We live in a world where information is available 24/7. Information can be obtained through learning networks, online and physical resources (FutureLearn, 2017). However, the challenge lies in constructing a consistent method for analysing authenticity of information.
I believe media literacy is significant to our learning, especially when we need to practice the different techniques required to analyse and process information (Thoman & Jolls, 2008).
The rise in ‘fake news’ can be alarming, especially when individuals cannot distinguish genuine information from fabricated content. From my experience, I immediately know that sites like The Onion are satirical. Therefore, I take information with a pinch of salt. However, individuals may misinterpret the information, as it sounds realistic (Fife, 2016).
Compare and Contrast
Arguably, media and information literacy are similar. Expanding our network is useful for enhancing knowledge. However, online presence can be dangerous. Users may forge identities to ‘catfish’, tricking individuals to believe their fake profile (Seidman, 2014).
To prevent my personal information being used for ‘fake profiling’, my network connections on platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook are with trusted peers. Otherwise, individuals may not be able to distinguish the ‘real’ me and the reliability of my information.
Ultimately, literacy skills depends on digital differences. I believe age is a setback. The ‘Net Generation’ have more experience on the Web. Therefore, their ability to identify fake information should be better compared to the older generation (Jones et al, 2010).
How to Find Trustworthy Sources?
Authenticity of information can be guaranteed using online tools. Through the MOOC, I learnt a variety of useful methods.
‘Checkmate’. Not in chess terms, but ‘check, mate’. Check the sources thoroughly. Discussions with my peers on the MOOC has highlighted the importance of analysing sources. This is a learning curve individuals should not forget.
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