Digital Literacy


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Presentation given at SJS on Sep. 6, 2012

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Digital Literacy

  1. 1. Digital Literacy /Multi-literacies September 6, 2012
  2. 2. Students …and Teachers“The Web is a learning tool that differs from other toolsused in education because students acquire a great manyWeb skills in an out-of-school context and also regardthemselves as skilled Web users. This is reflected in theperception of many teachers that their students Web skillsare superior to their own, which may result inunderestimating the support students need when using theWeb for educational purposes.”
  3. 3. It is true Most of our students are‘digital natives’ Instant-messaging, photo sharing, texting, social networking, video-streaming, and mobile Internet Young people don’t need coaxing to take up Internet technologiesTheir skills quickly improverelative to their elders
  4. 4. BUT… without guidance most of our students remain …amateur users of information andcommunication technology (ICT) a generation of youth who are deeply immersed in cyberspace yet are not fully digitally literate
  5. 5. In other words,… Students who think they’re tech savvy are not necessarily web literate: they consider that surfing the web immediately means benefitting properly or fully from the web’s potential. Students don’t know that they don’t know, so they don’t feel the need to ask. Students don’t trust their teachers or parents could guide them in this area.
  6. 6. Despite the various terms and conceptsattached to digital literacy, there isconsensus that…the use of technology has to be pedagogicallymeaningful taking into consideration thecritical skills needed to assess information aswell as the ethical and social implicationsinvolved. One of the models of digital literacy as developed by Calvani, Fini and Ranieri (2009):
  7. 7. Objectives Become better informed as teachers • what the rights and responsibilities of web users are (digital citizenship) • what skills are required to search and manage web content (information and media literacy) • and why it is important for us teachers at this point (design more purposeful / informed assignments) Think about a better integration of digital citizenship and web literacy in the curriculum (through training and not just instruction)
  8. 8. Digital LiteracyUnder the “digital literacy umbrella” are a widerange of interrelated skills that traditionally fallunder:• Technology literacy (from basic computer skills to more complex tasks like editing a digital film or writing computer code) • Media and Information literacy (our ability to access, analyze, evaluate and produce media)• Visual literacy, Communication literacy, and Social literacy
  9. 9. ISTE StandardsThe International Society for Technology inEducation (ISTE) frames its benchmarks for digitalliteracy around six standards:creativity and innovation;communication and collaboration;research and information fluency;critical thinking, problem solving, and decisionmaking;digital citizenship;and technology operations and concepts
  10. 10. Digital Citizenship…or “character education” in a networked world
  11. 11. Examples of Digital Citizenship• How to use a cell phone in public (etiquette)• How to write proper emails / which pictures to post (communication)• Benefit from web tools to learn or take classes as in videoconferencing (education)• Connect community members to the Internet (access)• Beware of illegal activities in case of commerce as in online shopping (commerce)
  12. 12. More Examples of Digital Citizenship• Respect copyright by citing resources for e.g. no stealing or plagiarism or downloading illegal music (responsibility)• Protect privacy and free speech as in having the right to publish personal opinions (right)• Not give personal info to strangers or open suspicious emails / avoid eye strain or lack of sleep (safety)• Manage virus protection and data backup (security)
  13. 13. Information and Media Literacy Skills1. Define an information problem or formulate a research statement2. Access Information efficiently (time) and effectively (sources)3. Evaluate information critically and competently4. Manage and use the information5. Create products6. Share and communicate
  14. 14. How much do you know about information literacy?What strategies do you use?- Which search engines to use?- Which search tools or key words to use?- How to evaluate websites / media?- How to manage the flow of information?- How to use the information accurately and ethically?
  15. 15. How much do you know about information literacy?Take the following quiz (11 questions) to see if you are:Somewhat Savvy (0-4 points)Moderately Savvy (5-8 points)Downright Nerdy (8+ points)
  16. 16. How much do you know about information literacy?1. List 3 major search engines and a major directory.2. What is a blog?3. Why might you use quotation marks when conducting a search?4. URL is an acronym for…5. Identify three Boolean search terms.
  17. 17. How much do you know about information literacy?6. How do you find the owner or publisher of a Web site?7. Identify these extensions and what they .com.sch .co
  18. 18. How much do you know about information literacy?8. What clues in a Web address might indicate you are on a personal Web site?9. How would you conduct a search for the following: a list of Web sites of all the academic institutions in South Africa? (Hint: South Africa’s country code is .za)
  19. 19. How much do you know about information literacy?10. How would you conduct a search for the following: US higher education Web sites that contain the word turtle?11. How do sites get to the top of a result list in Google?
  20. 20. Applying Web-related Research Skills“Research shows that students primarily useone search engine and then only look at thefirst page of results. They can quickly give upor settle for something “close enough” whenthey don’t find the information they’relooking for. Huge amounts of time are beingwasted in searches void of the rigor ofresearch.”
  21. 21. Finding the Information: Reading Google Search Engine Results Page1. In addition to the pages it finds in response to your query, Google • draws on searches other people have done before you to offer related searches at the bottom of the page. • exposes information in the panel on the right. • provides results even before you finish typing in the words you have in mind.
  22. 22. Finding the Information: Reading Google Search Engine Results Page2. Notice that when you point at a particular search result, called a result block, a small, sideways chevron appears next to it (>>). Clicking on that chevron allows you to preview a document, letting you determine what kind of document is behind the link.
  23. 23. Finding the Information: Reading Google Search Engine Results Page3. Result blocks consist of:The snippet is not a complete summary of the text on a page; itis only search terms in context, extracted from the document.Text that is taken out and replaced by the ellipses (…) couldbe critical to answering your question.
  24. 24. Finding the Information: Reading Google Search Engine Results Page4. Result blocks might provide links to specific pages within the website :
  25. 25. Finding the Information: Reading Google Search Engine Results Page5. Result blocks of complex websites usually displays a search box that will allow you to search exclusively within that site:
  26. 26. Finding the Information: Reading Google Search Engine Results Page6. Last tip: Not only is it helpful to know how to understand a single result, but you can gain a lot from taking a moment to look over an entire screen or page full of results. If you find discrepancies among the results, try to find the name of organizations that could be primary sources and change your search terms.
  27. 27. Finding the Information: Different Kinds of ContentGoogle offers access to multiple media such as:
  28. 28. Finding the Information: Different Kinds of ContentIn addition to theleft-hand panel,there is the baracross the top ofthe screen:And even more…such as GoogleScholar.
  29. 29. Finding the Information: Google Operators What is an operator?It is a command that you add to your query to giveGoogle special instructions about how you want itto deal with a specific search term.1. The “site: operator” to limit results to pages that come from a specific website e.g. “Gibran Khalil Gibran” or “car accident rates” You can explore this feature further by clicking on Images or News, or even by limiting the time, in the left-hand panel.
  30. 30. Finding the Information: Google Operators2. The “filetype: operator” to limit results to files or documents of a particular kind e.g. “Gibran Khalil Gibran filetype:pdf” File types: o PDF files (mostly for manuals, reports, etc.) o flash files i.e. animated web content (SWF) o Google Earth files (KML; KMZ) o Excel files (XLS) o PPT
  31. 31. Finding the Information: Google Operators3. The “minus sign (-) operator” is just a hyphen thats put in front of a term (usually an invasive term) that you want to have excluded from the search results. You can also add multiple minuses together. For example, if you were looking for a recipe about salsa, you might search for [salsa] and discover that there are multiple definitions of salsa. Theres the dance. Theres the music. Don’t forget the food.
  32. 32. Finding the Information: Google OperatorsBy using [-dancing] or [-music], we canactually focus just on salsa recipes: [salsa -dance -music].But now, suppose you are trying to get arecipe that does not have tomatoes in it.Maybe you are allergic to tomatoes.You would then use [-tomatoes] to get rid ofrecipes mentioning tomatoes:[salsa -dance -music -tomatoes]
  33. 33. Finding the Information: Google Operators4. The “double quotes operator” to signify a phrase search. The goal is to focus the results on pages where those words appear in the same order they appear in the quoted phrase.5. The “OR operator” (always in caps) provides a way of combining ideas so that you can search for pages including at least one out of a set of related terms or synonyms. e.g. uk OR england (put between quotation marks if you have more than one word).
  34. 34. Finding the Information: Google Operators6. The “intext: operator” allows you to find pages that have a specific word in the body of the text somewhere--it forces inclusion on the page. Here is an example: You want to find pages from the website that include the phrase “coral bleaching.” However, you also want to assure that the term geophysics appears on any page you find. The query would look like this:[coral bleaching intext:geophysics]
  35. 35. Finding the Information: Google OperatorsThe reason you sometimes need this is whenyoure searching for a page that has multipleterms on it, some terms you ask for in the searchbox may drop out of your search and not getused. When you want a word to be on that page,use intext: to force the inclusion of that result.
  36. 36. Finding the Information: Google OperatorsCombining Operators:[filetype:kmz shipwrecks OR “ship wrecks”florida]
  37. 37. Finding the Information: Google OperatorsNASA’s website indicates that the agency is a model ofsustainability. You want to get a better notion of whatothers think about NASA’s environmentalmanagement. You decide to look at what othergovernment (.gov) or military (.mil) organizations haveto say about NASA’s programs. You do not want to seeresults from itself.You know that you want the following elements in yoursearch: [nasa environmental management OR policy];.mil sites; .gov sites; but NOT anything
  38. 38. Finding the Information: Google OperatorsDid your search match any of the following?Which will work best?1. [nasa environmental management OR policysite:gov OR site:mil] 2. [nasa environmental management OR policysite:gov OR site:mil]3. [nasa environmental management OR policysite:gov OR site:mil -nasa] 4. [nasa environmental management policysite:gov site:mil]
  39. 39. Finding the Information: Google Operators7. Advanced Search: You could use all these operators and others through the advanced search features very quickly.
  40. 40. Finding the Information: Google Operators
  41. 41. Checking Your FindingsJust because Google puts a result first doesnot necessarily give it any credibility. Itonly means it is popular among otherconsiderations (200, Google expert says!) Some of the useful methods in checking credibility:
  42. 42. Checking Your Findings1. Reading the web address (URL): the directory imperialism in this address m/panamacanal.html indicates a specific perspective.2. Checking the time range (use the time feature on Google’s left-hand panel)3. Checking the accuracy of quotes (“Elementary, my dear Watson”)
  43. 43. Checking Your Findings4. Checking the owner or the publisher of the web site.5. Looking for a primary source especially in case of variant information. For example, between a Wikipedia article and a BBC article on an experiment conducted in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it is better to check the as a primary source.
  44. 44. Quiz Answer Key -1-1. List 3 major search engines and a major directory.• A Web directory is a listing of Web sites organized in ahierarchy or interconnected list of categories.• The Best Search for Your Information Need: /adviceengine.html• NoodleQuest Search Strategies Wizard:
  45. 45. Quiz Answer Key -2-2. What is a blog?Blog is short for weblog. It is like an onlinediary (a public one) where anyone can postpersonal comments.There are many free platforms to create apersonal blog such as Blogger and Wordpress.
  46. 46. Quiz Answer Key -3-3. Why might you use quotation marks when conducting a search? Use “quotation marks” to ensure your keywords appear in your search results in the order you have specified. It could yield almost half the results of the same query without quotation marks.
  47. 47. Quiz Answer Key 4-54. URL is an acronym for…Uniform Resource Locator5. Identify three Boolean search terms.AND, OR, NOT
  48. 48. Quiz Answer Key -6-6. How do you find the owner or publisher of a Web site?• Go to and enter the URL of the site you would like to research.• Find owner information for the site
  49. 49. Quiz Answer Key -7-7. Identify these extensions and what they represent:• .org – organization• .com – company• .sch – school (used outside of US)• .k12 – most US school sites• .edu – US higher ed• .gov – US government (add country code for outside US)
  50. 50. Quiz Answer Key -7-7. Identify these extensions and what they represent:• .ac – higher ed outside of US usually used with country code, example, “”• .net – network• .mil – US military• .co – Company (if paired with a country code, example “,” the state of Colorado or the country, Columbia)
  51. 51. Quiz Answer Key -8-8. What clues in a Web address might indicate you are on a personal Web site?Look for a tilde “~” or the “%” signor a personal name “jdoe”or the word “user” after the domain name andthe first forward slash “/”
  52. 52. Quiz Answer Key -9-9. How would you conduct a search for the following: a list of Web sites of all the academic institutions in South Africa? (Hint: South Africa’s country code is .za)• Go to Google: and type “” in the search box• For a full list of country codes, visit odes.html
  53. 53. Quiz Answer Key -10-10. How would you conduct a search for the following: US higher education Web sites that contain the word turtle?Go to Google: in the search box “site:“site:edu“site:edu turtle”
  54. 54. Quiz Answer Key -11-11. How do sites get to the top of a result list in Google?One factor Google uses to rank sites ispopularity. It counts the number of links fromsites all around the Web. There are severaladditional factors as well, including but notlimited to the title of the site and the actualcontent of the site.
  55. 55. Managing the Flow of InformationA logical starting point to teach students howto be organized and to collaborate in theirsearch experience is to use a socialbookmarking tool such asDiigo http://www.diigo.comor delicious
  56. 56. Managing the Flow of InformationDiigo helps users:- Keep a record of sites and images from the web- Organize them using personal notes and keywords called “tags” (tags can relate to subjects, content areas, individual projects, and more.)- Annotate resources using embedded sticky notes
  57. 57. Managing the Flow of InformationUsers can also use a social bookmarkingtool such as Diigo as a search engine to check resources collected and shared by other online users or groups. A little time spent searching through these groups might prove to be more productive than spending the same amount of time searching with Google.
  58. 58. Managing the Flow of InformationStudents can use Diigo to collaborate on a class project; they can agree to use a specific tag. A simple search on Diigo for this tag would provide each student with the resources found by all.
  59. 59. Managing the Flow of InformationOne of the greatest benefits of using atool such as Diigo is that the students’libraries follow them from class to class andfrom year to year. Therefore, a student whostudies biology as a part of the seventh-grade curriculum can return and add to theresources found when taking biology againin high school and then in college.
  60. 60. How Does One Learn Best? – Watching, reading, listening to someone else talk about itThe LoTi Digital – Direct exploration and Age Survey will experimentation help you reflecton and direct your learning process:http://www.loticon – A combination of both
  61. 61. References assessment-instruments html resources/ s.pdf
  62. 62. References arent-teaching-web-literacy-and-how-they-can-start/ where-the-common-core-meets-common-sense/3/