Is information literacy dead? I’ve been pondering this for a while. It has been a topic on my Twitter stream and at the recent TELSIG conference the term information literacy (IL) gained a kind of four-letter-word status.
I don’t think the need for IL is dead. I think the way we currently address that need is probably breathing it’s last gasp and we should be preparing for a funeral. (Maybe we can layby the funeral). I also think IL in some tertiary settings is being absorbed into a greater being called Academic Literacies.
The 2010 Horizon Report provides some interesting food for thought.
The report highlights four key trends:
- The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators in sense-making, coaching, and credentialing.
- People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to.
- The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of IT support are decentralized.
- The work of students is increasingly seen as collaborative by nature, and there is more cross-campus collaboration between departments.
Of open content the report says:
Open content shifts the learning equation in a number of interesting ways; the most important is that its use promotes a set of skills that are critical in maintaining currency in any discipline — the ability to find, evaluate, and put new information to use.
My italics point out some very familiar skills that anyone who has taught IL will recognise. In a world of mobile computing where students can access an increasing amount of open content outside of the classroom & library the importance of academic literacies (and by inclusion, information literacy) is clear. How we deliver training for it is perhaps less clear.
Suggestions, thoughts & musings?