Information Systems

Document Type


Publication Date



Information and communication technology literacy is increasingly referred to as the fourth literacy. However, it is neither as well understood nor as readily assessed as reading, writing, and arithmetic. This paper argues that better understanding and more effective measurement of ICT literacy are needed to gauge readiness to both pursue higher education and enter the workforce. The paper builds on existing definitions of ICT literacy by introducing a model that extends the dimensionality of the construct. The model posits that skills and knowledge, along with attitudes toward IT, coalesce in the context of reflective self-awareness and purposeful intent to allow a computer user to achieve generativity - the ability to generate new skills and knowledge that form the basis for creativity. Literacy, aptitude, and creativity are overlaid on the model to give meaning to the complex, iterative processes by which users interact with and learn about information technology artifacts and concepts. In the absence of robust theoretical foundations and effective standardized assessments, ICT literacy will continue to play a fourth, barely audible fiddle to its three more established counterparts.