Report on Literacy ProjectIntroductionThe project is all about introducing improvement in existing ICT related teaching instruction where no appropriate or relevant materials are available. It identified and analysed existing ICT literacy instructions through observation and document analysis. Through careful examination, the project identified several literacy requirements not included or inadequately encouraged in existing ICT literacy instructions such as those associated with social practices in the workplace, ethical and legal issues involved in information access and retrieval, measuring performance, and evolution of knowledge and skills in the years to come.
The following sections discusses ICT literacy requirements in the workplace along with the results of observation and document analysis conducted in a particular ICT literacy class for adult learners. Literature ReviewLiteracy, according to Hayes & Whitebread (2006), is one area of learning that can greatly enhanced by the use of ICT (p. 37). However, it is not clear whether ICT literacy instructions in adult education can do the same with students who need to learn ICT skills for the workplace. Although adequate emphasis have been given by the Australian government on ICT literacy, there are only a handful of details how this new literacy should be developed and explicit connection between teaching of literacy and teaching of technology in schools (Subramaniam 2006, p. 123). ICT literacy is generally the ability to use digital technology, communication tools, and computer applications appropriately to solve information problems thus this includes developing the ability to use technology for research, organise, evaluate and communicate information and understanding of ethical and legal issues associated with access and use of this information (Neuman 2011, p. 66).
ICT literacy is more than knowing how to use computers or any advanced workplace technology but involves a number of skills associated with information use and access.
This new literacies developed because of technological advances has impacted teaching and learning in a number of ways. For instance, traditional literacy skills in content-area classrooms are often focus on improving students’ comprehension of printed materials while new literacies require students develop knowledge and skills they can use to navigate complex networked environments (Wood & Blanton 2009, p. 85). In other words, literacy is no longer confined to reading, writing, and understanding information from books but include research, evaluation, and comprehension of information from different technology sources.
For instance, the students may be required to identify important questions, locate information, use critical thinking and evaluation skills, and communicate this information effectively. Acquisition of literacy in this context is considered a set of social practices rather than acquisition of narrow cognitive skills (Warschauer 2004, p. 44). According to Subramaniam (2006), social learning skills are now essential to literacy instruction particularly with new technologies for information and communication that demands teachers and their students to make connections and view the world differently (p. 30).
Moreover, ICT literacy requires development of potentials inherent in ICT and innovative use of ICT in learning and work related activities (Cohen 2009, p. 159). Therefore, basic ICT literacy instructions in adult education should include familiarity with ICT and recognition of lifelong learning concept. Moreover, schools according to Subramaniam (2006) must equip students with not only ICT literacy but also fluency skills to support the evolution of knowledge economy (p. 122).