Tools for Information Literacy
Current Session
According to the American Library Association, Information Literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize when information is needed and to have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information."  The ALA feels that the uncertain quality and expanding quantity of information pose large challenges for society.  
The sheer abundance of information, however, will not in itself create a more informed citizenry.  A complementary cluster of abilities is necessary if information is to be used effectively. In SILS, INLS040 will focus on concepts and techniques for finding and evaluating information, while INLS050 will focus on concepts and the tools needed to communicate your information to users.  
We will start from the baseline of the North Carolina high school computer skills requirement and build from there.
To that end, in INLS050 we will explore some basic concepts related to personal computer hardware and software and will spend quite a bit of time gaining practical experience with several Internet tools and resources.  We will also introduce concepts and practice skills germane to effective use of the power built into word processing, presentation graphics, spreadsheet, and relational database management software.  Although we will use the Microsoft Office XP suite of applications for many tasks, the basic concepts should provide you with skills that will enable you to be comfortable with other similar packages.
Some of the our goals for the semester include: 
1 Ability to use the Internet effectively     
1.1 become familiar with the Internet and its basic tools
1.2 understand electronic mail, mailing lists, and other communications forums
2 Ability to effectively format written documents    
2.1 understand the underlying power of markup languages in word processors
3 Ability to create useful Web content     
3.1 understand the basic tools underlying the web 
3.2 create web pages directly from MS Office applications
3.3 and by using an HTML editor
4 Ability to use spreadsheets and relational database software applications  
4.1 learn about the vector power of functions in spreadsheet applications
4.2 learn the basics of a common relational database management system
5 Ability to design and produce effective visual presentations  
5.1 use the power of the program to enhance your message
All work done in INLS050 will be done on computers.  There will be no paper products generated in this class and there is no printing requirement.