Digital Literacy & Credibility (Credible Website Evaluation)

What is digital literacy and how can you help students develop it?

Digital literacy encompasses reading and writing on all levels with the use of technological tools to enhance, promote and establish modes of communication with ever changing information. With the quick access and types of information digital literacy extends also into the domain of ethical responsibilities.

Students can help develop their digital literacy by getting involved in the creative process of developing lessons with the teachers. As technology upgrades and inventions hit the market students approach school with vast new skills often surpassing the technological skills, if any, of their teachers. By utilizing such skills, students develop a sense of ownership and involvement in the creative process of lesson planning.

To help my students in developing their digital literacy I would be incorporating activities found in One thing that seems prevalent and has not slowed down in our high school is the use of copywritten material. The lesson 'How can i make responsible choices when I use other people's creative work?' would be a great lesson to tackle with my students. It provides meaningful ways for students to question and to reflect on the copywritten materials of others and of their own. Students find it easy to complete assignments with a simple copy & paste unaware of the legal ramifications they face if they continued this habit in college. My goal is to help my students develop digital literacy skills they can use in college.

As contributors to society, with students practice makes perfect. Students need to be able develop and apply critical thinking and researching skills to solving issues and problems they face as teenagers and as well as what they are facing in the community as a whole. In this way, the hopes of instilling proper and ethical skills in my students they will be able to share their knowledge and experience with others.

Credibility (Credible Website Evaluation)

Students are easily persuaded nowadays given their direct access to high-speed technology and the lack of discipline in verifying credible information. Prior to this technology course i would’ve been convinced the 2 articles on the Ear mouse debate were believable. However, further analysis demonstrates the information supplied on the websites do not provide supporting details on what exactly happened. Its almost meant for someone to read the article and to accept it, no questions asked. Any further doubt would lead a person astray or become weary of double checking or fact-checking the sources. Many of my students are the latter. They find double checking the validity of a website or source as boring and time consuming.

First off I would have my students read the three ‘ear mouse’ articles. Afterwards, in groups, they will have to list the articles from ‘very reliable’ to ‘least reliable’. Students will have to jot down reasons they found the articles as very reliable or least reliable to which time will be given to each group to share their answers with everyone. Class discussion will follow as i collect individual feedbacks from the students on what they learned, if any, or what their issues were as they read the 3 articles and what their first reactions were after reading the articles.

There are two websites I would like my students to review, DHMO (dihydrogen monoxide) and Tree octopus. It seems interesting that just the DHMO abbreviation looks compelling but as a Chemistry teacher it is not. My students would probably not question the validity of the site. I am curious to see how they would react as well to this lesson. The Tree octopus website is another humorous story in and of itself. The images and the many active links seem to support the story in which it would be a challenge to find it lacking any credibility.

My goal with these articles and lessons is to have my students use some form of discipline to keep themselves from being so ‘gullible’ which was a the basis of a study by 14 year old student who conducted his survey on DHMO. For the most part I expect my students to use proper research skills, use discipline and to be skeptical when researching online. Furthermore laying this type of foundation enables a student to practice proper researching skills.

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