Dennis D. McDonald ( is an independent consultant located in Alexandria Virginia. His services and capabilities are described here. Application areas include project, program, and data management; market assessment, digital strategy, and program planning; change and content management; social media; and, technology adoption. Follow him on Google+. He also publishes on and aNewDomain.

Am I Asking the Right Question About Technological Literacy?

By Dennis D. McDonald

It was inevitable that, as I started researching the question of how much people need to know about technology in order to manage it, I would run across numerous definitional issues.

Technological literacy is not the same as computer literacy. Nor is it the same as mathematical literacy, science literacy, or work literacy.

A good illustration of the core issues involved in answering this question is presented in this slickly produced video from Professor Michael Wesch titled A Vision of Students Today. It over-uses the “holding up of printed cards” bit popularized decades ago by Bob Dylan in Subterranean Homesick Blues but the point is made: kids these days live in a technologically different world than their parents and many of their potential employers.

Maybe a more appropriate question to ask is not how “technologically literate” people need to be in order to manage technology.

Maybe the question should be how technologically literate people should manage the jobs they find themselves doing — jobs that may not be ready to take advantage of all the skills and experience technologically literate people bring to them.

Here’s Professor Wesch’s video:

  • Copyright (c) 2008 by Dennis D. McDonald
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