't stop there.
The world is a big place and there are lots of people who present themselves as right when they're actually wrong.
Rather than simply accepting everything you read as gospel truth, make sure to fact-check what you read with other sources that provide different points of view.
Get Your Facts Straight...
It's easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of current events, especially if you're a news junkie. But while it's important to know what's going on in the world, it's even more important that you understand why things are happening — and how they fit into larger contexts. This will help you make better decisions about your daily life and future.
Does The Internet Make Us Smarter?
Are we getting smarter?
If you look at the Internet, it seems like we are. In the past 20 years, we've gone from having a relatively few websites to having access to millions of sources of information (Internet Live Stats, https://www.internetlivestats.com/total-number-of-websites/). We can search for anything and get instant results. We can share ideas and collaborate with people all over the world.
But is this really making us smarter?
Some researchers say no — that the Internet is actually making us dumber because it's changing our brains and making us less attentive to details.
Others say yes — that the Internet makes us smarter by giving us access to more information so we're able to make better decisions based on more data.
So who's right? And how does this affect teachers?
The Internet Is An Incredible Source Of Information
The Internet has been around for so long that it's easy to take it for granted. But don't! The web is a gateway to nearly every piece of knowledge on earth. It's also a great way to connect with people who have similar interests and passions as you do — and sometimes even those who share your inner values.
But it's also an easy place to get lost in a sea of stories, facts, and figures. To be successful, you need to know how to sort through the noise and find the information that matters most to you.
Where should you focus your attention?
Life is a little like a game of chess. You have to know where to place your attention and where not to place it, or else you'll end up in checkmate.
In the same way, you have to know how to focus your attention on the right things at the right time. But that's not always easy to do.
There are so many things competing for your attention, and it can be hard to know what's worth paying attention to and what isn't. That's why we're going to share with you two simple strategies for finding the most important information in any given situation:
1. Get into the habit of asking yourself one question every day: "What am I learning?"
This is a simple question that can open up an entirely new way of thinking about what's important in your life. It makes you aware of what you're doing with your time and gives you an opportunity to reflect on it — which leads to better decision making.
2. When something happens, ask yourself: "What can I learn from this?"
This is a powerful question because it encourages you to look for positive things in any situation — instead of dwelling on what went wrong or how bad things are right now.
You'll find that it helps reduce stress, improve relationships and make better decisions about what comes next for you (whether in professional or personal life).
How can you be more efficient with information?
Information is a powerful thing. It can be used to make us more efficient, more effective, and more knowledgeable. And if you're like most teachers, you probably spend a lot of time trying to track down information.
If you're looking to take your teaching to the next level, the answer is in being able to better manage the information you receive.
This means being able to find the information you need faster and more easily. This means being able to find the right information at the right time.
Here are some tips on how you can be more information-savvy:
Know what kind of information you need.
Being able to find the right kind of information can save you a lot of time and effort. If you know what kind of information you want (e.g., facts, opinions, statistics), then it's easier to search for it online or in print sources like encyclopedias and magazines.
Have a plan for how you're going to use the information.
There are so many ways that this can be done. You may want to create a sort of cheat sheet for yourself, or perhaps have notes about what sections of the material are most important for students to know. This will help you stay organized and focused during class time, which will allow you to spend more time with your students instead of flipping through pages trying to find something that might not even matter at all!
Look for patterns in what your students are learning and what they seem confused about.
This way, when someone asks a question about the material (which they inevitably will), you'll be able to give them an answer that's based on their specific needs rather than guesswork based on how similar questions were answered in past classes.
How Does Being Selective Actually Help You Learn More?
Being selective is a powerful skill. It's one of the keys to success.
Being selective means you're paying attention to your choices and making the most of them. You're not wasting time on things that don't matter, or things that don't fit with your goals.
The opposite of being selective is being scattered. When you're scattered, you're using your time in all sorts of different ways, but rarely doing anything well. You're not making the most of your opportunities because you're too busy getting pulled into everything else.
It's easy to think about being selective as just choosing one thing over another thing, but it can be much more than that — it's about having a plan for how you want to spend your time, and then sticking to it no matter what other distractions come up along the way.
When you're seeking out new information, it's tempting to go for the first thing you can find — the most eye-catching headline or the most intriguing picture. But being selective means that you're willing to take time and effort to find the right sources.
It also means being willing to wait until you have gathered enough information before deciding what you think about a topic.
By learning how to be selective, you can save yourself a lot of time and energy while still getting great results!
Is There a Link Between Information-Savvy and Success?
Is there a link between information-savvinacity (yeah, we're taking it there; savvinacity) and success?
Yes, there is.
Successful people use information in ways that help them get ahead. They are good at finding what they need when they need it, and they know how to use that information to make the best decisions possible.
Information is currency, and the more you know about how information works for you, the more powerful you will become.
The information-savvy person is a person who can filter out the noise, find what they need and use it effectively.
The information-savvy person knows how to find information when they need it, not just when they are looking for something specific.
They understand that there are many sources of information and that each source has its own bias. They can identify these biases and determine which sources are most appropriate for their needs.
The information-savvy person knows how to evaluate the quality of an article or other piece of data before using it as evidence for an argument or decision.
The good news is that you can learn how to become more information-savvy — and it doesn't take years or even months of study.
You Can Grow and Become More Successful If You Become More Information-Savvy
There are a lot of things you can do to be more successful in your career.
In fact, there are hundreds of things you can do. But one thing that will help you get ahead more than anything else is being information-savvy.
Being information-savvy means that you have the ability to find, use, and synthesize information effectively. It means that you know how to find the right information and use it effectively so that you can make better decisions.
You will be able to recognize when information is useful and relevant. In some cases, information-savvy may also mean using tools, resources, and people to help you find and make sense of what you need to know in a given situation.
Information-savvy is a skill that all teachers—and students—should pursue, but few understand how they can become more effective in this area.
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