The idea of assisting a "life long learner" in becoming "information literate" (or is it the other way around?) weighs heavily on me. It is a very big responsibility that requires a lot of cooperation. Tied to this is the idea of the ethical use of information. I recently read an article that mentioned a quote from Dipenbrock (1997) in regards to information literacy - the idea that every act that records symbols of human communication outside of the human body is a type of literacy, be it textual, visual, gestural, social or digital. Have you every received an email and you are not sure of the "intonation"? Is the person being sarcastic, sympathetic, straight to the point, funny, emotional due to illness or brief due to pressures at their end. You reply and then your emotion is misinterpreted and so it goes on to the point where no one is sure where they stand and how people feel about them. That gestural literacy is needed when we speak. You read more than words. You read the person. So as an educator who wants to instill in the student information literacy skills, one must also ensure that information skills are used ethically. Information can be so objective. Use it wisely and with the correct intention. Think of what is it behind the information you can't "see".
Another interesting point of in relation to information literacy - what is it? Well in centuries past it could have been classed as writing your name. Today it involves being able to function well in society which entails the ability to read, use numbers and to find information and use it appropriately. For example, in my mum's childhood she needed to be able to add, subtract, write clearly (in perfect handwriting) and read what was required for their future occupation. Today she needs to be able to use her new wizz-bang computer and send us photos (by the dozen), skype with her grandchildren, word process letters, access facebook (if she can find the small piece of paper that has her password on it), search the internet everytime someone mentions an illness and maybe, possibly find my blog to read. She is information literate today to a point. I still can't convince her to change her mobile phone so I can send her photos. The definition of information literate changes as society demands. What will an information literate person look like in 20 years? Something different again.