For my process post this week, I decided to focus on an idea that we discussed in lecture regarding digital literacy. Specifically, how active each of us are in modeling digital literacy. This provided me an opportunity to reflect on my own actions. We discussed various different aspects within modeling digital literacy, including sharing a post without reading it, identifying and acting on fake news, checking to see if news is reliable, consulting sources when reading articles, and sharing false news/information on your own.
Caulfield (2016) mentioned that “we are faced with massive information literacy problems, as shown by the complete inability of students and adults to identify fake stories, misinformation, disinformation, and other forms of spin” (para. 7). In reflection of my own practices, I agree with Caufield (2016). In the past, I admittedly have shared a few posts without fully reading them or looking into background information. This happens on social media, where there is an influx of popular posts that many people re-share to their stories. A few times, I have fallen into this “trap” of reposting a popular post on Instagram, without looking into deeper details. However, more recently, I have stopped myself from doing this and tend to look into what is being posted. With that being said, I don’t think I have ever posted anything that was completely false information or fake news.
Additionally, I have recognized fake news while scrolling on social media, specifically on Facebook. There have been a variety of articles that I have seen on Facebook with weird clickbait titles, which have either been “recommended” to me by the algorithm or reposted by a friend. I find that most often, people who repost and comment on these types of inaccurate articles are older people, rather than younger people. However, I know that there are younger people that fall for it, too. When I have noticed something fake/inaccurate being posted, I tend to simply scroll past it. I have never commented or tried correcting anything as I feel that I don’t have a big influence to do so. I also am not interested in getting into social media fights with others. This goes to show the type of passive practice I have in regards to practicing and modeling good digital literacy. Could I, too be a part of the problem?
Furthermore, when reading an article, I occasionally tend to get lazy and not always look at the references that the author is using, specifically when I am casually surfing the web. However, this depends on the circumstance. For example, if a course is assigning a reading, I assume that it is legitimate and that the professor has made sure of this before making students read it. On the other hand, if I am finding sources for an academic paper or even for my blog, I always ensure that I am using reputable sources, and consult the top references the authors have used when reading. I think that many people would probably relate to these common practices. However, I definitely recognize that we should ere on the side of caution more often than not, as there is a lot false information that exists.
I think that most people are unequipped to model good digital literacy, as it is a newer phenomenon. However, as Caufield (2016) described we need “…something that is actually digital, something that deals with the particular affordances of the web, and gives students a knowledge of how to use specific web tools and techniques” (para. 87). I think this is important for even young children to learn about, as they are “…engrossed in screens all the time” (Bridle, 2017, para. 3). Bridle (2017) identified in his article the dangers of child YouTube content, where young kids have access to a range of different creepy videos. All of us must be more aware of false information online. We need to begin modeling good digital literacy. To do so, I would recommend starting by reading Caufield’s article (2016), as it provides in-depth information and explanation on the subject. As I am someone who uses social media and has a personal domain where I share information with others (i.e. this blog), I must be more mindful in my own personal modeling of digital literacy going forward.
Bridle, James. November, 2017. “Something is Wrong on the Internet”
Caulfield, Mike. (December 19, 2016). Yes, Digital Literacy. But which one?
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