Problem Statement: Being digitally competent will influence the future of both individuals and societies. While it is an indispensable necessity for information societies in terms of individuals, it means the closure of digital divide for the societies. Digital empowerment impacts the competitive power of individuals in the business market, as well as their status and earning power. The sector of digital technology services will create employment for young people, increase production, export and “social belonging,” and in this way, solutions can be found to solve important developmental problems. Educational institutions have a great responsibility in enabling individuals to acquire digital empowerment, i.e., acquisition of information literacy skills. One of the purposes of an education is to train individuals in accordance with the needs of the society. For that reason, at the present day educational systems are responsible for turning out individuals who have the attributes appropriate for the information age and who can meet the expectations of the information society.
Purpose of Study:The purpose of the study is to determine the prospective teachers’ digital empowerment and their information literacy self-efficacy.
Methods: Descriptive survey research was designed to search prospective teachers’ digital empowerment and their self-efficacy beliefs about information literacy. Digital empowerment scale and information literacy self-efficacy scale were conducted to 169 fourth grade prospective teachers at the elementary level.
Findings and Results:According to findings, it was seen that the prospective teachers’ overall mean of self-efficacy beliefs about information literacy score was at the moderate level; however, prospective teachers presented higher self-efficacy beliefs for certain categories such as defining the need for information,locating & accessing the resources, initiating the search strategy and communicating information. Results also showed that prospective teachers’ overall mean of digital empowerment score was high, which is quite satisfactory. Their digital empowerment scores related to categories for awareness, motivation and technical access were also high, but empowerment level was medium. The issue of high level of access to digital technologies found in this study is quite gladsome. Besides, further analysis was carried out to study the relationship between prospective teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs about IL and their digital empowerment and found a moderate but significant positive relationship between prospective teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs about IL and their digital empowerment.
Conclusion and Recommendations:Result showed that prospective teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs on the interpreting, synthesizing & using the information and evaluating the product and process and their digital empowerment on the empowerment are not fully satisfactory. Based on our findings, it is recommended to develop and maintain information literacy and digital empowerment programs for prospective teachers. Which are vital for lifelong learning. Besides, government’s policies should give big importance to diffusion of information literacy and digital empowerment in schools and in the society.
Keywords: digital empowerment, digital literacy, information literacy, self efficacy