Aspects Concerning Information Literacy in the 21st Century
Megatrend University Belgrade, Faculty of Computer Science,
Bulevar umetnosti 29, N. Belgrade, 11070, Serbia
Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Hermann Oberth Faculty of Engineering,
4 Emil Cioran st., Sibiu, 550025, Romania
Abstract: The researchers based their studies on information literacy around the following questions: A) How to organize and implement better solutions that will enable a greater number of people to acquire the necessary information literacy skills? and B) What is the role of information literacy and what are the possible pitfalls? Concerning the first issue, the authors propose a standard for the information literacy skills certification as an extension of the already existing computer literacy ECDL/ICDL standard. Such a combined standard can be included in the regular university curriculum, based on the experience of already successful implementation of the ECDL standard as a university course Introduction to Informatics. For the second issue which is a more philosophical one, the authors draw some parallel between Internet, as a source of information, and older radio and TV broadcasting technologies, concluding that there is a significant danger that each new and promising technology, after passing the challenging, difficult and inspiring pioneering phase, becomes boring and over-commercialized. There is a hope that awareness of such danger will help to avoid it.
Keywords: Information literacy, Computer literacy, Standardization, University education.
CITE THIS PAPER AS:
Milan TUBA, Ioana MOISIL, Aspects Concerning Information Literacy in the 21st Century, Studies in Informatics and Control, ISSN 1220-1766, vol. 19 (2), pp. 193-198, 2010.
Information literacy is becoming increasingly important . The concept of literacy changed over time. It once meant mere ability to recognize letters; newer definitions of literacy include comprehension of some standard materials, from bank slips and home-appliance manuals to short stories. Recently computer literacy was introduced and it is often considered today as a necessary part of general literacy. The newest addition to the body of required skills is information literacy. It consists of ability to search and use information or more precisely “Information literacy involves forming a set of theoretical and practical knowledge, allowing the identification of information needs, followed by locating, evaluating and using retrieved information, in such a manner as to solve problem, to find a response and to communicate the retrieved and processed information, by a new value-added product”. To some extent information literacy existed long time ago but was limited to library usage, mostly for scholarly reasons. Today its use and necessity spreads to everyone  and goes to such everyday life details  as finding tax information or weather forecast or money exchange rate or theatre program.
For each problem there are two aspects, one is, as once was said, more in the western civilization tradition and concerned with practical issues of how to do something, the other is (sometimes considered more eastern) concerned with why or with the purpose, strategic role and philosophical aspects of the problem.
This paper examines both of these aspects concerning information literacy and it is organized as follows: Section 2 describes recent overwhelming process of digitalization which includes all types of information. Section 3 deals with computer literacy which is a prerequisite and essential part of the information literacy. It particularly examines process of standardization which can be extended to the information literacy. Section 4 is devoted to the second aspect of the information literacy, the question of the meaning of the whole process and possible pitfalls.
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