Every year I like to take a glance at the learning resources available free or at a low-cost.
It’s easier than ever to learn how to do something. In the first place, the abundance of teaching websites or videos is mind-numbing. For example, you can now choose from about six websites that can teach you to code. In addition to coding websites, there are sites that teach foreign languages. Although Home Ec was a disaster in High School, you could revitalize your crafting career with lessons you learned off Reddit.
In the event that you got stuck, who could you turn to if you wanted to check a code you wrote? Until now, how could you be sure that what you were translating would be well understood by your audience? As long as you have a reliable connection to the internet, the number of places to ask questions and expect a high-quality answer is well organized and easy to use. However, you need to have a heap of digital literacy to understand the difference between an expert and a charlatan.
In fact, digital literacy is key to evaluating all kinds of information on the internet.
Which of these articles are fake?
Vizio Televisions track everything you watch and sell it back to marketers
Barrel of maple syrup spills on 1-91 in Vermont, briefly, closes highway
Facebook buys Snapchat for Five Billion Dollars
Venezuela’s currency value depends largely on one guy at an Alabama Home Depot
If you guessed #3, you are correct! If you got this wrong, don’t feel bad. Satirical and/or ‘Fake’ news has always been sophisticated. Remember chain mail or e-mail chains? You would have to notice the .com.co to be tipped off that it was a fake site.
Overall, schools teach digital literacy by telling students to evaluate a website by the sources it cites. However, most news articles never cite sources. In particular, satirical sites often copy the design of legitimate websites, pass off lies as truths and hide their notice of disclaimer. As a result, our trust in what we read is compromised because there’s no way to automatically tell if a site is satire or not.
It’s up to us to check facts on what’s online. For more information about this, take a look at Stony Brook’s Center for News Literacy curriculum on their website.
This is a list of reputable websites for learning languages and Computer Programming.
For Reading Comprehension:
For Vocabulary building:
For Writing / Grammar: