Bringing it Together

When I registered for Information Literacy I expected to fulfill a general education credit and push through the eight weeks to get the credit I needed. I was not aware that I would end up learning so much information in such a short period of time. It was very interesting to learn of all the different ways that information and be communicated and the way that the media can be both useful and deceiving. The class helped me come to the realization that knowing how to find, interpret and use information in the proper way is extremely useful both for educational and personal uses. The various activities that we participated in during class time helped to facilitate this aspect of information literacy. It was very useful to be able to learn about different databases and how to use them to my advantage. I also found the digital media talk quite intriguing as well. It has changed my perspective on the way that I post on both Facebook and twitter. Bryan Alexander helped me to realize that every time I partake in social media sites I am creating a story about myself. It was interesting to think that anyone can be a story teller and that you don’t have to write a novel or article to do so. There are a variety of different ways that one can express their thoughts, ideas and feelings through the use of technology. Finally, the idea of technobiophilia was very fascinating. It brought light to an aspect of my life that I had not really put time into thinking about before. I have often found myself looking at pictures of nature and the outdoors while spending hours in the library finishing papers and assignments. This work took a different perspective on the influence that nature and technology can have on the stress.

Understanding the many aspects of information literacy is important to people of all ages. The way that information is found, used and observed allows people to become more aware and in touch with society. It is interesting to learn that anyone can participate in producing information and it has become extremely easy to make it available to the public through the use of social media sites and the internet in general. This class has introduced me to new search techniques and databases that will aid my studies in other classes in which I must obtain resources from a variety of sources. It was also very beneficial to learn to find a book in the library as well as learning the techniques of the scanner because it was something I had not previously known how to do. Furthermore, this is a form of research that I would have not previously turned to although it proved to be very useful.



Sue Thomas’ study on the way individuals think about nature in cyberspace is quite interesting. I have always enjoyed looking at pictures of nature, especially beaches and cities, however I never really thought about why or what it did for me. Her findings and assertions make a great deal of sense. There are definitely times when I get very fed up with being on my computer for hours on end when completing assignments or studying for an exam. However, there are certain things that can help alleviate this stress and mental fatigue. I often find myself browsing the internet of pictures that are from somewhere I wish to go or would like to be.

This topic is also interesting because it takes a different approach to discussing a topic in the area of metaliteracy. Rather than discussing the ways that media can be used to exchange feelings, stories or information between individuals it discusses a way of using technology and media for personal benefit. It presents a different outlook on the topic than focusing purely in the interactional use of exchanging things with others. The use of the internet can be a tool of escape for those who enjoy the outdoors but are stuck on a computer away from it.

This study of technobiophilia is quite interesting. In doing further research it would be interesting to do an interview with Sue Thomas to use as a primary source on this topic. Since she is an expert and has devoted her life to researching this field she would be a great primary source for such a study. Additionally, as we discussed in class, we could use her piece of literature as a secondary source in studying technobiophilia.


Digital Storytelling and Metaliteracy

Storytelling has been around since the beginning of time. It was interesting to listen to Brian Alexander discuss how a story can be told in a variety of different ways. He stated that everything and everyone has the ability to tell a story. The introduction of the digital world to storytelling has allowed individuals to include a variety of creative techniques and production methods. With digital storytelling, people have the opportunity to tell their story to a much larger amount of the population by publishing it online or through mobile media. Sometimes story telling is a unique thought or opinion and other times it is repurposed information. I also found it interesting that a prominent figure in the field of #metaliteracy considered updates on twitter to be a form of a story. In my personal experiences with adult’s opinions on twitter and social medias of the like, it is often looked down upon as irrelevant and pointless. However, Mr. Alexander made great points in explaining how each statement made is making a story that an individual is essentially publishing to the public and their followers.  Storytelling is a unique way to express oneself by creating a story that is either fact or fiction. With the advancement in technology in today’s world  anyones story can be published to the rest of the world in a matter of seconds. Since watching the talk, I have become much more aware of my participation in the media and digital storytelling. Its intriguing to know that my participation on the internet is a form of creating a story that i never knew i was contributing to.

Pros and Cons- Social Media’s Influence on News Media

Social media has largely effected the world in which we live; wether it be personal entertainment, business, or the news, social media has an effect on each and every persons life.  Some may not like this, but social media is becoming an intricate part of our society.  Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are two of the most popular, hands-on social media networks.  These networks allow users to voice their opinions unlike ever before.  The news media is greatly impacted by the democratic nature of social media.  One con of the social media is the way that it is so easily accessible to people to overwhelm media sites with their opinions and ideas about the news.  It can become quite hard for readers to distinguish fact from fiction.  The sea of public opinion on social media sites also negatively effects the journalists working for newspapers and magazines who work so hard for their stories.  This poses as a con because the wide use of media rather than traditional sources of news results in a loss of jobs for people in this field. For example, my local newspaper at home has seen a rapid decrease in employees due to the lack of demand for this source of news in today’s society. People are drifting away from these traditional news sources and turning to a place where they have a more hands on experience that is convenient and free.  The accessibility people have to news media is definitely a pro because it advances their participation in knowledge of current worldly events. Individuals can become more educated about the world around them by opening a page on the internet.  Social media also allows people to exercise their first amendment right to free speech by having minimal restrictions as to what can be said on these types of sites. Anyone that has a social media site, such as Facebook or Twitter, will agree that individuals certainly do enjoy voicing their opinions and these sites are a great place for it.

A great example of the way that media has advanced the way that individuals can be subjected to information is the video that was produced by a member of NASA. Many years ago, that sort of informational video would not have been able to be viewed by a great number of individuals like it is today. The uploading of videos is a prime way that people can learn new things in today’s world. The use of videos is used both for informative purposes, as well as entertainment. Without the use of technology within the media world, as well as the participation posting such videos, people would not be aware of many of the things they are today. 

The article about twitter also provided great insight on the way that social media can have numerous benefits. The author of this article explained how using a sight such as this can help individuals develop a network of connections. Furthermore, this type of social media allows for all types of people to participate and voice their thoughts and opinions. On twitter, people can follow a wide variety of people, groups and organizations in order to keep up with day to day information. I believe that twitter is a valuable tool in today’s society. Information can be received in a very quick manner. Moreover, you have complete control over which types of information to choose to see on your personal timeline. This type of social media can be a great source of information and entertainment if used the right way. 

What Metaliteracy Means to Me

Metaliteracy, to me, is the idea of learning how to explore, find, interpret and use information from various sources. I found the exercise we participated in on the first day of class very interesting. It was fascinating to hear how individuals have to find information each day and never really realize that they’re doing it. The information that is on the MOOC blog page explains this idea very nicely. I think the definition that is stated on this page is valuable because it stresses the many different sources of information and uses of it. Such sources include social media and various internet outlets that are becoming increasingly more important in today’s society. From this course, I hope to gain useful tactics to find information more easily, as well as use it more efficiently. Furthermore, these skills will be valuable for my school and personal uses as well as for professional skills when it is time to join the work force. With the technological advances in today’s world, these types of skills are becoming more and more important and valued throughout all fields of work.