The phrase Digital Literacy has been cropping up recently in articles and blog postings in my Google Reader. According to Wikipedia, digital literacy is “is the ability to locate, organize, understand, evaluate, and analyze information using digital technology.” Sounds a lot like a librarian, doesn’t it?
If you or your patrons are looking to improve your digital literacy skills, I’ve come across three tools to help you. First, the Northstar Digital Literacy Project from Minnesota. The project is designed to assess the ability of adults to perform tasks in six main computer areas: Basic Computer Use, Internet, Windows Operating System, Mac OS, Email and Word Processing (Word). Just for fun, I took a couple of the assessments. While they include audio, the quiz questions are also written on each page. When you complete an assessment, you’re given a score. For any incorrect answers, you’re told what skill you need to improve before taking the assessment again.
Second is the Colorado Libraries 2.0 project. This project, like our Project Play, is designed to help library staff (and patrons) become familiar and comfortable with Web 2.0 tools. The project is broken up into seven categories: communication; collaboration; visual communications; personal learning environments; productivity tools; social networking; books and reading. Each category has two to four different tools to try out. While the project was designed and created for Colorado library staff, the material and lessons are open for anyone to use. Designed back in 2010, some of the content or tools may be slightly dated but overall, it’s a great place to start learning more about Web 2.0 tools.
Last, but not least, is another Colorado project. This one is called Tech Training for Libraries and can be used in a number of ways. You could use the lesson plans and activities to teach classes on topics ranging from Computer Guts to Craigslist 101 to patrons at your library - handouts included! Or you could use the competencies and checklists to ensure that library staff are all on the same page, technologically. I think this could be a great programming resource for libraries. If you try out any of these classes in your library, please let me know! I’d love to hear how you’re using this site and others in your library.
P.S. One more thing...Nicolet Federated Library System recently held a webinar called Technology Trainer Bootcamp with Sarah Houghton. Her presentation topic fits in nicely with this post. Enjoy!