UPEI1020Fall2020
Published in

UPEI1020Fall2020

Digital Literacy

Source.

Having access to information and knowledge has been for many years a privilege reserved for those who were able to afford it. But with advancements in technology, more and more people around the world are now able to access a computer or a device with an internet connection, and with it, access to millions of knowledge resources. Digital literacy is a fundamental ability in the world we live in today. The capacity to distinguish between what is false and what is true has always been important, but with today’s abundance of information, differing between one and the other has become increasingly more difficult. This becomes even more dangerous when we think about the deliberate propagation of misinformation, the purpose behind it, and the extent of its effects in a society and culture.

Source.

My learning of digital literacy began with the development of critical thinking skills in school. I believe both concepts to be very related as both deal with the ability to take information and run it through a series of mental filters, intending to develop a deeper and more personal understanding. Even when one considers themselves a good critical thinker, I believe that digital literacy seems to be simple in theory but much harder in practice. It has become more difficult to distinguish a reliable source from one that has been fabricated to fool the consumer since the appearances of the latter have become so dangerously convincing.

What I am curious about is

What are some of the technical ways in which the digital widespread of misinformation happens, before it reaches the viewer?

  • Bots
  • Paid “marketing type” campaigns
  • Algorithms

What are some of the effects that digital misinformation has on society?

On the top of my mind, I can think of the 2016 USA presidential election and the “Russian interference” which was in fact through the means of social media bots and the widespread use of misinformation to divide the American public. The spread of misinformation is without a doubt a significant threat to the stability of a country.

In conclusion

Digital literacy deals with this ability to differentiate between what is true and what is not in the digital world, but it also refers to the altogether ability to use and understand the technology and technological devices to benefit your productivity and your quality of life (Coldwell-Neilson, 2019). It is knowing how to use technology for your benefit, as it should be. I believe that this skill should be implemented in basic education across the world, as it will play a big role in our ability to defend ourselves and our rights in the future.

Source.

Reference

Coldwell-Neilson, J. (2019, May 06). What does it mean to be digitally literate? Retrieved November 09, 2020, from https://this.deakin.edu.au/career/write-your-way-into-the-career-of-your-dreams

K. (2020, January 17). Digital disinformation is destroying society but we can fight back. Retrieved November 09, 2020, from https://www.economist.com/open-future/2020/01/17/digital-disinformation-is-destroying-society-but-we-can-fight-back

Kreps, S. (2020, June). THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY IN ONLINE MISINFORMATION. Retrieved November 09, 2020, from https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/The-role-of-technology-in-online-misinformation.pdf

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This is the course page for UPEI 1020–2: Inquiry Studies (Fall 2020), where course content will be uploaded and students will engage in coursework, including peer-to-peer feedback.

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Lorena Lujan

Lorena Lujan

I was born in Monterrey, Mexico. I am now living in PEI and studying a major in Sociology at UPEI. I enjoy curious conversations, art and being outdoors.

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