Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Technological literacy draft

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) draft document on Technological Literacy has been published. Doubtless the context and significance of this will be more obvious to people in the USA than to me, but what IS obvious is as follows.
a) This body has developed a framework for setting targets about what children should know in various areas to do with technology, and is proposing ways of assessing students' knowledge.
b) There are overlaps with what we would call information literacy.
c) The document doesn't seem to mention information literacy.
NEAP measures "student achievement nationally, state by state, and, most recently, across selected urban districts" and "has been used as an independent monitor of what students know and can do in various subject areas ... For each subject area, a framework provides recommendations on the content to be assessed, the types of assessment questions, and the administration of the assessment."
In the draft document (linked below) they define technological literacy "as the capability to use, understand, and evaluate technology as well as to apply technological concepts and processes to solve problems and reach one’s goals."
They see this as comprising 3 major areas: Technology and Society; Design and Systems, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT). As a subsection of the first area they have "Effects of Technology on the World of Information and Knowledge" which "focuses on the rapidly expanding and changing ways that information and communications technology enables data to be stored, organized and accessed, and how those changes bring about changes in society". All of the subsections of ICT look relevant, namely:
- Construction and Exchange of Ideas and Solutions (skills needed to ciommunicate and exchange information and ideas)
- Information Research: "the capability to employ technologies and media to easily find, evaluate, analyze, and synthesize information from different sources.
- Investigation of Academic and Real-World Problems (using ICT to define and solve problems)
- Acknowledgement of Ideas and Information: "respect for the intellectual properties of others and knowledge of how to credit others’ contributions appropriately"
- Selection and Use of Digital Tools

Photo by Sheila Webber: Ivy in the woods, Hellingly, August 2009

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