Weblogs, Wikis, and Information Literacy

Will writes that he's working on ideas for an article on how weblogs and wikis affect literacy. One interesting point that writing teachers should reflect on is his idea that

While just about everything we used to teach with was a finished, edited text, the Web now provides us with a gazillion unedited texts . . .

This raises the question of what is "edited" (or not) on the web? Suppose we accept Will's premise that the web has "a gazillion unedited texts" (which I will from the standpoint of thinking of it as not professionally edited through a publisher). Then for those of who teach writing using a large number of these unedited texts, what are the effects on students' style and process of writing?

In the same post, Will also links to a good resource: The American Library Association's Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. In reading the first few paragraphs, I became puzzeled by the ALA's definition of information literacy--

Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information."

--since it is drawn from the Presidential Committee on Information Literacy: Final Report of 1989. Now the standards document quote above is from 2000, but surely, conceptions of information literacy have been affected by the digital telecommunications and Internet revolution of the past 15 years? Perhaps someone in information science might know whether this defintion represents contemporary thinking in the field?


This definition does represent contemporary thinking in my experience. I graduated with an MLS degree one year ago. I was wondering what kind of changes you had in mind? The quote from the ALA website doesn't seem to address medium (book, spoken word, or blog).

of how information is created/distributed online. in fact, that was the thing that made me wonder since it would seem that conceptions of what information is and how it is used might have expanded. but this is out of my field, so i'm not the one to try making a new definition ;)