Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The influence of technological changes on the definition of information literacy #ecil2013

Earlier today Pavla Kovarova and Iva Zadrazilova (Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic) talked about The influence of technological changes on the definition of information literacy at the European Conference on Information Literacy
They identified different ways of interpreting the information society e.g. economically or socially, but the technological approach was the one they took for this presentation. They argued that Information Technology (IT) simplified many information activities (they gave an example of using technology to calculate complicated mathematical formulae) and IL was closely associated with IT. They saw IT and IL hand in hand.
They also asked whether IL is an umbrella term? The answer seemed to be yes, but with concerns that more recent ones made the link with new media more evident. As literacies linked to technology they included Media Literacy and Network Literacy. They put forward the term New Literacies (which I have mentioned her on the blog before, since my colleagues in the Education School direct the Centre for the Study of New Literacies)
The speakers contended that “each new technology weakens or changes or existing definitions”, for which they gave the example of the aspect of IL about selecting and evaluating, where in digital or computer literacy the equivalent aspects are restricted (my word, not theirs) to the computers or software. Overall, they felt that an information society could not exist without IT and it was a question of whether to redefine IL.
Photo by Sheila Webber: charms in the Arasta market, Istanbul, October 2013

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