Difference Between Computer Literacy and Information Literacy

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1. Why is it important to understand the difference between computer literacy and information literacy?

The difference between computer literacy and information literacy is as follows:

Information literacy is the ability to access, organize, evaluate and use information from various sources.

Computer literacy is having the knowledge to use technology in order to manipulate computer software or hardware.

There is a strong correlation between the two, but they are still different. Both concepts use critical thinking, but information literacy goes beyond knowledge and access in learning more.

To be clearer, with information literacy one is taking what has been read and learned and applying it. With computer literacy one can have the knowledge but not necessarily know how to use it or apply it.

Basically, with information literacy one will take the knowledge to the next step by using the access to organize, use and evaluate what has been found. With computer literacy one has the technology to manipulate the computer, but they may not have the information to continue on through the process and derive a conclusion based on evaluations and organization.

Computer literacy, if you want to think of it in steps, is the literacy before information literacy in which the person is on their way to gaining the extra knowledge they need in order to apply what is currently known.

Information literacy also requires one to have awareness in how information systems work and the link between information need, sources and channels.

An example would explain this easier. You can know how to use Google search, but unless you take it a step further such as knowing what you need, the sources and the channels to gain what you need you will be stuck with unhelpful answers. Certainly, you know you need keywords in a search engine, but unless you know what keywords you are stuck. This is the relationship between the two concepts.

2. Discuss the three elements of an information system (hardware, software and persware) that managers must consider. Which of the three do you consider the most important?

Is the physical aspect of computers, telecommunications, and other devices. The term arose as a way to distinguish the "box" and the electronic circuitry and components of a computer from the program you put in it to make it do things.

Software is a term for a set of instructions, which makes a computer to perform a task. The set of instructions are commonly known as a program, without which computers cannot do any operations. A software is classified broadly in to two groups, application software, which includes normal utility applications like Microsoft word, PowerPoint etc. that interacts and performs user specific tasks and system software, such as operating systems, which interacts directly with hardware to make the system work and also provide a platform for other applications to work.

Defined as the people aspect of an information system, without this aspect of an information system the hardware and software components become computer literacy. The people who drive and run the information system also help to determine which types of data to collect, store and disseminate for reporting and analysis purposes.

The three Components of information system talked about the input, processing, output and feedback processes. Most important is the feedback process; unfortunately it's the one most often overlooked. Just as in the triangle above, the hardware (input and output) and the software (processing) receive the most attention. With those two alone, you have computer literacy. But if you don't use the "persware" side of the triangle to complete the feedback loop, you don't accomplish much. Add the "persware" angle with good feedback and you have the beginnings of information literacy.

3. Which of the six business objectives do you think is the most important? How can information...
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