Defining Information Competence

The goal of becoming information competent is to empower decision-making in the course of problem-solving by uncovering meaning. However this is not solely based on information but also on gut feeling and emotions. While gut feeling and emotions are broadly the subject of psychology, we are going to focus on dealing with information, as something outside the brain, informing us about the world around us.

Source of the following definitions: Guidelines on information literacy for lifelong learning. Jesús Lau, Information Literacy Section, IFLA, July 2006

Critical Thinking

One of a brain’s functions is thinking (processing information with a purpose).
‘Critical thinking’ is a “reasonable, reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe (improvement of thinking) or do (decision making).”

Information Competence

The knowledge, skills, and literacies to choose the best information available and to benefit from the knowledge and experience of others.

The term ‘competence’ implies a group of skills to identify an information need, as well as retrieving, evaluating, using and reconstructing the (knowledge-) contents of the retrieved information resources.

Synonyms: information skills, information capabilities, information literacy

Information Literacy

The knowledge and skills necessary to understand the meaning/message/information of symbols/data/contents/WHAT is written down (on media, with or without the help of ICT)

This term is commonly used in the English speaking world to denominate information competencies that imply the capacity to identify when information is needed, and the competence and skill to locate, evaluate and use information effectively.

In Spanish, the meaning of information literacy implies the basic school-skills of reading and writing. Literacy is a term used by ministries of education to call the basic teaching of reading and writing, but not necessarily of learning to learn. The preferred term, therefore, is ‘development of information competencies‘, at least from the Spanish language point of view.

Synonyms: information skills, bibliographic instruction, user education, information competencies

Computer Literacy

The knowledge and skills necessary to understand information and communication technologies (ICTs), including the hardware, the software, systems, networks (both local area networks and the Internet), and all of the other components of computer and telecommunications systems.

Media Literacy

The knowledge and skills necessary to understand all of the mediums and formats in which data, information and knowledge are created, stored, communicated, and presented, i.e., print newspapers and journals, magazines, radio, television broadcasts, cable, CD-ROM, DVD, mobile telephones, text formats (e.g. pdf), and format for photos and graphics (e.g. jpg).

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