Digital Literacy, Information Literacy and Connectivism

This article contains a nice summary and comparison of digital literacy and information literacy. The author makes the point that digital literacy and information literacy share many common characteristics; it is difficult to differentiate between the two at times. As I work this year on the Digital Humanities Committee on my campus, and as I teach information literacy classes, it is important to broaden my approach to encompass digital literacy in addition to information literacy skills.

Reading through the article, it is also clear that digital literacy shares many features with Connectivism learning theory. I expanded on the shared commonalities between information literacy and Connectivism in a published article. Many of the same points would apply to digital literacy instruction as well.

One concern that I have is that because information literacy is so identified with librarians, that digital literacy may be seen as outside the purview of librarians when in fact it is a natural pairing. The author makes a good point in her final sentence:

Bottom line, it’s too difficult to tease out the differences between digital and information literacy, or any of the other ‘literacies of information.’ Even more importantly, we shouldn’t be thinking of these literacies in isolation when we teach them. That’s why I’m glad to see information literacy being redefined within the context of multiple literacies. Though, I do think it would behoove the LIS discipline to explore and integrate the new literacies studies into the research on information literacy.

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