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Information Studies - Essay Example

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1. Educational Testing Service, your old pals of SAT fame, has recently introduced an information literacy test. Investigate their Web site ( on the subject and reflect on what you see…
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Download file to see previous pages Based on my readings, information literacy is the ability to know what information is needed to solve a problem, the skill to organize that information, and the intuition to know that a source of information is credible with the knowledge of where to look elsewhere. The concept of information literacy, then, is related to the epistemological problem of what is knowledge and what are the credible sources of knowledge, using modern terminology and more practical goals.
For the Educational Testing Service, their assessment of Information Literacy is valid but it is not sound. The people in ETS have assumed that the population is more or less homogeneous. If that's the case, any result would be conclusive, and any mistake will like stem from an incompetent administrator of their assessment tool. However, their testing instrument is not sound since the population is more or less heterogeneous.
They completely ignored the role of social classes. Different people from different classes will have different values on certain information. The better off a person, the larger is his or her social capital. This has created a digital divide. Formerly, it was just a problem of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Now, it is a problem of the rich knowing more and more by which to get richer and richer, while the poor will not learn enough to get rich or even a decent living.
Until these issu
Until these issues are resolved, I hold that the Educational Testing Services must revise their instrument, assumptions, and methodologies so that information literacy can be accurately and reliably measure across differently types of people in the country.
2. A group of software developers has recently published a letter to president Obama encouraging the new administration to adopt open source software in the government's IT infrastructure. Imagine what arguments they may have to support the use open source software by government agencies. What might be some of the drawbacks associated with the government's use of open source software Using the pros and cons you outline, draw your own conclusion about whether the federal government should use open source software.
Arguments for the use of open source software are as follows:
With the global financial crisis hitting the major economies worldwide and the US government on deficit spending, it is only logical that the government should cut costs. Government financial officials are injecting taxpayers' money to salvage ailing financial institutions, even at the risk of hyperinflation due to artificially low interest rates.
It is a fact that every few years, or even months, commercial software companies like Microsoft will release updates or new versions of commercial software. If governments or corporations will like the new features, they will have to purchase updates. Hence, more costs are involved. This can be prevented through the use of open source software. Since they are free, the government could save much from potential expenditures.
Besides, monopolies like Microsoft must not be tolerated. If the government could show some support to independent software developers, then true competition and capitalism could help lower the cost of commercial software. The public will benefit, and improved features can be expected.
The arguments against the use of Open Source are as follows:
Open Source software are not as used as commercial softwar ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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