Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

Initial Research on "Technological Literacy"

By Dennis D. McDonald

In How Much do People Need to Understand Technology to Manage It? I discussed “technological literacy” from the perspective of management. I expressed some skepticism about whether heavy users of popular communications and computer technology necessarily understood enough to effectively manage that technology in an organizational setting.

I’ve started some research on the topic of technological literacy. Initially I’m looking for definitions. So far I’ve found several useful items to review:

  • National Academies Press, Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy. This definition is included: “Technological literacy is an understanding of technology at a level that enables effective functioning in a modern technological society.” A major point made here is that technology involves more than computers.
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, Project 2061 Benchmarks for Science Literacy. Project 2061 is a “… long-term AAAS initiative to advance literacy in Science, Mathematics, and Technology.” Of particular interest to me is Chapter 3, The Nature of Technology.
  • Kosmix Search, Technological Literacy. Kozmix is a “horizontal search engine” that organizes web search findings in a logical and accessible manner. Check out the “related terms” on the right side of the page.
  • If readers are interested in reading about how fast (computer) technology changes, I suggest reading Robin Bloor’s 8 Disruptive Technology Changes blog post. There are some gems buried in this list that have some real “land mine” potential for changing corporate IT governance policies and practices.

This last item raises the question, how can something curriculum-driven that you learn about technology in grade school, high school, or college prepare you for a technology management role later in life?

These are just a few items but they are a start. I’ve noticed that much of the “science literacy” and “technology literacy” information I’ve seen so far is curriculum-related. I’ll be interested in seeing what I find when I start to look at the literature of management.

My next post in this series will address bookmarking and tagging. For now I’m using the tag “Technological Literacy” here but I will be using a social bookmark system (either or Faviki) to publish relevant links.

  • Copyright (c) 2008 by Dennis D. McDonald

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How Much do People Need to Understand Technology to Manage It?

How Much do People Need to Understand Technology to Manage It?