Information Literacy in National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) policies: The Missed Dimension, Information Culture
Type of work: White Paper
Categories:Digital Divide | Digital Literacy
Most national and international development policies have now made ample room for the application of ICT and transition toward the information society. Within each country as well as among them, inequalities in access and use (usually referred to as “digital divide”) are seen as a major threat. In addition to securing “universal access," information literacy is a major component of these efforts. A number of examples mostly drawn from Latin America illustrate the patterns in addressing information literacy issues. The emphasis upon use of computers and more generally the quite narrow perspective of these programs makes them look far more an exercise for “retooling” the workforce than empowering citizens. It is advocated that the potential of the Information Age cannot be realised without expanding the scope of information and computer literacy far beyond their usual, functional aspects. What is at stake is the formation of an information culture, which itself involves the adaptation of pre-existing cultures. In other words a cultural revolution assumed by the actors rather than a cultural involution pushed by the global media. In conclusion a few requirements for such a new course are outlined.