Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Most youths may be tech savvy, but they lack 'digital literacy,' report says

Most youths may be tech savvy, but they lack 'digital literacy,' report says. I found this interesting article at the Fort Worth Star Telegram. The author is Leila Fadel. I do not think that there is anything here that would surprise a librarian but I am always glad to read when higher education faculty are becoming aware of the need for information literacy.

From the site:

Of 10,000 high school and college students asked to evaluate a set of Web sites last fall, nearly half could not correctly judge which was the most objective, reliable and timely, according to preliminary results of a digital-literacy assessment. The Information and Communication Technology Assessment was administered by Educational Testing Service, a New Jersey nonprofit organization.

“What we’re finding is not only does it [digital literacy] need to be taught at the higher education level, it needs to be taught a lot younger than that,” said Terry Egan, project manager for the assessment. “I’m hoping that having an assessment like this available is going to change the paradigm of what people think is important to test and important to teach.” Students may know how to use an Internet search engine, but professors have complained that the online information students use is not reliable, said Mary Jo Lyons, information literacy coordinator at UT-Arlington.

Now, some professors are requesting seminars to teach students about the library catalog and the approximately 200 computer databases available to them at the UT-Arlington library. But unless specified in a class, information literacy seminars are not required.

5 comments:

datura said...

AAARRRGH! For Pete's sake, that's what we've been saying all along! In the info lit classes I teach I'm not teaching them how to click the "full-text" box or memorize LC subject headings. I'm teaching them to figure out why "causes of the civil war" isn't a good search, and why typing "miserable failure" in Google comes up with Michael Moore and George Bush biographies.

Michael said...

Faculty in higher education can be bit slow at times but it is good to see some of them starting to get it finally.

I expect we will both be having these "AAARRRGH!" moments for the rest of our careers as what we have been saying for years is "discovered" by faculty as those it was new!

Jennie W said...

I teach my students this CONSTANTLY...but since no one else is...its like talking into a black hole....

Jennie W said...

Oh...sorry, hit "post" too quickly...I think its that most faculty are afraid of online sources so either ignore them completely or just assume they are good. Plagarism from online sources is a HUGE problem as well....this so a pet peeve of mine...can you tell?

burnik said...

The youth nowadays are indeed very tech-savvy, with all the gadgets that pop up in the market like iPods, Xboxes, Cellphones and all other high-tech stuff. They rely to much on these gadgets that the essence of learning is lost. It is important to teach these kids that even with all these stuff self-reliance is still important for growth and education.