Digital literacy refers to an individual’s ability to find, evaluate, and compose clear information through writing and other media on various digital platforms. It is evaluated by an individual’s grammar, composition, typing skills and ability to produce text, images, audio and designs using technology.
Below is a working list of resources that are helpful when navigating media, searching databases, or doing general resource evaluation.
Digital Literacy: Tools & Skills for Media Navigation
Why is digital literacy important? There is endless misinformation and disinformation in the digital world, but having the proper tools and resources can help you navigate the ‘infodemic.’
Advanced Search Tips
- Controlled Vocab – Many different fields use specific standardized language to specify particular concepts when searching a database. When researching a particular topic it is important to be able to use the correct language for a given database to streamline your search results, and find the content that is the most relevant to the research question. Visit this page for a list of different controlled vocabularies from various different communities.
- Boolean operators – Boolean operators such as AND, OR, and NOT are search terms that can help to narrow or specify a search when using a database. Visit this page or this video to learn more about how and when these can best be applied.
- Google metrics – Google metrics is a tool that allows the user to evaluate the visibility and degree of influence of major publications. This can be a helpful tool to get a general sense of the reliability, or at least of the academic standing, of a particular journal or similar source. For more information about how these metrics work, check out the google metrics overview, and summary
- CRAAP Test – The CRAAP test is an acronym designed to help critically evaluate a source of information, which stands for: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose. These principles can be a very helpful guide to carefully assessing the validity of a particular source of information. For more details about the CRAAP test and how and when it can be applied visit this infographic.
Online Evaluation Resources
- Snopes.com is a great resource for fact checking news stories and research reports. It is a very carefully curated website that provides “evidence-based and contextualized analysis” of many different sources, always working toward providing accurate and well supported analyses. Snopes can be a very helpful tool in evaluating the accuracy of a wide range of information, from current news stories to urban legends.
- The Wayback Machine is another widely applicable tool for evaluating digital information. It is an open access digital archive run by the Internet Archive, which allows users to view snapshots of many webpages as they appeared at different moments in the past. This can be a valuable tool to find different information about/from a source at different times, and can also be fun and surprising to explore!
Free Platforms for Content Creation
An important aspect of digital literacy skills is the ability to engage with the conversations at hand. Below are a few free resources that can help you create new digital content, and start to make your own contributions to the many conversations going on in the digital world.
- Canva is a free platform for graphic design. It offers many options for creating visual media, providing templates and tips for many different types of visual media from infographics and flyers, to social media posts.
(What is an infographic? Visit this article to learn more)
- Audacity is a “free, open source, cross-platform audio software.” It is a great tool for creating and/or editing audio content from podcasts to music.
- W3 schools offers the opportunity to learn the basics of several different coding languages. It provides all the basics for learning web development, guiding students from the basics of coding through advanced skills and languages.
Note: to view this whole article you can request it via Bard’s ILLiad system if you are a Bard student, or you can access it through an account with ‘Taylor & Francis Online.’
The Rabbit Hole podcast – “What is the internet doing to us?” This 8 part podcast series outlines some of the problems that arise with a lack of digital literacy
Digital Literacy Creations
At Bard, a digital literacy course is offered to make finding and composing information more intuitive. Throughout the course of the semester, students in the digital literacy class have been working on focused projects that are included below. These projects serve as examples of how to synthesize and produce literate compositions using the resources discussed on the previous page.