Informit Explore Launch: Highlights and Key Takeaways

Informit celebrated a significant milestone last week with the successful launch of Informit Explore, Australia’s first major learning and research database designed specifically for secondary schools and public libraries.  

The well-attended event featured thought-provoking presentations and engaging discussions, marking an exciting new chapter for Informit. 

The event began with an Acknowledgement of Country by Laki Sideris, Head of Product at Informit, acknowledging the Wurundjeri Woi wurrung and neighbouring Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation. 

Emma Juniper, the Director of Informit and MC for the event, welcomed attendees and introduced Jake Heinrich, CEO of RMIT Training to give the opening address. Heinrich opened the launch by commending the Informit team for their dedication and innovation in developing a resource designed to meet the specific needs of teachers, librarians, and students. “This is a momentous occasion as we pause and reflect on the successful launch of Informit Explore,” Heinrich stated. “Congratulations to the Informit team for the countless hours, weeks and months they’ve spent on the research and development of this product.”   

Juniper then detailed the journey behind the creation of Informit Explore, describing the extensive consultation with educators, librarians, and students that has informed the product development process every step of the way. She shared how Informit partnered with the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) to create an intuitive and meaningful user experience aligned with the Australian Curriculum, highlighting the product’s potential to expand the reach of Informit’s authoritative Australian content. 

“By broadening access to Informit’s content we actively support smaller community-based and school libraries in their efforts to combat the spread of misinformation. Informit Explore not only provides students and lifelong learners with essential tools for active learning but also cultivates the critical thinking skills necessary for future success in higher education or in the workplace,” Juniper said. 

The audience also heard from Pru Mitchell of ACER, who spoke about the importance of Australian research in supporting schools to create informed citizens and critical thinkers. 

“Schools currently face several issues in the research space, including curriculum challenges, teacher shortages, and a lack of trust in AI. Informit Explore is a crucial lifeline for schools, saving time, providing essential resources, and offering access to Australian content and trusted sources, which is vital for teaching in an Australian context,” said Mitchell. 

Keynote speaker Alan James from Beaconhills College, gave a lively and spirited presentation on the vital role of research skills in secondary education, drawing on his experience teaching research skills as a key component of VCE Extended Investigation. 

James emphasised the significance of VCE Extended Investigation, likening it to an undergraduate thesis for Year 12 students and calling it “the best kept secret in the VCE.” He highlighted the common struggles students face navigating misinformation without proper guidance to distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources. 

“If you are 15 or 16 years old and you are surrounded by misinformation and you don’t have the critical thinking skills, then things are incredibly confusing.” 

James stressed the need for educators to teach robust research skills and praised the Australian-centric approach of Informit Explore for its role in equipping students with authoritative and age-appropriate resources.  

“If I was looking to complete my jigsaw of what ought to be a good model for teenage research, I might have just found it in Informit Explore.” 

The event concluded with a Q&A session, where in-person and online participants engaged with the presenters, followed by the drawing of door prizes. Two lucky winners walked away with $650 worth of books and a $150 gift voucher from Amplify Bookstore, an online retailer championing books by BIPOC authors. 

Emma Juniper closed the event by expressing gratitude to all involved in the development of Informit Explore. “This product innovation has involved every team at Informit, with everyone contributing to its success,” Juniper said. I want to express my gratitude to the entire Informit Team, for your commitment over the last 12 to 18 months to bring this new product to life.” 

“Our vision is for every Australian secondary student and lifelong learner to have access to quality, authoritative research through Informit Explore to encourage the critical thinkers of tomorrow,” Juniper said. We are so excited about where this product will lead Informit in the future.” 

For more information about Informit Explore, visit the links below: 

For Secondary Schools: 

For Public Libraries: 

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