Blog Post

On information sharing and sense-making

By: Marco Campana
April 11, 2021

I'm sharing a bunch of really great workshop and webinar recordings along a loose theme - information seeking, sharing, and sense-making. Each of these recordings stand alone, but they are worth considering along this theme and all contribute to some aspect of it.

As you'll see in this first session, Lighting the Way - Leveraging Knowledge for the Future of Settlement, I reference Harold Jarche's Personal Knowledge Mastery (PKM) model, which is built on this notion of sense-making, and sharing. World Education Services (WES) asked me to participate on this Metropolis panel looking at knowledge mobilization and knowledge management in the immigrant and refugee-serving sector. We highlighted the value of knowledge management and mobilization for informed decision-making within the settlement sector. We also discussed ways to balance knowledge mobilization while mitigating information fatigue, particularly as the pandemic has led to increased digital communication.

One of the things we discussed was how to deal with the explosion of misinformation and disinformation, in particular in newcomer communities and our sector. I think this is well discussed in the Language Advocacy Day panel discussion Pandemic Communication and Language Gaps, which focused on promising practices and lessons learned during the past year, including gaps and unaddressed issues, as well as the creation and distribution of effective multilingual information.

We need to get better at information evaluation. This webinar, Information Saves Lives: Verifying Online Information, has great information: People in Canada are bombarded with information 24/7, much of which is consumed online. It is vital that the public is able to critically assess and recognize misinformation and disinformation online, and avoid online manipulation, especially today with the COVID-19 pandemic spreading worldwide. This webinar covers verification tips for individuals to better understand how to determine what information is real vs. fake and combat the spread of online manipulation.

I think this is all related in an article I wrote: Machine translation is not quite good enough for health information. At a time when public health information getting into the hands of the many is important, this seems useful, right? Here's the thing. Google translate, and other machine translation services simply don't cut it. You know what does cut it? Effort. Investment. Community involvement.

And, finally, since so much of this information is chugging along the interweb in one way or another, there have been some really great webinars about digital literacy, addressing the digital divide. Here are a few:

We also need to recognize that as we move towards fixing the digital divide there needs to be a huge effort put behind not just connectivity and digital literacy, but also digital fluency. Where digital literacy is an understanding of how to use the tools, digital fluency refers to the capabilities to create something new with those tools.

Also, to address the digital divide, we need to approach digital users and using digital technologies through a social justice lens. More on that and some excellent research and perspectives on digital inclusion soon.

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