Skip to Main Content
LILi Logo

Show & Tell

Show & Tell is our online instruction series

Karen Burton - Mastering the Digital Onslaught: Navigating Information Overload with Critical Ignoring

March 20, 2024
10:00 am - 11:00 am Pacific / 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Eastern

Mastering the Digital Onslaught: Navigating Information Overload with Critical Ignoring
Karen Burton (she/her)
Science Librarian at University Libraries, Clemson University

Digital information literacy has emerged as a critical skill in recent years and equipping individuals to sift through the digital muck to uncover reliable information in an information-saturated world is a constant challenge. The unrelenting stream of data, riddled with low-quality and misleading content, often overloads our cognitive resources. This session will discuss cognitive overload in the context of digital information literacy and explore how the concept of "critical ignoring" can be integrated into information literacy instruction.

Recent research emphasizes "critical ignoring" as a tool to reduce cognitive overload. First coined by Sam Wineburg in 2021, critical ignoring is defined as "choosing what to ignore and where to invest one's limited attentional capacities" (Kozyreva et al., 2023, p. 81). In their 2023 paper, "Critical Ignoring as a Core Competence for Digital Citizens," Wineburg and his co-authors provide insights into leveraging critical ignoring to make information evaluation feasible and protect individuals from information overload.

This session will introduce the concept of critical ignoring and its implications for information literacy instruction and will explore how the integration of critical ignoring strategies can enhance information evaluation within the ACRL framework for information literacy. By integrating critical ignoring as a core competency, we can equip learners with essential skills to navigate the digital realm while effectively combating information overload. This session will offer practical insights and examples to help educators incorporate critical ignoring into their information literacy curriculum, resulting in more informed and resilient digital citizens.

Email: Karen Burton

View the recording here.