Thursday, April 26, 2007

Borrowed Civilisations

ICT is the way to go! ICT!? Yes ICT. Information and Communication Technologies or Information Communications Technology aka Information Technology. ICT, the cousin to Informatics, Information Systems, Information Science, Information Engineering, Computer Science, and all the hype around it! However, ICTs are foreign to the bulk that make African cultures. True! Africa must not only adopt, absorb, concot phrases to refer to ICTs and related concepts but also be prepared to embrace and use ICTs in everyday businesses and activities.
Absorbing a foreign technology is like borrowing a leaf from a foreign civilisation! It can not be easy.This is the context I dwell in. The Information Age version of Uganda, Southern Sudan and indeed Africa. I therefore feel the following skills are badly needed in order for Africa to benefit from this borrowed civilisation called ICT: Information Literacy and then Computer /ICT literacy. I conquer with the following definitions from the National Forum on Information Literacy:
"Information Literacy is the ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information for the issue or problem at hand. "
Information Literacy is primarily my training in Library and Information Science.
"Computer Literacy: The ability to use a computer and its software to accomplish practical tasks."
Computer Literacy is a vital component of my primary training. I use computers to accomplish my information literacy tasks. To me, this is Informatics! Informatics is achieving an Information service task using a computer.

Were I to combine my Informatics with some training in an information domain such as the health domain to accomplish a health service task, then I would be into Health Informatics!

I wish somebody could throw some light on these borrowed civilisations called ICTs, Informatics and Information Sciences!

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