Digital Fluency

  • How do you evaluate information online? What kinds of strategies do you use and share with students and/or the people you work with?
  • How do you feel about using online resources? Where do you currently go to for trusted information?

These two points are really one in my opinion….or maybe the second should be answered first. I am totally sold on online resources. I ran a small business in  a remote area of country Victoria for 11 years and without the Internet life would have been that much harder. The availability of material online quite possibly saved me hours a week.

As a senior secondary school Librarian I feel a heavy responsibility when directing students to certain sites. My criteria for evaluation of sites include:

is it a government or statuatory bodies – CSIRO, Better Health, Melbourne Water;

other educational institutions – Private or public schools, tertiary edcation;

the media – ABC, The Age, BBC etc.

I rarely link to sites that are not able to be verified. I don’t include Blogs but am open to them if they look valuable.

  • What kinds of networks do you already use when you need to find information (include online groups but also people – real life connections and networks you trust)?

Online networks that I habitually use are Facebook and Pinterest. I also subscribe to a couple of crafty sites that send out rather a lot of email! Love Knitting, Knit Picky and a sewing one. I often delete these without reading. As far as real life connections I am embarrassed to say the list is not very long. I use the local campus network a lot and the larger whole school community too. Through a bit of luck, one of the office staff works at the local public library too so that keeps communication both ways going. I have subscribed to a couple of library networks and get some useful information from them as well.

  • In light of the ideas we’ve explored so far in the course, how do you feel about online sources and networks and how they share and filter information?

I am not a Twitter fan, nor do I use LinkedIn and I question the value of blogs. Facebook (I have about 27 friends as opposed to my children who have 100’s!) has potential as a source of targeted information. For example, when the Rolling Stones cancelled their concert I linked to their Facebook page to keep up to date with new concert dates. Also I am a subscriber to a couple of local groups and often see interesting facts on my News feed. Pinterest is another of my favourite network sites. The search function is really useful and it is valuable as a launch pad to other sites. I hadn’t thought to search Science Museums and Art Galleries on Pinterest but I intend to.

  • How do you think online communities and information sharing has changed how young people search the web? How has the idea of network filters changed how you intend to search the web in the future?

I think Google and Youtube have the front row seats with the youth of today – do a search in Google, hit images, find a video in Youtube. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat all reduce our lives to a ‘grab’. Concentrating for long enough to read a whole article is a dwindling skill. (gee I’m sounding old aren’t I!)

  • Are there any areas in which you have information to offer as an expert or enthusiast, professional or personal? What kind of value do you see in sharing information online?

I have a Pinterest site where I save links to all manner of things, from crafts to genetic architecture. If I need to research anything – recipes, border tiles or crochet – I will start a Pinterest board. Its fun when someone pins one of your pins! I have tried blogging once or twice but I think I get resentful at having to make a commitment to writing something daily or weekly.


One thought on “Digital Fluency

  1. Some great reflections here! Different types of info needs require different strategies and levels of rigour. One of the other participant contemplated different types of informational needs like: opinion, tutorial, factual, intellectual and she’s right, sometimes you do want to find out what others opinions are (eg. book reviews) in which case searching blogs would be a perfect place to look.
    Agreed, blogs indeed are hard work; they require a purpose and audience to keep you motivated. So far, so good!
    All the best,
    Cathy (for the team)


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