NJ to Improve Information Literacy in Schools

TRENTON — New Jersey schools would have to teach information literacy at all levels, under a bill put to a vote Thursday in the Assembly that has already been unanimously approved by the Senate.

The bipartisan bill (S588/A4169) would not make it to Governor Phil Murphy’s desk this week even if the Assembly approves it, as the plan has undergone two rounds of amendments and is expected to return for a concurring vote in the Senate.

Proponents of the bill say it is needed to help discern which online sources are trustworthy.

“Information literacy is one of the most important and vital skills we can teach students right now,” Francine Pfeffer, lobbyist for the New Jersey Education Association, said at a hearing in the New Jersey Education Association. Assembly committee last month. “We see what is happening around us, and students really need this skill. »

Mary Moyer Stubbs, consultant to the New Jersey Association of School Librarians, said students should learn how to find, access, evaluate and use resources effectively, especially those found online.

“New Jersey is committed to providing computing devices to students, but not teaching them how to use those devices safely,” Stubbs said. “That’s what you’re doing when you give computing devices to students and tell them to figure it out and google it.”

New Jersey’s curriculum standards include references to media literacy, but would receive special attention under the bill, which directs the Department of Education to update them with the help school library media specialists.

Olga Polites, head of the New Jersey chapter of Media Literacy Now, who recently retired from the Lenape Regional School District, said she liked her Twitter account, but it wasn’t the same trusted news source as The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“It’s important for us to be able to make those distinctions,” Polites said. “Otherwise, K-12 students are going to be those adults using Nyquil to marinate their chicken.”

Michael Symons is the Statehouse Bureau Chief for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at michael.symons@townsquaremedia.com

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn’t have to be just the beach. Our state has incredible trails, waterfalls and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to New Jersey’s hidden gems, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it’s a great workout.

Before you hit the trails and explore some of our listeners’ suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you descend and encounter an uphill hiker, pull to the side and give the uphill hiker some space. An uphill hiker has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless marked as an official trail, avoid them. Going off the trail, you risk damaging the ecosystems around the trail, the plants and wildlife that live there.

You also don’t want to disturb any wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Cyclists must yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also give in to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you’ll encounter on New Jersey trails.

If you plan to take your dog on your hike, they must be on a leash and be sure to clean up all pet waste.

Finally, pay attention to the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it’s probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions on the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions: