Sunday, August 13, 2006

Digital information literacy

I have to prepare an outline for an online module on digital information literacy for the eCDF OIL project.

Digital information literacy is also called fluency, and I like the definition I found on the 21st Century information fluency project website.
This site also has micromodules - small tutorials about information literacy.

Digital Information Fluency (DIF) is the ability to find, evaluate and use digital information effectively, efficiently and ethically. DIF involves knowing how digital information is different from print information; having the skills to use specialized tools for finding digital information; and developing the dispositions needed in the digital information environment.

As well as the definition there is a useful diagram.

Therefore in a module geared up to help users gain skills in digital information literacy, the following needs to be covered:
  • Language and the meaning of terms used for digital searching e.g. subscription-based and free networked datasets, networked information - abstracting and indexing services, full-text material and digitised collections, access points, interfaces, search syntaxes
  • Terms used for digital material e.g. learning objects, resource-based, multimedia etc
  • Range of interfaces for accessing digital information - databases, datasets, electronic libraries, Internet, other multimedia - problem-solving so users can navigate sources and understand their scope
  • Formats of digital information - text, audio, video, images, blogs, wikis etc.
  • Portals, search engines, RSS feeds, subject gateway - catalogue, or directory, of internet resources e.g. OMNI Examples of several subject gateways via the OMNI website plus Internet tutorials on how to find information effectively and Internet detective.
  • Resource Discovery Network (RDN) and web collections and sub-collections e.g. JISC collections
  • Digital repositories e.g. OSLOR, Aeshare, Australian Flexible framework toolboxes
  • FOSS (free and open source software) - examples relevant to information literacy e.g. Diigo ( a web-based annotating tool), blogger, google etc.
  • Digital tools for searching - search engines, subject directories, gateways etc.
  • Data sets e.g. Citation Index, databases, data centres
  • Examples of online resources e.g. NZ National library, British library online gallery - world's oldest printed book "Diamond Sutra", wikipedia
  • Publishing on the web, digital publications
  • Intellectual property and options for copyright - creative commons, JISC models, copyright licensing Ltd.
This module will need to be linked to search strategies, evaluating and ethics modules.


Blackall, L. (2005). Digital literacy: how it affects teaching practices and networked learning futures _ a proposal for action research. The Knowedge Tree, Edition 07.

Breaks, M. & MacLeod, R. (2001).
Joining up the academic
information landscape:
the role of the RDN hubs within the Distributed National Electronic Resource.

21st Century information fluency project


Leigh Blackall said...

Hi Bron. In summary I think it will be important to think about the generation of information as a form of fluency/competency/ etc. Also, the tension between taxonomies and folksonomies seems to me to encapsualte the problem of using old understandings of information with new networked forms...

Following are a bunch of quick note sto jog thining in terms of the summary above:

definition should include the generation of information: At present Australia measures literacy (consistent with International practice) based on ‘ well people use material printed in English. Progression along this continuum was characterised by increased ability to 'process' information (for example to locate, integrate, match and generate information) and to draw correct inferences based on the information being used’ (Australian Bureau of Statistics 1997: para.13)

Google Translate? and other machine translate tools used to access and interpret information.

Taxonomies and Folksonomies - Jo and Jill blogs, Wee Blog, Long Tale.. Wisdom of the masses... Businessmen verses scruffy @@@@, any, anarchy, V for Vendetta, Guy Fawkes.

Terms: Universal Resource Locator (URL). Formats, compatibility..

Digital Rights Management (DRM) preventing access and play.

Formats: Efficacy - will the user go and find the player?

Finding and accessing portals

Skim JISC and AESharenet type portals. Mention currency - cultural prejudice - reinvention of taxconomies.

How to use MySpaces for information? LiveJournal, Blogger - socially networked information.

Wikipedia = jo blogs making it work

Be careful of using FLOSS (Free Libre Open Source Software). In principle yes - as examples.... wikipedia.

Creative Commons, GNU Free Documentaion Licence. Access, reuse, generate information

Perhaps mention GoogleBooks and Internet Archive and WayBack Machine as examples of efforts to get all information - especially pre 1995, online and accessible.

wendy said...

Just a few ramblings...
Include visual search engines such as Kartoo, Clusty and Mooter-explain differences between other databases like dogpile/google-the way they display arrange information is different.

Evaluating digital info-does this need to be repeated as it is covered in other modules? Maybe?

what about including "social searching" e.g. Keotag search engine (just discovered this)

Also need to include subject directory searching e.g. bubl, pinakes?

like I said just a few thoughts...