Digital literacy anyone?
The Information Literacy Section of IFLA has announced the winner of a competition to design an "information literacy" logo.
The aim of creating this Logo is to make communication easier between those who carry out information literacy projects, their communities, and society in general. The Logo will be available free of charge and promoted as an international symbol of information literacy.
The initial funding for the logo contest came from UNESCO, as part of the Information for All Programme (IFAP). ALA define information literacy as follows:
To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.
A definition that is re-used by Wikipedia.
All well and good, though I am inclined to think that the kind of 'digital literacy' espoused by Tanya Byron in her Safer Children in a Digital World: the report of the Byron Review is fast becoming at least as important as information literacy - discuss! Odd though that Byron never once uses the terms 'digital literacy' or 'information literacy', preferring to use 'media literacy' instead (23 times I think), about which she says:
We need to empower people with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to embrace new technology to make the decisions that will protect themselves and their family. In some circles this is called being ‘media literate’. However, ‘media literacy’ is an abstract title, which is difficult to translate into something that is meaningful to the public.
Ofcom defines media literacy as “the ability to access, understand and create communications in a variety of contexts”. This is a widely recognised definition for understanding the issues around media literacy in society. However, an approach that is perhaps more useful for understanding the role of media literacy in improving e-safety is ensuring that children broaden and deepen their skills, knowledge and understanding to use new technology. While this is a necessary discussion, it is equally important to ensure that the wider debate around defining media literacy does not distract focus from what should be the primary objective of protecting and empowering young people.
'Digital literacy' doesn't have an entry in Wikipedia, redirecting to 'computer literacy' instead (which doesn't feel quite right to me), whereas both 'information literacy' and 'media literacy' do, from which I can only conclude that it isn't an accepted term (despite the fact that I'm sure I've regularly heard it being used informally).
Media convergence would suggest that these terms should probably come together anyway, and Ofcom's own definition of 'media literacy' includes aspects that ALA would probably refer to as 'information literacy' ("recognising and comprehending information to the higher order critical thinking skills such as questioning, analysing and evaluating that information") and that I would call 'digital literacy' ("use an electronic programme guide to find the programme they want to watch", "use the internet to find information" and "control what they and their children see to avoid being offended") though I have a concern that Ofcom's definition is very broadcast media centric (which, again, is not surprising).
Does anyone else regularly use 'digital literacy' to refer to the ability to manage, understand and use Web-based and other digital technologies/resources? If so, perhaps we need to get together and update Wikipedia? On the other hand, perhaps 'media literacy' is indeed better (provided we (I?) can get over any associations with 'old' media), being somewhat more generic and less tied to a particular form of technology?