Impact of Recent Trends in Information and Communication Technology on the Validity of the Construct Information Literacy in Higher Education

  • A. A. J. (Jos) van Helvoort
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 96)


The objective of this paper is a reflective discussion on the validity of the construct Information Literacy in the perspective of changing information and communication technologies. The research question that will be answered is: what is the impact of technological developments on the relevance of the Information Literacy concept? Technological developments that will be discussed are:

- content integration (federated search engines)

- amateur publishing (user generated content)

- use of social networks to find information

- personalisation and push technology

- loss of context / fragmentation of information.

Research methods: desk research and critical analysis of the results that were found. The analysis of the influence of the discussed technologies on the Information Literacy concept is represented by arrow diagrams.

Findings: The Information Literacy concept refers to a set of sub skills varying from retrieval skills to critical use of scholarly information. Changing technologies reduce the significance of the more instrumental sub skills of the Information Literacy concept. On the other hand, higher order cognitive skills (for instance critical evaluation of resources and analysis of content) become more and more important for students and professionals who try to solve their information problems.

The paper concludes with a description of the facets of the Information Literacy concept that need extra attention in the education of the knowledge workers of the future.


Information technology communication technology information literacy higher education 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. A. J. (Jos) van Helvoort
    • 1
  1. 1.Academy of ICT&MediaThe Hague University of Applied SciencesThe HagueThe Netherlands

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