Understand how to assess online information by:
- Appraising online information using various frameworks
- Evaluating information to determine if it fits a need
- Applying critical thinking to various information sources including news, online searches and social media.
So far, we have discussed fundamental concepts that support an understanding of the current digital information landscape. Chapter one, Information Disorder, examined information and its evolution, looked briefly at historical and contemporary trends in the areas of misinformation, disinformation, online propaganda (and more) and described the important educational concept of information literacy. Chapter two, Information Distribution, provided a simple overview of the news industry including journalism and editing, as well as the progression of fake news as a definition and politicized concept leading us into a post-truth world, and ultimately media literacy as a response to it. Chapter three, Information Automation, took us through automatic aspects of information exploration, examining search engines, algorithms, and associated concepts, concluding with an endorsement of digital literacy. Chapter four, Information Manipulation, explored human interactions with information, focusing mostly on how we share, consume, and interact with information on social media, with a reminder that when engaging with online information a person must practice self-reflection in order to become a truly responsible digital citizen and engage in meta literacy. Understanding the many subtleties that have led to our current information situation is the first step in becoming a responsible digital citizen. Those who have read chapters one through four are well-equipped to engage more effectively in seeking information more effectively.
This chapter is an extension of the teaching provided in earlier chapters. It takes readers into practical ground, covering simple and complex tools that can be used alone or in combination to develop the skills needed to navigate information. The use of any of the frameworks presented will place readers on the path to becoming more information, media, meta and digitally literate.
After finishing this book and re-entering the world of online information, select one or more of these tools to guide navigation and determine the trustworthiness of sources.