In response to my post about what David Warlick said about information, he wrote: ,
“I believe that it is literacy. I believe that the ability to expose the value of the information that we read is as important, as critical, as being able to read it. Until we come to realize that there is one literacy (skills involved in using information to accomplish goals), rather than lots of literacies (reading, information literacy, digital literacy, computer literacy, blah blah blah), we will not be giving appropriate attention to any of them. “
Ok, so I admit that I get frustrated by the overuse of the term literacy, as blogger Barbara Fister at the ACRL Blog wrote,
” “Literacy” is one of those concepts that is hooked onto any cause like the little engine that could. Nobody can be against literacy, so whatever it is you want to emphasize or promote, tag it with “literacy” and off you go.”
I find that many of the “21st Century” literacy frameworks such as AT&T Knowledge Network. NCREL. and Partnership for 21st Century Skills promote what seem to be separate literacies, when there really is just one “literacy” overall. Regardless of what you are doing, it is all about getting the best available information you need when you need it.
And, how do young people know how to do this? In working with online students in our virtual school for the past five years, I have learned that kids will say, “oh, I know how to use the web.” But, all they really know is how to do is to type in a search term in Google (and use something on that first page), update their MySpace page, upload songs to their ipod and other related activities. What they don’t know how to do is how to search for the needed information nor when they have found the best information. So, with the web now being the primary information source for students, they need to know how to get the best information. Then, this is our charge – to guide all students to become literate in finding and using the best information, despite the changing, information rich world. Need to think more about this for future postings. It really is about the information!
However, Tom Hoffman at Tuttle SVC blog says it is more about “understanding”. But, how can you “understand” if you’re not sure what information you need to read or see or hear?