Digital Literacy in the Library
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On Instagram, the kids are alt-right - The Boston Globe

On Instagram, the kids are alt-right - The Boston Globe | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it

Julie Scelfo writes: "By building a platform where anyone can publish anything, social media companies have made it easier to propagate humanity’s darkest impulses."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

A good summary of why we need to teach media literacy! (And a great example of a click bait headline!)

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Thread by @samwineburg

Thread by @samwineburg | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it
Thread by @samwineburg: "1/13 Last week I attended a convening by @icivics that deliberated on how to strengthen democracy. I was given 2 min the audience & tried my best to be brief. Several people have asked for my remarks. Here they are. (Bewa […]"
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Stop. Think. Check - Be Media Smart

Information is everywhere and sometimes it can be difficult to judge how accurate or reliable information is.
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Another quick checklist to share with students. I am all for whatever will get them to think critically about sources! A three step checklist is better than no review at all. 

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Escaping Google's stranglehold

Escaping Google's stranglehold | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it

Jamie McKenzie writes: "It is essential that schools teach students how to escape this stranglehold that Google creates. While helping visitors to find the information they need, Google effectively limits and narrows their searches - steering them toward the obvious and the conventional."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

This would be an excellent introduction to using keywords when researching. Have students read a short biography, then have them choose three or four words from the biography to add to their search. In Jamie's example, [Isadora Duncan AND critics] led to information that probably wouldn't show up on Biography.com! When I tried [George Washington AND critics], I also found richer resources.

 

The key to this is that students would need some basic knowledge in order to determine which keywords to use! Likewise, Jamie's "questions of import" are great, but I know if I asked students to use them, the first thing they would do is Google the exact question, then complain that nothing came up:) 

 

I'd love to do this as a stand alone library lesson: a short introduction, then time to read a short online biography, choose the keywords to add, and discuss their findings. It certainly would help students become more thoughtful about their research!

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How Much of the Internet Is Fake? Turns Out, a Lot of It, Actually

How Much of the Internet Is Fake? Turns Out, a Lot of It, Actually | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it

Max Read writes: "How much of the internet is fake? Studies generally suggest that, year after year, less than 60 percent of web traffic is human; some years, according to some researchers, a healthy majority of it is bot."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Can we tell what's virtual and what's real? After highlighting fake news, fake businesses, fake content, fake numbers, Read notes: "Where does that leave us? I’m not sure the solution is to seek out some pre-Inversion authenticity — to red-pill ourselves back to “reality.” What’s gone from the internet, after all, isn’t “truth,” but trust: the sense that the people and things we encounter are what they represent themselves to be."  

 

Well worth your time!

 

 

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Introduction to Crash Course Navigating Digital Information #1

We love the internet! It's a wealth of information where we can learn about just about anything, but it's also kind of a pit of information that can be false or misleading. So, we're partnering with Mediawise and the Stanford History Education Group to make this series on Navigating Digital Information. Let's learn the facts about facts!

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

This is going to be a helpful series for our upcoming media literacy unit!

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Bad News

Bad News | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it
Drop all pretense of ethics and choose the path that builds your persona as an unscrupulous media magnate. Your task is to get as many followers as you can while slowly building up fake credibility as a news site.
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Fascinating way to look at disinformation! This game is more appropriate for high school and college students. There's an educator's worksheet that provides links to some excellent resources on each subtopic. 

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Why California's New Media Literacy Law for Schools Could Backfire

Why California's New Media Literacy Law for Schools Could Backfire | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it

Valerie Strauss writes: "California Gov. Jerry Brown just signed into law a bill intended to promote the teaching and learning of media literacy in public schools, making it one of a handful of states that require such instruction.

The California law requires the state Department of Education to help teachers by providing resources on the subject on its website by the end of 2019. The decision of who should get this instruction and how would be left to school districts."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Hmm, I see a big opportunity for library staff to step up! This law, which goes into effect in 2019, doesn't require school districts to provide this instruction. I think if we're not teaching digital and media literacy, we are failing our students and creating another gullible generation who share fake news stories as soon as they finish scanning the headline.

 

Sam Wineburg, the lead author of the Stanford study that showed how abysmally students did when distinguishing fact from fake on the Internet, is quoted in the article: "Forget that kids (and the rest of us) lack the patience to slog through lists of questions. There’s a larger problem. In an age of cheap templates, creating an official-looking Web page or listing a contact are features laughably easy to game. The last time a .org designation meant something was when dial-up modems were state of the art."  

 

Teaching students to read laterally, to determine who is behind the information on the page, is more important than providing a checklist that kids complete with little thinking.  And I was so happy to see the Wikipedia technique I share: mine the Wikipedia contents box for the external links, because they can be gold when looking for primary sources! 

 

It's time to throw out the acronyms (I'm looking at you, my beloved CRAB handout) and worksheets, and show students how to grapple with information using critical thinking strategies. 

 

 

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Sergei Skripal and the Russian disinformation game

Sergei Skripal and the Russian disinformation game | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it

Joel Gunter and Olga Robinson write: "A loosely-defined network of Russian state actors, state-controlled media, and armies of social media bots and trolls is said to work in unison to spread and amplify multiple narratives and conspiracies around cases like the Skripal poisoning. The goal is no longer to deny or disprove an official version of events, it is to flood the zone with so many competing versions that nothing seems to make sense." (Italics added)

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

A fascinating look into the Russian disinformation campaigns. In the past, a single version of disinformation was shared. Now, multiple sources provide multiple stories over multiple social media platforms. One expert observed that these campaigns mean a person who Googles for information finds so many conflicting versions of an event that they often give up searching, either accepting misinformation or just not following the story anymore. While this story focuses on the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skirpal, it's easy to see how the disinformation campaigns can be used to create confusion around the approaching US elections. 

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10 of the Most Useful Digital Age Skills Every Learner Needs

10 of the Most Useful Digital Age Skills Every Learner Needs | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it

Lee Watanabe-Crockett writes: "Digital age skills are skills for learning and for life. Here are some of the most versatile and useful ones you can encourage students to always work on."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

We work on most of these in our library. I'm not convinced middle schoolers need to brand themselves, but we do talk about how to present your authentic self online. This article includes different sites to build each of the skills, which I appreciate. I'm always telling students the skill is what's important, not the specific site they use. 

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Visual and Data Literacy Resources - Michelle Luhtula

Visual and Data Literacy Resources - Michelle Luhtula | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it

Resources from Michelle's 89th Edweb.net webinar.

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Mary Reilley Clark's curator insight, May 26, 2018 12:20 PM

Another great webinar from Michelle Luhtula, this time on visual and data literacy. All the resources mentioned in the webinar are here in Michelle's Pearltree. You can watch the recorded webinar here

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Gov. Brown depicted requiring 'Arabic numbers' in satire post | The Sacramento Bee

Gov. Brown depicted requiring 'Arabic numbers' in satire post | The Sacramento Bee | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it

Michael McGough writes: "This week in the world of fake news, a recent satiric post criticizing California Gov. Jerry Brown for passing a fictional law made some readers laugh, angered others, and likely prompted some people to brush up on their math lingo."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I discovered this article via The Sift, which provides a Viral Rumor Rundown full of examples for discussions on digital and media literacy. Here's a link to their archives. It's well worth subscribing to their newsletter!

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Image Searches with Chip Control!

Image Searches with Chip Control! | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it

Dan Russell writes: "You might have noticed... 

... that the Image search now has a set of colored rectangles just below the query area.  Here's an example with a simple query.  See those rectangles?  They're called "chips," and they modify the image query."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I just love Dan Russell's blog! I am always learning new things to share with students. This is a quick lesson to share, but can really help students find just the right image. You can click on several of the chips to further refine your search. I searched [sunsets], then added [Eiffel Tower] and finally [clouds] to find this beautiful photo. (Of course, I first limited my search to images labeled for noncommercial reuse!)

 

It's also a lesson in how search engines change rapidly, so we all should periodically pause and look over what's new. I've seen the chips on Amazon, and coincidentally, while I was searching for a new cast iron skillet, just like Dan. 

 

So, not a life-changing thing to share, but it certainly might help students with searches, or spark some new ideas for their search query. 

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GwynethJones's curator insight, August 1, 2018 8:56 AM

This is a great informative post about something I hadn't noticed! Learning for the win!

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How to Be a Better Web Searcher: Secrets from Google Scientists

How to Be a Better Web Searcher: Secrets from Google Scientists | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it

Dan Russell and Mario Callegaro write: "Search engines are amazingly powerful tools that have transformed the way we think of research, but they can hurt more than help when we lack the skills to use them appropriately and evaluate what they tell us. "

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

A good overview to share with teachers and students. I've been sharing the concept of lateral searching with students this year. Several have reported how helpful it is when they're researching controversial topics, especially when they find blog posts at the top of their search results. They now look up the blog'a author before continuing to read the post itself. In many cases, they've found no information on that author, which makes them think twice about using that source!

 

 

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What Is Fake News?

What Is Fake News? | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it

Alison Caporimo writes: "Not all news is created equal, and now you can learn all about how to spot and how to stop fake news. From the term's true definition to websites that are notorious for the fake news coverage, this article has everything you need to know about fake news. Read on to understand how to determine fake news and how you can stop misinformation from spreading."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Good summary written for teens on what fake news and tips for spotting it.  (The  use of "WTF" in the second paragraph means I can't share it with my middle schoolers, alas.)

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GwynethJones's curator insight, March 25, 8:10 PM

 Alison Caporimo writes: "Not all news is created equal, and now you can learn all about how to spot and how to stop fake news. From the term's true definition to websites that are notorious for the fake news coverage, this article has everything you need to know about fake news. Read on to understand how to determine fake news and how you can stop misinformation from spreading."

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Don't get fooled: 7 simple steps - News Literacy Project

Don't get fooled: 7 simple steps - News Literacy Project | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it

"Use the steps and questions below to avoid being manipulated, fooled or exploited by viral rumors, misleading memes, impostor news sites and fake images."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

A good set of questions to add to a media literacy toolkit for students.

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In France, School Lessons Ask: Which Twitter Post Should You Trust? 

In France, School Lessons Ask: Which Twitter Post Should You Trust?  | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it

Adam Satariano and Elian Peltier write: "France is coordinating one of the world’s largest national media and internet literacy efforts to teach students, starting as early as in middle school, how to spot junk information online."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

In the past two weeks, I've had discussions with adults who turned to Twitter to check a news story. As a lifelong newspaper reader, I was baffled by this. We discussed how going directly to a news site would provide a less biased view, less of a self-created filter bubble than checking Twitter. I don't think I convinced them, as they countered with the fact that my news sources might be considered a filter bubble, too!

 

I do like Sandra Laffont's point about going back to the basics: "what’s news, who makes it, how do you check the sources." It certainly ties in with what we do daily in our libraries!

 

 

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Why Do People Fall for Fake News? 

Why Do People Fall for Fake News?  | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it

Dr. Gordon Pennycook and Dr. David Rand write: "What makes people susceptible to fake news and other forms of strategic misinformation? And what, if anything, can be done about it?

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

The key takeaway: "But this “rationalization” account, though compelling in some contexts, does not strike us as the most natural or most common explanation of the human weakness for misinformation. We believe that people often just don’t think critically enough about the information they encounter." [Italics added.]

 

Critical thinking is so vitally important. Why isn't it the basis of everything we teach? 

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Gary M. James's curator insight, February 17, 12:21 PM
Although this is not an article about book lists or selection processes for the library, I am still listing it here because its a good article detailing "fake news." I feel that in determining acquisitions we must be careful as to evaluate materials based on their authenticity. In short , I feel like we have to try to eliminate fake news within our media centers as much as possible. Or, better still, we need to teach our young adults how to spot "fake news" and how to determine credible sources.  
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Skim reading is the new normal. The effect on society is profound 

Skim reading is the new normal. The effect on society is profound  | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it

When the reading brain skims texts, we don’t have time to grasp complexity, to understand another’s feelings or to perceive beauty. We need a new literacy for the digital age writes Maryanne Wolf, author of Reader, Come Home

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

This is a fascinating article. And yes, I had to print it out to grapple with it. The implication that digital reading diminishes our ability to critically analyze text should give us all pause. As Wolf writes of this loss, "It incentivizes a retreat to the most familiar silos of unchecked information, which require and receive no analysis, leaving us susceptible to false information and demagoguery."  Please don't tl;dr this one! 

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Matthias Depypere's curator insight, February 10, 3:11 AM
Skim reading and its consequences
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Older People Are Worse Than Young People at Telling Fact from Opinion

Older People Are Worse Than Young People at Telling Fact from Opinion | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it

Alexis C. Madrigal writes: "Americans over 50 are worse than younger people at telling facts from opinions, according to a new study by Pew Research Center.

 

Given 10 statements, five each of fact and opinion, younger Americans correctly identified both the facts and the opinions at higher rates than older Americans did. Forty-four percent of younger people identified all five opinions as opinions, while only 26 percent of older people did. And 18-to-29-year-olds performed more than twice as well as the 65+ set. Of the latter group, only 17 percent classified all five facts as factual statements."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

It would be an interesting discussion to pair this article with the coverage of the Stanford History Education group's research on students' inability to determine which online resources are credible. Obviously schools do a great job teaching about fact versus opinion. Now we need to step up our instruction on credible sources, using critical thinking skills. I'm placing my bet on the students--the future would be too bleak otherwise.

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The Disproportional Power of Anecdotes

The Disproportional Power of Anecdotes | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it

Shane Parrish writes: "As humans, we make decisions emotionally, and justify them rationally. And nothing helps us do both quite like the anecdote. It gives us the push we need to make the decision we want, and  data to feel good about it."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Fascinating article with so many points I'd like Shane to expand on. I'd love to read more about the impact of WEIRD beyond polling. For example, do those poll results affect educational policy decision, even though those polled are not representative of ALL students? (And I'm going out on a very short limb and assuming that the W could stand for White as well as Western.)

 

I'd also love to read about the impact of anecdotes on health decisions. I have an acquaintance who won't wear a seat belt because her brother survived a car accident because he got thrown clear of his truck. Other people still smoke because grandpa smoked a pack a day and outlived all his nonsmoking siblings. As Shane writes, these anecdotes give us "the data to feel good about [our decisions.]" How do we confront the emotional decision making with facts? Perhaps weaving facts into anecdotes of our own? Certainly this is another example of the power of storytelling! 

 

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Can You Spot the Deceptive Facebook Post? - The New York Times

Can You Spot the Deceptive Facebook Post? - The New York Times | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it

Keith Collins and Sheera Frenkel write: "Facebook has been plagued with disinformation posts placed by foreign operatives. Can you tell the difference between a real post and one designed to fool you?

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I doubt many of my middle schoolers use Facebook, but there are great examples here to show why critical thinking, finding multiple sources, and above all, not mindlessly sharing or liking things that appear in your feed are so important. I want these skills to become second nature to my students!

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On Twitter, falsehood spreads faster than truth - Social media and fake news

On Twitter, falsehood spreads faster than truth - Social media and fake news | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it

"The reason false information does better than the true stuff is simple, say the researchers. Things spread through social networks because they are appealing, not because they are true. One way to make news appealing is to make it novel."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Another insight to discuss with students. When reading news shared on social media, take time to consider: Can I find this from another reputable source? Am I sharing it because it evoked some emotion? Am I sharing it to be "first with the news?" 

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GwynethJones's curator insight, August 1, 2018 8:50 AM

I would also add "on Facebook" to this!

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Where Countries Are Tinderboxes and Facebook Is a Match 

Where Countries Are Tinderboxes and Facebook Is a Match  | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it

Amanda Taub and Max Fisher write: "Time and again, communal hatreds overrun the [Facebook] newsfeed — the primary portal for news and information for many users — unchecked as local media are displaced by Facebook and governments find themselves with little leverage over the company. Some users, energized by hate speech and misinformation, plot real-world attacks.

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

This was a fascinating and disheartening article that would be a great basis for a digital literacy lesson. (Pair it with this article.) Do students understand the goal of any social media site is to get them to spend more time there? And the reason for that is for the social media company to make money? 

 

Last night I had dinner with cousins from Massachusetts. Their children, in middle and high school, talked about a school violence threat that spread via social media right after the March 14th walk-out to protest gun violence. It contained the same images as the fake threat that spread through our school district in California. I am sure that students could come up with several other examples of rumors that spread like wildfire through their social media. 

 

At the end of the Times article, which details an attack on a Muslim restaurant after a video taped there goes viral, the owner of the restaurant is quoted about his own use of Facebook: “It’s not that I have more faith that social media is accurate, but you have to spend time and money to go to the market to get a newspaper,” he said. “I can just open my phone and get the news instead.”

 

“Whether it’s wrong or right, it’s what I read.”

 

I'm curious to know how many students would nod in agreement. 

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YouTube, the Great Radicalizer - The New York Times

YouTube, the Great Radicalizer - The New York Times | Digital Literacy in the Library | Scoop.it

Zeynep Tufekci writes: "What we are witnessing is the computational exploitation of a natural human desire: to look “behind the curtain,” to dig deeper into something that engages us. As we click and click, we are carried along by the exciting sensation of uncovering more secrets and deeper truths. YouTube leads viewers down a rabbit hole of extremism, while Google racks up the ad sales."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I use YouTube purely for recreational purposes--and the occasional "how do I replace [insert random broken household item]"-- but I just spent some time looking at various controversial topics. Sure enough, click on one anti-vaccination video, and all the recommended videos become anti-vaxx, even though when I did a simple [vaccination] search, the first page of videos were predominately pro-vaccination. 

 

When I teach about doing Internet research I always talk about staying focused, since it's so easy to get distracted by irrelevant sites. My example is always YouTube. I ask students to raise their hand if they've watched a YouTube video for fun. Then I ask them to raise their hand if they stopped at that one video. No one does. Now, instead of just emphasizing why that rabbit hole can cost them research time, I'll be asking students to be more aware of where that rabbit hole might take them.

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