Why It Matters: Metaliteracy

You are probably wondering what metaliteracy is, and why you should learn about it. If you’ve never even heard of this term before, how could it possibly be important to you?

Consider this: how often do you interact with information in some way? Take yesterday, for example. How many times did you…:

  • Look for answers to a question you had?
  • Search for ideas or theories related to school, work, or personal interests?
  • Apply information you found, either individually or collaboratively, to create new information for others?
  • Share something you’ve created through social media or other methods?

How many times can you remember doing these activities? At least several, right? Maybe a lot more?

As you explore further, you will find that metaliteracy provides an underlying approach to learning for all that you do connected with information. It helps us work together in teams and groups as well. Though you may have never heard of it until now, metaliteracy plays a critical role in lifelong learning. We are always learning and metaliteracy provides a way to support you in that learning. It also helps you describe how and what you learn and the various roles you play when interacting with and creating all forms of information.

Before you explore the basics of metaliteracy in Tile 1: What Does It Mean to Become a Metaliterate Learner, take a look at the figure below. It shows a variety of roles that a metaliterate learner takes on. Which roles do you see yourself in? Which do you aspire to? Think about what you do at school, at work, and when you are just having fun.

Do you want to expand the roles you undertake? Have more confidence in your effectiveness in a particular role? Learn about the impact of self-reflection on the learning process? Tile 1 will get you started, and you will have the opportunity to explore not only learner roles, but other core elements of metaliteracy. As you learn about them, consciously think about the impact this new knowledge has on you.

As you work through this module, you will also explore your role as a researcher, information producer and collaborator, digital citizen, and lifelong learner, all through the lens of metaliteracy.

Please note: in Tiles 2 and 4, you will be asked to track your online activities over the course of a few days. You may want to start these activities ahead of time.