Thursday, June 24, 2004

Computer Skills for Information Problem-Solving: Learning and Teaching in Context. ERIC Digest. This ERIC Digest was authored by Michael B. Eisenberg and Doug Johnson. It does a good job of connecting information literacy theory with computer skills.

From the site:

There seems to be clear and widespread agreement among the public and educators that students need to be proficient computer users--students need to be "computer literate." However, while districts are spending a great deal of money on technology, there seems to be only a vague notion of what computer literacy really means.

- Can the student who operates a computer well enough to play "Doom" be considered computer literate?

- Will a student who has used computers in school only for running tutorials or an integrated learning system have the skills necessary to survive in our society?

- Will the ability to do basic word processing be sufficient for students entering the workplace or post-secondary education?

Clearly not. In too many schools, most teachers and students still use computers only as the equivalent of expensive flash cards or electronic worksheets. The productivity side of computer use in the general content area curriculum is neglected or grossly underdeveloped (Moursund, 1995).

There are, however, some encouraging signs concerning computers and technology in education. For example, it is becoming increasingly popular for educational technologists to advocate integrating computers into the content areas. Teachers and administrators are recognizing that computer skills should not be taught in isolation, and that separate "computer classes" do not really help students learn to apply computer skills in meaningful ways. This is an important shift in approach and emphasis. And it's a shift with which library media specialists have a great deal of familiarity.

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