“The modern search engine has taken on the mantle of what the ancients of many cultures thought of as an oracle: a source of knowledge about our world and who we are” ( Halavais 2).

  1. I thought about what this quote means and realized that online search engines or research needs a different approach. We tend to think of searching the web as a result-oriented activity, and this is usually because when we search the web, we very likely find some type of results. However, I feel that we need to look closely at this assumption. We need to be aware that resituating ourselves within a novel approach to digital literacy means opening up conversations about search activity, and be more inclusive with regard to what means we use to include our students in these conversations. So, that’s a bit if a beast in its idealistic assumption about what we think our students know. So, how can we better position ourselves to find out what they know?
  2. I decided to utilize a resource provided by a colleague regarding Twitter, and how a savvy educator worked with the resources at his disposal to open up a conversation regarding how out-of-class activity can be brought in class, successfully. (Please see my latest blog post)

Activity: Log into Twitter and plug a few recognizable terms in the search engine

  • Query
  • Search
  • Digital Literacy

When students activate their own critical thinking by using social media sites, they are exposed to a specific functional discourse, and their out-of-class life-experience enhances their in class experience. I know of first year composition instructors that assign at least one visit to the campus library to facilitate the type of research skills that many online users develop on their own. So, I say, why not draw students in by using a rhetorical literacy they already know? The example I provided today is not to imply that I believe students will perform better on standardized tests. Rather, I illustrate the opportunity we can provide our classes with, by providing them with an understanding of how certain literary practices can be gained through using some of the applications, programs, or sites that are already relative to their lives. If we keep an open mind regarding how to approach an ever changing digital domain, we avoid getting stuck in one approach and our students are better served.

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