Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What is ICT Literacy?

New discussion question to ponder...

The term ICT Literacy is thrown around a lot, but it is a term that could mean a variety of different things. So we would like to know... what does ICT Literacy mean? What is it? Is it something that can be taught in an educational setting? And if so, how do we measure it in terms of it being an educational outcome?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think ICT literacy isn't necessarily a prescribed set of teachable skills that can be taught. While there may be some core standard of literacy with ICT necessary, I doubt the education system requires an on-going effort in teaching it. ICT literacy once included the use of bank machines, for example. And it will continue to evolve as technology always has and continues to do so.

Also keep in mind that all technology is predominately corporate technology. It is based on becoming ever more user-friendly, just as it does within industrial settings such as assembly lines, to cite an historical example. A student wearing an IPOD, checking his email messages over his phone may look very savvy, but all those functions could require pushing no more than four or five buttons - we need to be careful about defining ICT literacy because it's connection to a good education remains tenuous at best.

Ann said...

I have to disagree with anonymous. I believe teachers need to make an effort to teach ICT literacy. Young people are very good at using technology as a social tool, but are at many times lost when it come to using technology as an educational tool. It is important that we make a deliberate effort to show students how to use technology in a productive and effective manner. When students hit the workforce, they will be required to use technological skills in their jobs, and if they have never seen this used outside of social networking they will be lost.

Technological literacy exists, but without guidance we will not be helping our students use it in an effective manner.

Anonymous said...

Ann - do you honestly believe the technology you teach to kids today will be relevant to them when they hit the labour force? What they need are core critical skills, which of course will be increasingly delivered via technology but should not be ABOUT technology. The assumption that ICT literacy will or has a direct connection to labour market participation is not supported by the evidence - there is not even any common agreement upon what ICT literacy is, or what it means in relation to education, or how what kind of technology is most appropriately taught within the education system. We're still just operating under the assumption that technology is new, sometimes it is used at work, future work may require kids to use it, so lets teach it to kids in school. That equation doesn't bear out, it doesn't historically and it doesn't now either.