21st Century Skills Primer: ICT Literacy

For those of us who’ve watched the emergence of new ICT (Information and Communication Technology), it may still have a cool factor.  For young learners who’ve grown up on digital information, it’s just part of the furniture.

So what is ICT Literacy all about?  It involves asking questions like:

  • What kinds of digital technology are available, and how do they work?
  • How can this technology be used to find, evaluate, share and use information?
  • What are the limitations of this technology?  What cautions should be applied to it, especially with regard to privacy and equal access to information?
  • Can new ICT be used to encourage environmental protection?
  • How has digital technology changed the way function at home, in the workplace, and in the classroom?

Whether ICT still wows us, or whether we take it for granted, it’s still essential that we understand that it’s still a tool, and as such, needs to be used properly in order to be of the most benefit.  The wonderful thing about including this type of literacy is that it not only encourages technical know-how, but also promotes collaboration and critical thinking.  In other words, it teaches young thinkers to really make technology work for them, and to choose devices and resources that are most likely to serve a real purpose.

Amy Leask is VP of Enable Education.

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