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Introducing the Mobile Information Literacy Curriculum

By Wayan Vota on January 4, 2017

As millions of people come online across the globe through mobile devices, mobile information literacy is vital for those who have leapfrogged from traditional media to digital devices that provide instant access to information.

Mobile information literacy is necessary to help people learn how to find and evaluate the quality and credibility of information obtained online, understand how to create and share online information effectively, and participate safely and securely. Mobile information literacy is critical to help people better consume, generate, and disseminate trustworthy information through both digital and traditional media.

Existing curricular models assume people learn on a personal computer (PC). While this has been the case historically, the next billion people coming online will most likely learn on a mobile device. This has huge implications for how people get online, how they access and experience the Internet, how much they produce in addition to consume information, and even how they conceptualize the Internet itself.

For instance, research shows that in Myanmar (and many other countries) more people use Facebook than the Internet. Also, some mobile applications and websites don’t offer the full functionality of their PC counterparts.

The six-module Mobile Information Literacy Curriculum for mobile-first users, is now available for download, use, and adaptation. The curriculum aims to address mobile-first differences and empower mobile Internet users to be equal participants in the online world.

The curriculum focuses on critical thinking in a digital environment of smart phones, mobile phones, and tablets, filling a critical gap in digital information literacy curricula.

The curriculum includes the following six modules:

All curriculum module guides and accompanying slidedecks can be found on the Mobile Information Literacy Curriculum Research Collection page. The curriculum and training guide were designed to be flexible and customizable, depending on the baseline skills of those being trained, and translated into other languages.

In countries and contexts like Myanmar, where for many using a mobile phone marks their first experience with the Internet and digital technology, these training materials can be used by various organizations, such as libraries and NGOs, to both train their staff and to build knowledge, skills, and mobile information literacy competencies within the populations they serve.

In Myanmar the materials have been translated into Burmese, and master training sessions have been conducted to train library staff to further train their colleagues, as well as library patrons. Our partners in Myanmar have also conducted training sessions at the Ministry of Information.

Mobile Information Literacy is a project by the Technology & Social Change Group, along with their partners at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies.

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks and is the Digital Health Director at IntraHealth International. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of IntraHealth International or other ICTWorks sponsors.
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