It is evident that literacy is an important skill for navigating life’s journey. From a rudimentary age, reading and writing are methods in which people, including children learn to communicate their thoughts and ideas. Naturally, oral communication is the first skill a child learns. Why? Well from personal experience and basic understanding of anthropology (I like the TV show Bones) …. I have learned that children are all masters of oral literacy. Well, all my children were adept at saying “NO!” before they were toilet trained. But aside from that unnecessary anecdotal story, literacy is more than just being able to read and write.
ACARA has clearly defined literacy as “Literacy involves students listening to, reading, viewing, speaking, writing and creating oral, print, visual and digital texts, and using and modifying language for different purposes in a range of contexts”. Literacy is no longer just the domains of text. It is a domain of skills.
In previous years, information literacy was sometimes known as information skills and or digital literacy. But that shortened the scope of the term to just the mechanics of it rather than including associated behaviours and attitudes.
Some could argue that information literacy is restricted to the domain of academia and that the average person has no need of it. Well after the debacle of yesterday’s election I can clearly say that the information literacy is sadly missing in Australian adults.
- Information literate individuals would realise that 70% of popular Australian media is owned by the same organisation that funds one of the political parties.
- Information literate individuals would also realise when there is bias
- Information literate individuals would realise that there is misinformation and how to identify it.
But we don’t live in an information literate world. Information literacy is a life skill that everyone needs. Otherwise, we doom ourselves, our nation and our future outcomes.
#note – I have very strong political leanings and I am not apologising for them.