August 30, 2005
Technology Literacy in the School of Nursing
The School of Nursing has offered an orientation to technology for all students who are enrolled in online courses. This 2-4 hour training covers many aspects of online learning, including setting up your computer, using plug-ins and using WebCT.
August 26, 2005
Advancing Excellence in Technological Literacy
The International Technology Education Association (ITEA) has produced a series of standards for technological literacy in the K-12 context. The standards were developed as a result of interviews with educators and experts in a wide range of fields (including education, technology, mathematics, and science). ITEA developed standards for K-12 content, administrators, professional development, and student assessment.
In addition to the standards, ITEA offers a number of other useful bits of information, including a definition of technological literacy, characteristics of a technologically-literate citizen, and a rationale for technological literacy.
The executive summary of this report can be downloaded here.
A copy of the content standards can be downloaded here.
21st Century Learning and Information Literacy
This article from Change (2005) by Patricia Senn Breivik broadly considers the centrality of information literacy in teaching and learning in higher education. This article asserts the need for information literacy skills to be taught within the classroom context. Additionally, a key assertion of this article is that information literacy is an umbrella term, under which other types of literacy (including “computer literacy”) falls.
The article is available online through the university library.
August 12, 2005
Certificate in Educational Technology Integration
On MnSCU's Center for Teaching and Learning website, they offer a link to a certificate program in Educational Technology Integration through Penn State. According to their website, the program
can provide you with instructional technology techniques to apply directly in your learning environment. This 15-credit certificate program is designed for: • teachers • trainers • technology coordinators • instructional designers • media-support personnel
This program is offered entirely online, yet is considered equivalent to a certificate earned in residence at Penn State.
August 5, 2005
CBT Cafe offers free, web-based tutorials and training for a number of software programs. According to the website, these tutorials and training include "web and graphic design in HTML, QuickTime® Video, and Flash video training formats covering the most popular web design and graphics software programs: Flash MX, Fireworks MX, Dreamweaver MX, Photoshop 7, Cleaner 5, QuickTime, Ebay, and PowerPoint 2002."
The training is free, and on the web. The only requirement is QuickTime or a Flash player, either of which can also be downloaded free from the CBT Cafe website.
For Graduate Students: Library Orientation!
The University of Minnesota offers a series of library orientation workshops for graduate students. The workshop topics vary, but all relate to various aspects of information and technology literacy. The complete list of workshops can be found here.
August 4, 2005
Information Literacy Competency Standareds for Higher Education
The American Library Association has developed Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.
The full set of standards can be accessed online, or purchased as a brochure for a nominal fee. Both options are available here.
In explaining the relationship between information literacy and technology, the ALA explains:
"Fluency'" with information technology may require more intellectual ability than the rote learning of software and hardware associated with "computer literacy," but the focus is still on the technology itself. Information literacy, on the other hand, is an intellectual framework for understanding, finding, evaluating, and using information--activities which may be accomplished in part by fluency with information technology, in part by sound investigative methods, but most important, through critical discernment and reasoning. Information literacy initiates, sustains, and extends lifelong learning through abilities which may use technologies but are ultimately independent of them. (p. 3)
The Standards themselves are included with performance indicators and outcomes. The Standards were designed specifically for assessment purposes, and are thoroughly explained on the website. Briefly, the five standards are as follows:
1. The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.
2. The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.
3. The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and values system.
4. The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.
5. The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.
National Academy of Engineering Resources
The National Academy of Engineering has an ongoing project to compile a list of online resources related to technology literacy. These resources include curriculum support, teacher education, extracurricular opportunities, and research and general interest.
Technology and Literacy in the Twenty-First Century
Cynthia Selfe (1999), a composition and communications professor at Michigan Technical University, has published a book about technology literacy. Technology and Literacy in the Twenty-First Century describes the Technology Literacy Project and, to a large degree, the implications of changing definitions of literacy for composition teachers.
A full description of this book can be found here.
Digital Literacy Checklist
The University of Washington offers a digital literacy checklist designed specifically for PC users.
Laura Larsson, developer of the checklist, defines digital literacy as "the ability to understand and use information in multiple formats from a wide range of sources when it is presented via computers."
The checklist is a self-assessment that covers a range of topics, including keyboarding, mouse, and related skills; desktop competencies; and internet competencies. Under each competency are a number of items, many of which have hyperlinks to explanations, practice tutorials, and other weblink references.
The Digital Literacy Checklist was developed in 1997, and revised in 2000 and 2002, so it is not currently up to date, but it does have several information literacy items.
August 3, 2005
MnSCU has a centralized location for online distance learning classes. At this website, students can search for online courses using a variety of search terms.
In addition, potential students can also take a short quiz to find out if online distance learning is right for them. While most of the questions address issues of motivation and student expectations, a few of the questions address technology literacy.