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A ICT "Literacy" Revisited: or What the Literate Citizen Really Needs to Know

Author(s): Dan Fleming

Journal: Contemporanea : Revista de Comunicação e Cultura
ISSN 1806-0269

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 45;
Date: 2004;
Original page

Keywords: ICT | literacy | Open Source | education | technology

Use of the term ‘literacy’ to describe various sorts of competence in information and communication technologies (ICTs) has been widespread (e.g. digital literacy, media literacy) but this is usually little more than a vaguely defined metaphorical usage. The paper revisits the notion of literacy and uses British educational sociologist BasilBernstein’s analysis of codes and of classification and framing practices in order to suggest that there is a desirable form of ICT literacy that is more than a metaphor for a general level of competence. This ICT literacy is characterized as an ability to graspboth the objects of ICT and their conditions of possibility (e.g. with reference to Open Source as a specific configuration of such conditions). Spinosa, Flores and Dreyfus’s concepts of articulation, reconfiguration and cross-appropriation are re-defined as framing practices and their strategic importance is argued for within the field of ‘conditions of possibility’ defining today’s ICTs. In making this case, the paper addresses the nature of the genuinely ‘elaborated code’ that, it is argued, must replace the pseudoelaborated code of general technical competence at the core of ICT literacy if the ICTliterate citizen is to be capable of meeting contemporary challenges.
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