Information, Digital, & Media Literacy (IDML)

Not since the French Encyclopédie in the second half of the eighteenth century has so much knowledge of science, arts, and practical technologies and crafts been as publicly and comprehensively assembled as in our own time. Through the Internet, the vast resources of libraries and research organizations, the texts of societies, the still and moving images and the sounds of cultures, and the data of reputable sources is available to those with access to digital technologies through computers and mobile devices.

However, the information and media ecosystem is also polluted by misguided or malevolent actors. Political, legal, medical, and foreign policy domains (to name a few) display falsehoods pretending to be facts, images manipulated, and narratives or statistics distorted.

Never before has a free citizen’s ability to discern the accuracy, credibility, and reliability of sources of information been as essential to life in a democratic republic.

If an earlier iteration of the information literacy standard was preoccupied with using baseline digital skills and accessing information, the more pressing concern of IDML is a UConn student’s education in more complex thinking through the analysis and evaluation of information and media, and their skilled synthesis in new products and expressions.

Infused throughout the Common Curriculum and embedded in each of the TOIs, IDML educates students in the rhetorical and intercultural dimensions of media, both as consumers and creators. IDML also educates students in the discourses and information ecosystems of the disciplines in which they are learning, preparing them for their professional and civic lives in an increasingly interconnected world.