Digital Literacy: Create and Communicate

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It's your turn!

The last post in this series on Digital Literacy was about evaluating digital information sources. This post is about creating and communicating information in the digital world. Really, it's about your contribution to the digital world.

The Digital Literacy Task Force of the American Library Association (ALA) says a digitally literate person "Possesses the variety of skills – technical and cognitive – required to find, understand, evaluate, create, and communicate digital information in a wide variety of formats."  Note the use of the word "variety."  Our Internet-connected world seems to provide an infinite amount of variety. Information is conveyed as text, photos, animated images, audio, and video. New technologies are being developed that will even deliver smells to our smartphones. Read about that here.

So you may think that the idea of creating information sounds a little strange. I could go into an entire discussion about the definition of information and how information differs from data; but I won't. What I'm talking about here, is you using technology to make something new. You can take a digital photo with your phone, write a paper using Word, record an audio podcast with Audacity, create a work of art using Photoshop, etc. As a rule, when you make something, your goal is to communicate an idea or a feeling. You are speaking your mind.

You Have a Voice

Before the Internet became what is is today, it was difficult to get your ideas and opinions heard by others. Now, opinions flow like water on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and all of the other social media networks. Today you can publish your own ebook and sell it without getting approval from anyone.  You can write an iPhone app and sell it to people all over the world. If there's a cause that you care about you can create a blog to publicize it. Need funding for the cause? You're bound to find like-minded people who are willing to make a donation. 

With so many people contributing so much to the digital world, you run the risk of getting lost in the crowd. Here are some tips for getting your voice heard.

Tips and Tricks

  • Find your Niche. There's something for everyone on the Internet, so there's an audience for the thing that you're interested in. Find something that you care about and blog, vlog, and tweet about it. Search for what other people are saying about your topic and share that with your audience. 
  • Become an Expert. Learn everything you can about your topic and share that knowledge with others. Create tutorials. Write a book! Write reviews or create videos discussing relevant work on the topic. You might be able to make a living selling your expertise on the subject.
  • Get to Know People. It is a small world after all. The Internet makes it easy for you to meet people from all over the world. You might have valuable information to share with someone who lives in Suriname, and that person might have something amazing to share with you! 
  • Learn the Tools. There are so many ways to communicate using the Internet. How many tools do you have in your digital toolbox? This is the part of the post where I put in a plug for IU IT Training. We have no-cost workshops for members of the IU community on everything from spreadsheets, to photo editing, to programming and web development, and a lot more. Like us on Facebook, subscribe on YouTube, and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to stay up-to-date on all of our offerings. 

I look forward to seeing some of your digital creations!

IT Training at IU

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About The Author
Laura ReedSocial Media Coordinator

Laura has worked for UITS for over 14 years.She is currently IU IT Training's social media coordinator.  She is a grad student in Library Science and has a penchant for reference and content curation. She dances, acts, sings, and does visual art in her spare time.