History and Mission
Also known as the 21st Century Information Fluency Project (21CIF), Information Fluency was launched in 2001 by the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) in Aurora, Illinois. Funded by the US Department of Education, the mission was to research and develop training in the largely unexplored field of online information literacy. It immediately became clear that the largest needs in this area were for professional development and resources to help educators, students, trainers and employees improve their ability to locate, evaluate and use digital information. That remains the mission of Information Fluency.
After federal funding ended, in 2009 IMSA and the 21CIF authors mutually agreed to transform this project into a sustainable business. All the products and services that were available when this was grant funded are updated and available today. Many are free. Financial support for Information Fluency is generated through subscriptions, online course fees, face to face workshops and products.
A proliferation of fake news graphically demonstrates the need for information fluency in everyday life. How are people getting their news? How are they evaluating what they read? On its face, the Internet is not considered a trustworthy resource. The need for investigative searching has never been greater. The tools and resources on the Information Fluency site equip researchers, both amatuer and professional, with skills to evaluate digital information before consuming it unawares.
Carl Heine, Ph.DSkype name : informationfluency
Dr. Carl Heine joined the IMSA 21CIF Team in August 2004 after serving for three years as the founding Director of the Illinois International Career Academy at IMSA. Before coming to IMSA he managed the Center for Youth Education at the College of DuPage. At the University of Chicago he earned his doctorate in education, studying the effects of instructional practices on motivation (flow) and achievement. He enjoys creating multimedia applications for learning, synthesizing a range of prior work experiences as a teacher, curriculum developer, composer, set designer, stage director and web animator.
At IMSA, Carl is Program Director for entrepreneurship, helping young people turn ideas into products and services. In addition to online instruction, he presents information fluency workshops around the country. In 2014, Scarecrow Press published Teaching Information Fluency which Carl co-authored with Dennis O'Connor.
Dennis O'ConnorDennis joined the IMSA 21st Century Information Fluency team in July, 2002. He worked in public schools for 26 years. as an outstanding National Educator for his work in technology integration with language arts and science. While working as a project writer on for ISTE, Dennis was inspired to earn a specialized Master's Degree in Online Teaching and Learning. He recently completed a second Master's Degree in Instructional Design.
During the past 7 years he has taught over 50 different online courses for K-16 educators from all around the world. He has designed and teaches online classes in E-Learning, Technology Integration, Multicultural Education, and Writing Assessment for the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Dennis is also the program advisor for the new graduate certificate in E-Learning and Online Teaching program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.
In addition to online instruction, Dennis conducts workshops focusing on the West and SW regions of the country. In 2007 he and Carl received a "Best of the Best" award from ISTE for their workshop at the Atlanta conference.