SOURCE: National Forum on Information Literacy

February 21, 2008 07:30 ET

National ICT Literacy Standards Set

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - February 21, 2008) - Amid calls for comparable information and communication technology (ICT) literacy standards nationwide, the National ICT Literacy Policy Council has recommended a set of national ICT literacy standards to serve as the basis for the Educational Testing Service (ETS) iSkills™ assessment.

"In today's technologically driven world, it is essential that K-16 educators have a baseline to determine fundamental ICT literacy skills for students," says Lana Jackman, Ph.D., National Forum on Information Literacy Co-Chair and Chair of the National ICT Literacy Policy Council. Jackman is also president of Mélange Information Services Inc.

Documented in the ETS "Setting Standards on the Core and Advanced iSkills Assessments" report, the ICT literacy standards are the first in what can be seen as a national standard for ICT literacy.

"The Policy Council set a mandate based on our council's definition of fundamental skills to create a national ICT literacy standard. I'm happy to say ETS stepped up and went to work to design and conduct a standard-setting study, from which cut scores for its iSkills assessment were drawn based on recommendations from independent panelists," adds Jackman.

Panelists included 18 secondary and post-secondary educators and were selected from recommendations by the National ICT Literacy Policy Council, National Forum for Information Literacy, and the American Association of School Librarians.

iSkills is one of the most widely used ICT literacy assessments for college level students. Rather than testing knowledge of particular software packages, iSkills assesses students' higher-order problem solving and critical thinking skills as they use digital technology to solve real-world information problems.

"Meeting a complex range of ICT literacy skills is quickly becoming a requirement for success in the workforce and in college," adds Jackman. "It is a challenge that policy makers, business and institutes of higher education cannot afford to ignore, particularly in these times of intense global competition."

The Policy Council members are the following:

--  Dr. Daniel J. Callison, Director of Library Media Education, Indiana
    University; representing American Association of School Librarians
--  Dr. Leonardo de la Garza, Chancellor, Tarrant County College District,
    Fort Worth, Texas
--  Donna Desrochers, Director of Economic and Education Research, Delta
    Project on Secondary Costs
--  Dr. Charles D. Dziuban, Director, Research Initiative for Teaching
    Effectiveness University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
--  Karen Elzey, Senior Director, Institute for a Competitive Workforce,
    an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
--  Dr. Margaret Honey, Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
    and Research at Wireless Generation.
--  Dr. Lana W. Jackman, Chair, National ICT Literacy Policy Council and
    Co-Chair, National Forum on Information Literacy
--  Dr. Tomás D. Morales, President of the College of Staten Island.
--  Dr. Barbara O'Connor, Director of the Institute for the Study of
    Politics and Media, California State University, Sacramento and Chair of
    the International ICT Literacy Panel
--  Loretta L. Parham, CEO & Library Director, Robert W. Woodruff Library,
    Atlanta University Center; and Chair of the HBCU Library Alliance Board of
    Directors
--  Dr. Terrel L. Rhodes, Vice President for Quality, Curriculum and
    Assessment, Association of American Colleges & Universities
--  Dr. Sharon Robinson, President and CEO, American Association of
    Colleges for Teacher Education
--  Dr. Lorie Roth, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Programs
    California State University, Office of the Chancellor, representing ETS's
    iSkills National Advisory Committee
--  Dr. Gordon W. Smith, Director, System-Wide Library Initiatives,
    California State University (retired)
--  Dr. Howard L. Simmons, Director, Division of Educational Leadership &
    Policy Studies, Morgan State University; former Executive Director of
    Middle States Commission on Higher Education
--  Barbara Stein, Manager, External Partnerships and Advocacy, National
    Education Association
--  Betsy Wilson, Dean of University Libraries, University of Washington;
    representing Association of College & Research Libraries
--  Dr. A. J. "Christy"  Wright, Instruction and Reference Librarian,
    Prince George's Community College, Maryland
    

For more information about the National Forum, please visit www.infolit.org. For more information about ETS's iSkills assessment, visit www.ets.org/iSkills.

About The National Forum on Information Literacy

The National Forum on Information Literacy was created in 1989 by the American Library Association's Presidential Committee on Information Literacy in response to the 1983 seminal educational reform report, "A Nation at Risk." These education, library, and business leaders believed that our challenge in America was not the lack of information but the inability of people to navigate through a great overabundance of information to expeditiously get to reliable and timely information needed to make important personal and workplace decisions. So far there has been little progress in systematically integrating information literacy skills training into the curriculums on most campuses and the American workplace. Unfortunately, the need for an information literacy citizenry is better recognized among international leaders than those in the U.S. If this continues, our country will be endangering our international competitiveness insofar as it is based on the concept of "working smarter." For more information, visit www.infolit.org.

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