As one would assume, the notion of network literacy has evolved since the conception of the internet.
An early perspective, McClure (1994) defines it as “the ability to identify, access, and use electronic information from the network” (p. 115).
Pegrum’s (2010) definition incorporates much of what McClure had mentioned in terms of the identification and access to information but builds upon the knowledge of the innovation of social media networks. He notes that individuals access “networks of expertise – identifying, and following or friending, appropriate individuals and groups – to gain access to informed perspectives and specialized information” (p. 348)
Rheingold (2011) expands upon this and explains that “the structure and dynamics of networks influences political freedom, economic wealth creation, and participation in the creation of culture… [and] supports the freedom of network users to innovate.” Here, Rheingold correctly identifies the far-reaching effects of networks.
All agree on its importance as current and future skill.
Like McClure, Pegrum and Rheingold, I believe that network literacy is skill that needs to be addressed. Learners need experience navigating these environments in order to see how fruitful these connections can be.
McClure, C. R. (1994). Network literacy: A role for libraries? Information Technology and Libraries, 13(2), 115-125.
Pegrum, M. (2010). “I Link, Therefore I Am”: Network Literacy as a Core Digital Literacy. E-Learning and Digital Media, 7(4), 346–354. https://doi.org/10.2304/elea.2010.7.4.346
Rheingold, H. (2011). Network Literacy Part One. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6UKWozzVRM