Information Literacy

In this study, the development of focal participants' technological literacy also was closely related to another 21st-century proficiency known as information literacy. Information literacy refers to the ability to seek out and critically evaluate information across a range of media. This includes recognizing when information is needed and then using technology, such as communication networks and electronic resources, to locate, evaluate, synthesize, and put this information to use (NCREL, 2003). One of Nanako's sources of computer-related knowledge was the computer classes she was taking in school. However, the emphasis in school-based Breitling Replica computer classes is often on basic or mechanical aspects of computer use or computer-based reproductions of print-based activities.

Thus, the skills from her computer classes did not all readily transfer to her extracurricular computer-based activities. In fact, the primary way that Grace, Nanako, and Cherry-chan developed their technological literacy was by accessing online sources of information and tapping into networks of people who were skilled at using these technologies.


This finding is akin to the findings of Chandler-Olcott and Mahar's (2003b) study investigating adolescent girls' technology-mediated literacy practices. In this article, the authors focused on two focal participants, Rhiannon and Eileen, who created and designed multimodal texts within the anime fan community. The authors also emphasize the point that these young women did not receive mentorship for their technology use in schools. Instead, they relied on related Breitling Replica Watches print resources or went online to seek out examples of and explicit instructions for how to design tech-savvy texts.


Grace, Nanako, and Cherrychan also engaged in such self-directed forms of learning. For example, Nanako would sometimes publicly post questions or rants about technological challenges that she was having on her WebPages as a means of eliciting feedback and help from the audience. Also, all three youths visited online help sites and forums to find information about how to create and maintain their various web-pages, forums, and Live journal accounts. In so doing, they continued to develop their information literacy skills, as they sought out information, decided which materials were relevant to the tasks they were trying to accomplish, and then applied this information to complete their online projects and activities.

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