Information and technology literacies

The skills needed to work effectively and creatively with technology are changing as well as the nature of information. This calls for more modern literacy skills that include technology, informational and cognitive skills. The term ‘information fluency’ includes skills with computers, information use, and critical thinking (O’Hanlon, 2002).  Put together, refined information literacy skills are needed in order to function in a technical world.  Aro and Olkinuora (2007) found a person can “acquire new intellectual capital for him/herself by taking advantage of the tools offered by the information society” (p.396).

At one time, technology skills included using and managing hardware and software, and information skills required having good reading and writing skills; however, these skills have now expanded to include such features and tasks such as:

Being creative, innovative, and communicating with technology

·         Conceptual understanding of technology systems, including networks

·         Creative productivity using technology

·         Powerful uses of communication tools

·         Technology use everyday

·         Comfort with multiple applications and multimedia

·         Work presented in various ways and formats

·         Navigate and use features of the internet and browsers


Understanding human, cultural and societal issues in relation to technology

·         Work collaboratively and globally

·         Validates understanding of information through discourse

·         Understand economic, legal and social issues surrounding information use

·         Be aware of ethical uses of technology

    • and security, health and environmental issues
    • and legal and copyright issues

·         Be responsible and developing a digital citizenship


Developing research and information fluency

·         Use technology to locate, access, evaluate, understand, process and synthesize information

·         Define and articulate the need for information

·         Distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information

·         Understand diverse texts, points of view, and interrelationships among concepts

·         Assess usefulness, authenticity, validity and credibility of information

·         Incorporate information into own knowledge base

·         Produce new ideas in meaningful ways from prior knowledge and researched information

·         Solve complex, real world problems through inquiry and critical thinking


Sound technology literacy is considered an essential need for the workplace, citizenry and life.  The ability to work effectively with information and technology is imperative for student in higher education engaged in research. Students usually overestimate their skill level (O’Hanlon, 2002).



American Library Association: Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher  Education

Aro, M. & Olkinuora, E.  (2007).  Riding the information highway – towards a new kind of learning. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 26 (4), 385-398.

Assessment tools for technology literacy

Educause. (2004). Integrating information literacy into the academic curriculum. Research Bulletin, 2004, 18.

Information Literacy – Building Blocks of Research: Overview of Design, Process and Outcomes

Internet and Computing Core Certification

International Computers Drivers License [ICDL]

ISTE: National Educational Technology Standards

National Education Association [NEA]: 21st Century Skills

O’Hanlon, N.O. (2002). Net knowledge: Performance of new college students on an Internet skill proficiency test. The Internet and Higher Education, 5, 55-66.

Route 21: Information, Media and Technology Skills



  • prodigitaltips June 18, 2008, 1:39 am

    Very detailed post. Though I agree with you on the theme, I guess in a practical life since most of IT still runs as a back end, IT activities are often seen in light if cost cutting rather than efficiency & productivity building. Statistically about 45% of the IT implementations succeed & the low number is more for lack of out-of-box thinking.

    Cheers! Jay

  • edmusings July 3, 2008, 8:08 pm

    Hi, Jay. Thanks for the comment. I have to agree with you that IT is an integrated system used as a tool, however, the educational field see it as a potential in knowledge creation and move to work with it in such a way.


Leave a Comment