New Teaching Resource for Digital Literacy

Lego Yetis in Confederate Uniforms

I’ve already shared the work Mike Caulfield is doing with the Digital Polarization Initiative, as well as the analysis he has done (and continues to do) on his blog. Now Mike has published an OER textbook, Web Literacy for Student Fact-Checkers. It can be used alongside the Digital Polarization Initiative work (which I am going to be doing in a few weeks) or as a stand-alone textbook or resource. You can find the book in different formats linked on his blog.

Much of what is in the textbook is based on the writing and work he has been doing on his blog and talks that he has given, but it has been pulled together to create what he calls in the Introduction, “the instruction manual to reading on the modern internet.” As Mike further puts it:

Much web literacy we’ve seen either asks students to look at web pages and think about them, or teaches them to publish and produce things on the web. While both these activities are valuable, neither addresses a set of real problems students confront daily: evaluating the information that reaches them through their social media streams. For these daily tasks, student don’t need long lists of questions to think about while gazing at web documents. They need concrete strategies and tactics for tracing claims to sources and for analyzing the nature and reliability of those sources.

The book itself is really, really practical, and I will admit (sheepishly) that I’ve learned a lot from it already. The sections include (and this is just a small selection):

And each larger section concludes with a number of sites or sources students can then apply and practice the skills demonstrated in the previous chapters.

The end of the book also contains a number of “Unfinished Articles” that need some more work (which he welcomes). It might be an interesting exercise to do with a class to “finish” one of the unfinished articles or come up with a suggested assignment or example.

Will you be using this book or recommending it to your campus community? What are some of your favorite resources for digital literacy?

Image Battle of Yetti’s Burg by floodllama licensed CC-BY 2.0

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