What exactly does “technology literacy” entail?

The definition of “technology literacy” has always been fuzzy.  This everyone agrees upon.  Depending upon who you ask, it can mean the ability to communicate via social networks through a variety of media (including image, sound, color, space, avatars, etc.) or it can encompass the principles of Internet safety, cyber bullying and the laws on the use of intellectual property.  While everyone agrees that it is a valuable skill to have in the 21st century, the varied definitions of technology literacy make it difficult to teach and measure.  At the federal level, the NCLB act mandated that students be technologically literate by 8th grade but left it to states to decide how that would be defined and measured.  Add to the fuzziness, that NAEP will begin testing technology literacy in 2012.  How will students fare on this national test if their state’s definition and preparation of technology literacy drastically differs from how NAEP defines it?  Hmmm.  The future for tech literacy will be interesting.  Be sure to review the recent Education Week Digital Directions’ article devoted to discussing the nebulous nature of technology literacy. 

I’d love to hear about how your school is defining technology literacy… email me at lwoo@iaak.net   Perhaps I can put the puzzle pieces together to see how Hawaii defines it.

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