LITERACY and LEARNING PROJECTImproving instruction for ICT LiteracyIntroductionMy literacy and learning project is to introduce an improvement in existing ICT related teaching instruction particularly those that are being applied in adult literacy institution. Since literacy is now defined by change and emerging technology, constant improvement is necessary to maintain teaching instructions relevance to workplace literacy requirements. The key objectives of this project are as follows: Analyse existing ICT literacy instructions and determine the areas that needs improvementDetermine the current workplace ICT literacy requirements and identify those that are not included in existing ICT literacy instruction. Review relevant literatures and determine the most appropriate literacy strategy for ICT. Formulate and create a set of new instruction RationaleOne of the most important issue cited by Fingeret (1994) concerning inadequate workplace literacy is the lack of appropriate materials directly related to the actual work (p. 35).
A careful analysis reveals that such defect results to several complications such as failure to cope with economic priorities, unproductive workforce, reduced competitiveness, and a number of associated negative effects. Particularly in the advent of computer and information technology, Internet, and computerised manufacturing machines, these problems are likely to expand if no relevant materials and instructions are available.
Moreover, the technology is rapidly changing thus constant improvement or modification in teaching instruction is necessary. ICT literacy is not just a matter of being computer literate and particularly in the workplace ICT literacy requires critical-thinking skills which must be initially developed in school along with baseline understanding of ICT. These include developing students’ ability to find, select, and evaluate the most relevant information. Establishing connection between ICT literacy and self-directed learning so students will be able to work with newer technology and future challenges at work.
Based on what I read regarding ICT literacy, students’ confidence with ICT does not necessarily contribute to their proficiency at work but the constant interaction with the technology. The findings of one study I came across while researching for the literacy concept assignment shows positive relationship between access to home computers and reading skills indicating that more interaction with technology is better. Although ICT skills may be seen as dependent to technological proficiency to some extent, such skills also requires cognitive skills such as numeracy and problem-solving skills which are critical for using ICT effectively.
In addition, some literature that includes Brian Street’s “new communicative order” or literacy practices associated with screen-based technologies suggests that educators consider promoting the most appropriate literacy skills. These include but not limited to new types of literacies such as multimedia authoring and critical analysis skills, cyberspace exploration and navigation strategies, and the literacy to help students negotiate and deconstruct images both visual and verbal. It is therefore necessary that ICT literacy instruction promote constant interaction, self-directed learning, cognitive skills development, and new literacies all at the same time to ensure students’ effective use of ICT skills in their workplace careers. The guiding literatures for this project will Bryan Street’s articles such as his 1998 lecture “New Literacies in Theory and Practice” and “What’s New in New Literacy Studies?
Critical Approaches to Literacy in Theory and Practice” published in 2003. These guiding articles will be supported by wide range of readings and sources such as the results of adult literacy and life skills survey by OECD in 2005 and ICT integration and Assessment or iSkills conducted by Alexius Smith Macklin of Purdue University in 2007.
A number of literacy books and journals are also being considered and will be included in the project.