Contemporary society is witnessing changes and processes triggered by the groundbreaking development of humankind’s technical capacity, especially in the area of informational and communication technologies (ICT). In this new society, learning and a continual educational process constitute basic preconditions for the success of individuals as well as for the entire society. In this context, information literacy is becoming increasingly important. Informational literacy is generally understood as the ability to use information sources and communication technologies in order to solve problems in one’s everyday activities, or to increase one’s labour efficiency or the quality of life, respectively.
The Faculty of Education at Charles University in Prague is currently dealing with a research project entitled “Changes in education reality in conditions of developing information society”. The research focused on five thematic fields: Education reality, the dynamics and connections to the spheres of knowledge and the ICT; curricular and procedural aspects of changes in context of the integration of the ICT into schools and of the training for life in the knowledge society; information and communication technology as the component of educative environment of the knowledge society; models of the support of learning and instruction via the ICT and their evaluation; preparing the teachers for educational tasks in the knowledge society and the integration of ICT into education.
Teacher-training colleges should consistently and purposefully prepare would-be teachers for education that encourages functional literacy, or for the implementation of a broadly defined information-based education that transcends the constraints of a specialized subject. These are the most relevant focus areas: gathering, analysing and organizing information; disseminating ideas and information, and understanding an entire complex interconnecting system; planning and organizing one’s work activities; adopting teamwork and cooperation; using systemic procedures, terminology and methodology; developing the ability of logical reasoning and strategies aimed at dealing with problems; being able to use technical equipment; cultivating a spirit of solidarity and cooperation among students; using active learning methods; providing quick feedback and testing one’s knowledge by means of ICT; emphasizing the deadline by which the assigned problem task has to be solved; taking into consideration the diversified talents of individual students and various ways of teaching.
This paper deals, in general, with the consequences of deep impact of the new information and communication technology on the society and describes its characteristic features and contributions for education. It also offers the characteristics subject of the one of meaning longitudinal research orientation of Faculty of Education of Charles University in Prague.