Becoming Information Literate in the Digital Age

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Having been working in academic libraries for several years, I noticed college students rely heavily on the Internet for research. For most people, opening a browser means connecting to the world wide library of information. At the same time, some college students are not aware of the risk of using online information without evaluation (Gross and Latham, 35). They tend to focus on relevancy more than the quality. That is the reason why so many professors are surprised to see how much information their students used is from biased, inaccurate, and commercial websites. This essay aims to provide a holistic view of online information and how students can improve their search ability in the digital age.
To understand how information is communicated online, students need to understand the basics of the global network. The Internet, as it sounds, is a connection of millions of networks of various organizations. The network, according to Shelly and Vermaat, is “a collection of computers and devices connected together, often wirelessly, via communication devices and transmission media… Networks allow computers to share resources, such as hardware, software, data, and information” (10). Networks can be as small as in a geographic region, often called local area network (LAN), or “a LAN that uses no wires” (472), to metropolitan area network (MAN) and wide area network (WAN). The largest network that users connect with is the Internet. Users can get access to another user’s hard disk and deliver files to each other via the Internet, which is called peer to peer network, or P2P (Shelly and Vermaat, 475). The most frequently used type is more between clients and companies which provide servers.
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Up until today, the Internet is still expanding to almost every corner of the world. With more information accessible 24/7, college students should also update their knowledge and skills to adapt to this massive movement. Essentially, evaluating information is more important than locating information in the digital age and everyone can be and should be information literate in the digital age.

Works Cited

Gross, Melissa, and Don Latham. "Undergraduate Perceptions Of Information Literacy: Defining, Attaining, And Self-Assessing Skills." College & Research Libraries 70.4 (2009): 336-350. Library & Information Science Source. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
Shelly, Gary B., Misty Vermaat, Jeffrey J. Quasney, Susan L. Sebok, and Steven M. Freund.Discovering Computers 2011: Living in a Digital World. Boston, MA: Course Technology, Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.

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