Becoming Digitally Literate

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Becoming Digitally Literate by Mind Map: Becoming Digitally Literate

1. A person is digitally literate when they can find and communicate digital information while using different technologies, and use the information found ethically.

1.1. Be fluent in information technology

1.1.1. Fluency is defined as being able to express oneself easily, and also understanding things from the inside and speaking the language of one's field.

1.1.2. Information technology (IT) fluency involves teachers and students using digital technology in all subject matters.

1.1.3. To become fluent, students must learn from hands-on experiences and technology-based activities  rather than doing exercises in a book.

1.2. Understand how to search for digital content

1.2.1. Without being digitally literate, students tend to choose the first website provided when using a search engine although it is more than likely a bad resource. Students can get more out of using search engines when they learn the skills of evaluating websites like identifying the author and going beyond the first few results listed.

1.2.2. Students must learn to go outside the norm of using a regular search engine and search for visual content. Using an image recognition app like Google Glasses allows the student to enter or take a photo and find multiple resources containing information about the object, person, place, etc. that is found in the image.

1.2.3. Students should become aware that Wikipedia is not only disliked by teachers and librarians but is not the most valuable resource available. If anyone can add or edit information to the site and if there are no experts evaluating the information then it is most likely that the source is not very reliable. Other online encyclopedias are written and edited by scholars who are experts in different fields of knowledge. Wikipedia is written and edited by Internet readers who may or may not have expertise in different areas of knowledge.

1.3. Be a digital citizen

1.3.1. Digital citizenship ranges from all areas of acceptable technology use to online safety to appropriately citing resources that have been used.

1.3.2. Students must become aware of and learn what their school's acceptable use policy (AUP) is. The school acceptable use policy is a set of rules for technology use and consequences for when they are broken. Taking heed of the AUP and accepting any consequence for misusing technology creates digital citizens in a digital world.

1.3.3. When creating a project, a digital citizen knows the laws of copyright and avoids copying and pasting another person's work without the proper permission. There are some materials that are considered public domain meaning they are ineligible for copyright or the copyright has expired. However, even if a student uses information from public domain, they are still required to provide proper citation to the source.

1.3.4. Students who are aware of the fair use doctrine and how it allows free use of copyrighted materials for educational purposes can show digital citizenship. Students must be careful how they use or distribute materials and only use them briefly and spontaneously like the fair use doctrine states. Creative Commons  allows authors to keep their copyright and allow students and teachers to copy and use their material. When websites have a Creative Commons license, students are allowed to use the content but must follow the author's instructions for use of his/her materials. Wikimedia Commons is an excellent source of public domain and freely licensed photographs, videos, etc. that is available in many languages for almost every educational topic. If a student needs a historical image for a history project, they can simply enter keywords and search through an impressive amount of resources.

1.3.5. With the amount of digital content  available and the fast pace it is released, it is easy for a student to find him/herself plagiarizing on a project. Plagiarism is identified when a student directly copies work that is not their own or when the student says that the work is their own when it is someone else's. Large numbers of students have admitted to plagiarizing on assignments by using the Internet. Along with plagiarism, cheating is defined as using technology or textbook material to locate information needed during a test or by sharing a test or test information before another student takes it.  Again, large numbers of students admit to cheating on test by using notes or pictures of notes saved on their cell phones or browsing the web for answers during the test. In order for teachers to teach students how to become digital citizens and avoid plagiarizing or cheating on assignments, they must put emphasis on the way they present the assignment and what is being asked of the student, stress the importance of citation ethics, and stress consequences of choosing to plagiarize or cheat.

1.3.6. Sadly, in school's today it is very easy for students to become the victim of bullying. Bullying is categorized as "unwanted aggressive behavior" and can include verbal threats, name-calling, physical assaults and even excluding a student. With the growth of technology, comes the growth of bullying through digital means which is labeled as cyber bullying.  Cyber bullying is also "unwanted aggressive behavior" like bullying but takes place over the Internet with the use of cell phones and text messages or computers and emails, chat rooms, or on social media, and most victims are not aware of who the bully is. Bullying in schools and cyber bullying at home can take a terrible toll on a student's self-esteem and academic performance. It is important to be aware of signs of bullying which include depression, anxiety, poor school performance and most sadly, suicidal tendencies.