Google’s Digital Literacy Tutorial

I recently stumbled upon an information literacy tool put together by Google for educators called the Digital Literacy Tour.  It appears to have been around since at least September 15, 2009.  I’m not sure how I ran across this resource, but the parallels with educating users about the digital environment caught my attention and deserve discussion.

Image source:

This is an excellent resource for educators who want to discuss aspects of safety, ownership (copyright in disguise), courtesy, honest, and how to avoid some of the threats or dangers of the Internet.  It is also tied into the larger Google for Educators site, which has resources classrooms, classroom activities and posters, an educator’s discussion group (email list), and information about a Google certification program for the professional development of teachers.

The three “Workshops” provided on the Digital Literacy Tour includes the topics of detecting lies and staying true, playing and staying safe online, and steering clear of cyber tricks.  Each consist of four or five resources (videos, guidebooks, handouts, and a presentation to accompany a lesson).  The workshops are geared toward K-12 primary & secondary education students and educators of those age groups.  Parents should also take a look at the Digital Literacy Tour so that they are aware of the issues (plus they may even learn a thing or two)!

While the videos are short in length (roughly under 2 minutes long–see example), they do a good job of educating students on the basics of being a responsible Internet citizen in entertaining ways.

The instructor guidebooks are under 30 pages, and packed with useful info.  Below is a sample table of contents from the Playing It Safe Online guidebook.  There are a few lesson plans with subsections of topics for educators to cover, and all of the lessons are short and to the point which make them ideal for working these topics into the curriculum on the side OR devoting an entire class(es) to the topic at hand.

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Sample Overview of the Playing It Safe Online Guidebook
Teaching Tips 1
Lesson Plan 1: Personal is Personal 2
Lesson Plan 2: Be Respectful to Yourself and Others 5
Lesson Plan 3: Be Street Smart 8
Instructor Toolkit:
Lesson 1: I Know/I Want to Know 13
Lesson 1: Video Summary Staying Safe Online, Part 1 14
Lesson 1: Guidelines for Creating Strong Passwords 15
Lesson 1: Password Activity: Answer Sheet 16
Lesson 1: Reputation Management: Profile 1 – Answer Sheet 17
Lesson 1: Reputation Management: Profile 2 – Answer Sheet 18
Lesson 1: Reputation Management: Profile 3 – Answer Sheet 19
Lesson 2: Video Summary Staying Safe Online, Part 2 20
Lesson 2: Online Citzenship Rules 21
Lesson 2: Actions to Take with Online Bullies 23
Lesson 3: Video Summary Staying Safe Online, Part 3 24
Lesson 3: Street Smart Activity: Answer Sheet 25

Image source: Google's "I Keep Safe document"

The student handouts (see example) include activities that help students identify key characteristics of digital information and the Internet, such as a checklist comparing three different web sites and common domain name extension (e.g. .edu, .com, .org, .gov).

And to round out the resource, there is a PowerPoint document for each of the workshop topics that educators can use for classroom presentations (see example).  The outline of each parallels the videos that students watch.  This allows the educator to go at their own speed to cover the topic at hand.

Overall, this will be a very useful resource for educators (and parents) to educate their students on “digital literacy.”

About repplinger

John has served as a Reference Librarian at Willamette University since 2002. He is the liaison to the Science Departments, and is responsible for maintaining the collections related to the life & physical sciences. His research interests range over the entire spectrum of libraries and information sciences, but includes: - Google and its influence on information & society - The Internet's influence on information seeking & sharing behaviors - Trends of scholarly communication - Electronic learning environments - Traditional pedagogy - GIS use in academic libraries

Posted on September 13, 2010, in Education, Google, Information Literacy, Libraries and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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