It's been a busy week! This post is the weekly review and round up of everything we've been doing as we continue learning about the information side of digital culture.
As we move toward the culmination of your contributions to the Digital Polarization Initiative, it's time to think about your work within its rhetorical situation: the context in which you are attempting to persuade an audience. It's time to embrace the collaborative nature of encyclopedic writing.
You've had some practice in tracing images and stories upstream to their sources, and you should be starting to apply that same skill to the claims you're investigating this week. But what happens when you've tracked a claim back to its earliest origin? Or how do you evaluate a claim from a web source that doesn't really cite other sources or lead you anywhere else? The next skill in our fact-checking toolkit is "Reading Laterally."
Now that you've been assigned a team to work with and a claim to investigate, build your web literacy skillset with the methodology presented in Mike Caufield's Web Literacy textbook. In a series of short chapters, Caufield lays out how to do the "Four Moves" of critical literacy and develop those into a habit of healthy skepticism. Today, work through the first part of the book, and complete two of the "Going Upstream" activities.
Now that we've spent some time learning about the physical stuff that makes our digital culture possible, this week we'll look more directly at that digital cultural landspace and specifically the ways in which digital platforms tend to steer us toward further division as a culture. However you feel about the outcome of the 2016 presidential election and the ongoing scandals, tensions, protests, investigations, you probably will agree that our nation is pretty divided right now. One reason for that is the way that news shared through social media steers us toward information that simply confirms our beliefs. You can see this illustrated starkly in the Wall Street Journal's "Blue Feed / Red Feed" simulator.
This week we've been looking into digital culture by examining the objects and artifacts that form that culture. We'll continue the digital culture theme next week.