A few weeks ago, as I was checking out some articles on Twitter, I stumbled upon a post that had the same title as one of mine. Awesome, I thought. Not a lot of writing out there in the pharmacy field so I checked it out right away.
I was surprised to come across my own article being used to narrate a video for Palm Springs Home Care. It was unnerving hearing my own words and thoughts being spoken by some guy I had never heard of.
This had me thinking about digital literacy and our kids. Kids are posting on social media, they are reading and writing blogs, using google personally and for research…basically creating and using Internet content.
The use of the Internet as a source of information has become ubiquitous both at home and as part of school learning. While there are some administrators and teachers addressing the issue of digital literacy in our schools, in most cases, the mentoring of our kids in this area is lacking as kids are often far ahead of the adults in their lives in their use of and creation of content on the Internet. When our kids are entering a status on Facebook or writing a paragraph on scorpions, it is imperative that we teach them the proper use of content: how to read and evaluate information online as well as safety, privacy and ethics when posting.
We wouldn’t leave our kids alone in a grocery store and say “Figure out heathy eating” why would we do that with Internet use?
We cannot leave it up to our teachers to teach our kids digital literacy. (Keep in mind that it is not even happening in many schools). We need to be involved in our kids Internet use, model for them how to use and create content and be partners in this essential area of their education. Using tools such as Creative Commons, showing kids how to cite Internet resources, how to determine what is “good” information verses not so good information, criteria to consider before you post/publish; these are just a few components of digital literacy.
As adults we must be cognizant of our own digital content as well. When we post or use content we must be positive models for our kids, allowing them to step into our own digital footprint as a path to follow.