The growing need for digital literacy

(22 February 2018) It’s no secret that the bulk of research is now being done online, both in and outside of the classroom. Whether you’re a student, instructor or researcher, there’s no faster or easier way to get the information you want than to head to the web. But just because the internet has improved access to information doesn’t mean it has filtered the quality of that information. While the web may put the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, it also opens up a new world of misinformation, falsehoods and outright lies.

Though the term “fake news” has been in the public eye a great deal this past year, the phenomenon isn’t just limited to news. For any type of information one seeks out online, they can find both legitimate sources written by experts, or dubious sources with questionable information.

This, in turn, makes digital literacy one of the most important skills that any student can be taught.

According to the American Library Association, digital literacy is “The ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.”

But, while schools have been rapidly stepping up their efforts to teach technical skills, many students have been lagging behind on the cognitive skills that power the use of that technology. A major challenge for students currently is evaluating information and the sources they come from.

Turnitin has the full article here.