Reframing Information Literacy as a Metaliteracy
Metaliteracy promotes critical thinking and collaboration in a digital age, providing a comprehensive framework to effectively participate in social media and online communities.
Metaliteracy challenges traditional skills-based approaches to information literacy by recognizing related literacy types and incorporating emerging technologies. Standard definitions of information literacy are insufficient for the revolutionary social technologies currently prevalent online.
Information literacy was the term used most frequently in the United States from the late 1980s through most of the 1990s and is still used regularly. (Craig Gibson, “Information Literacy and IT Fluency: Convergences and Divergences,” Reference & User Services Quarterly 46, no. 3 (2007): 24.)
p. 64. Social media and online collaborative communities are not specifically addressed in the standard definitions, but many of the highlighted skills are pertinent to today’s information environment.
…these institutional frameworks are not on the cutting edge of emerging trends; they lag behind the innovations of Web 2.0 and social media. Metaliteracy expands the scope of information literacy as more
than a set of discrete skills, challenging us to rethink information literacy as active knowledge production and distribution in collaborative online communities.
p. 69. While new literacy movements have similar foundation elements to information literacy, specifically
related to critical reading and critical thinking, as well as proficiencies in finding, synthesizing, and creating information, differences are often emphasized based on the specificity of technology or media
formats. As each new form of literacy is introduced, the shared literacy goals related to critical thinking and information skills are often overlooked, creating an unnecessary divide between information literacy
and other literacy types. The information literacy literature has also contributed to this separation in an effort to clarify important distinctions between information and computer skills, or between traditional
bibliographic instruction and new media literacy. Metaliteracy reinforces stronger
connections between information literacy and other literacy frameworks. This approach looks at the foundation principles that unite information and technology, rather than focusing on differences based
on discrete skills, distinct technologies, or media formats.
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