Jordan Steading
Oct 22, 2018 · 3 min read

100% Of What You Read on the Internet is True

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In this day and age, digital media has become a staple in the lives of younger generations. Digital media is defined as digitalized content that can be transmitted over the internet or computer networks (Sikarwar, 2016). The use of digital media expands into all areas of life; whether it be at home, at school, at the workplace, the list extends on and will continue to grow. The question is, how are we utilizing these digital media platforms? The answer differs for different age groups. Younger users and adolescents use digital media for adaptive forms of entertainment. They were born into the digital age and grew up around it. Adolescents can utilize digital media for education, but it is essential for students to know how to critically assess information, decide if it is valid, and form an opinion on a topic.

The argument that commonly circulates education is how what digital affinity spaces should be used in the classroom and how often they should be used. In such a technological age, it is important to integrate technology in the classroom, but it is equally or more important to teach students how to critically analyze the information they are given online or being critically literate while using digital media. Critical digital literacy is defined as “the ability to analyze, evaluate, and critically reflect on the digital media a person encounters and creates,” (Buckingham, 2009). This is essential to the success of students because they need to be able to read a text, comprehend it, decide whether it is a reputable source, and form an opinion on the topic at hand. A study shows that three in four students can not distinguish between real and fake news on Facebook and fewer than one in three students are skeptical of biased news sources (Infographic 2). This is problematic in today’s society because the new generation of student’s do not know how to distinguish between many real and fake articles leading them to believe information that is often not true. Being critically literate in digital media means often being skeptical of the validity of the article until it is proven that the article is valid. Buckingham discusses the four broad conceptual aspects that are regarded as essential components of being critically digital literate: Representation, Language, Production, and Audience (Buckingham, 2009). With representation, students need to be able to comprehend that most times, there is no such thing as an unbiased article: whether the author realizes it or not, there is always some sort of bias when writing. When critically assessing a text and topic, it is important for students to rationalize all sides of an argument before forming an opinion on a topic. With language, it is important for students to understand the connotation of words and realize how this might sway an individuals opinion about a topic. Furthermore, with production, it is important for students to understand who is communicating to whom and why (Buckingham, 2009). Finally, it is important to understand whom the writing is intended for. These are all important aspects of assessing the reliability and validity of a text. Ultimately, it is essential to be critically literate now more than ever because we live in a technological society that often has more fake news than real.

Class Readings:

Outside Sources:

Sikarwar, R. (2016, December 29). Definition of Digital Media. Retrieved October 21, 2018, from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/digital-media.html

What is CRITICAL LITERACY? What does CRITICAL LITERACY mean? CRITICAL LITERACY meaning & explanation. (2017, August 10). Retrieved October 22, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2WyIkK9IOg

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