Its debatable…Speak Up!

August 25, 2007

Speech and Debate for Information Literacy

Hello all!  I’m getting ready for my first week of school and I finally have all my tech up and running.  I thought I would do a quick post this morning on something I’ve been thinking about for a while now, but have not actually acted on to this point.  While working with the UDL and searching for different ways to justify speech and debate team funding in the incredibly tight budgets of high school district officials and principals, I discovered the focus on “information literacy” in many secondary and post-secondary school goals.  This is an area that has only accelerated in importance as online learning environments, electronic information sharing and technology in the workplace has exploded in past years.  It is my thought that the demands of competitive speech and debate programs are the same demands for mastering information literacy.  Take this excerpt from a recent presentation given by David Warlick of the The Landmark Project:

“Being a reader today means being able to: find the information, decode it, critically evaluate it, and organize it into personal digital libraries.” 

Gee – that sounds like what our students do for every speech/argument they produce during the season! 

 Many institutions of higher education have information literacy/competence goals.  Perhaps you may be able to use these to justify expanded programming, more funding or cross-curriculum cooperation with the speech and debate team activities.  There are also grant programs for information literacy projects at some institutions.  This may be a way for you to access some additional funding and be awarded with a grant. 

I’m sure I will be revisiting this issue in the future, but would love to hear if anyone out there has used this connection on their campus already and if so, how it worked out for them. 


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