Teaching Digital Literacy in a Digital World

Teaching Digital Literacy in a Digital World

The internet is an interesting place where we compile unfiltered information and discuss this information to no end. I was first introduced to the internet in first grade. My teacher had rented the single cart of MacBooks the school had and sent us to exploring the internet. She wrote a link on the white board to type into the search bar, and I was completely lost. As I grew older, computers and the internet became a larger part of my life. Now, in 2020, I carry a super computer in my pocket and most likely spend eight to ten hours on my super computer per day.

I have grown up in a digital world, a world in which most of my friends had a smart phone by the time they were twelve. As a result, I have been consistently bombarded with information. Information that is mainly found on Social Media and delivered to me as if it were the six o’clock news. I was never taught how to decipher real from fake on the internet, and I believe that is a very large issue. After reading The Oatmeal’s comic “You’re not going to believe what I’m about to tell you”, I learnt why being able to decipher real news from fake is so important. It is important because being properly informed is essential to limiting prejudice and discrimination.

How do we teach digital literacy to students?

If I had been taught how to decipher real news from fake news in school, I believe that I would have had a much better understanding of the world around me. For this reason, I think that it is important for Teacher’s to teach their students digital literacy, as this is becoming our main source of information.

In Linda Jacobson’s article, “The Small Test: Educators can counter fake news with information literacy. Here’s How.”, Jacobson highlights important resources for teachers to teach digital literacy. What many of these resources have in common is that they require more research from the reader. The largest thing I took away from reading Jacobson’s article is that in order to decipher real news from fake, the reader has to do more research and compare other sources. I think that the best way to teach digital literacy to students, is to have them determine whether a source is reliable or not by researching controversial topics.

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