When learning about the whole concept of digital literacy, these were the three resources/articles that impacted me the most and helped me to understand both what it means to be digitally literate and how to get there:
Learning How to be Digitally Literate
The first resource that I took a look at was the comic “You’re not going to believe what I’m about to tell you”. This comic was really interesting to me, I didn’t react to it very emotionally, which I think was somewhat the point of the comic, but I can see why it would cause controversy or highly emotional reactions. This comic was probably the most poignant resource, it did a really great job of illustrating what digital literacy actually is. It is important to be just as critical of the digital information and content that we are consuming as it is to be critical of information that we are learning and being told in real life and in literature. I think it is often easy to take online information as ‘more correct’ but it is important to remember that it is just as if not more susceptible to being twisted or altered to fit a certain agenda.
The second resource that I took a look at was It’s Easier To Call A Fact A Fact When It’s One You Like, Study Finds. This article supported a lot of ideas that I already had about the information that we choose to acknowledge and believe. This is something that I have had to work on quite a lot. It is very easy to brush aside information that you don’t want to hear or don’t agree with. This is just an important part of critical thinking in general, I don’t think that this problem has only occurred because of the increase in access to the digital world but I do think that it has exacerbated and made the issue more obvious. It is easy to encounter people who’s beliefs line up with your own and enter into a sort of echo-chamber where information that lines up with your beliefs is touted as true all of the time, and where information that clashes with those beliefs is written off as lies. It becomes easy to train yourself to only acknowledge information that you want to acknowledge.
The final resource I wanted to talk about was the article The Smell Test: Educators can counter fake news with information literacy. Here’s how. I wanted to take a look at at least one thing that would help me teach digital literacy in the classroom. This article had some resources and tips for teaching digital literacy to young children, and that is my area of focus, so I found this article extremely helpful. In elementary, particularly in grade one and two, teaching about digital literacy is likely going to be a more simplified conversation, focusing on beginning to develop the basic skills of recognizing where information is coming from, and what they think the intents of the authors are. At that point in their schooling, there is still a focus on beginning to recognizes the different parts of texts, usually this is in reference to books, but I think it would also be beneficial to start having students think about parts and intents of online media at this age as well.