Theory to Practice

While I have been engaged in an academic exercise through these last couple of blogs, I have also been thinking about how to use the work I’m doing. (I am building a mini unit for our library about and around these topics.) When I plug in one of the search terms—digital literacy, ethical online behavior, website evaluation and critique of online resources, and digital identities—I find that there is not much useful information. Indeed, it is almost like Larry Cuban intimates: there is a genuine lack of information regarding how these ideas apply in peoples’ lives, and especially children’s lives. However, if I dig a bit deeper, some of the articles, websites, blogs are actually quite good—but not directly so.

Of course, the Cornell site is simply a comprehensive collection of the ideas about web site evaluation that exist throughout the web. But it’s a very good site! It is complete and leaves nothing I can think of out. And Larry Cuban’s blog entry is just solid; it reinforces my own beliefs about technology, and further reminds me of the genealogy of these ideas.

Most of these, however, require me to apply the theories or bigger ideas to the task at hand. For example, the articles about digital legacy are mostly pertain to the elderly or how to manage our digital lives after we pass on. But I believe our digital legacy starts when we are young. Indeed, people’s behavior online haunts not us after they pass on, but themselves while they are still alive. Hence, the articles discuss online safety and responsibility.

The upshot of all of this is that the public school, as Larry Cuban points out, is the place where we should be teaching all of this. And according to Wan Ng, we can do this, the digital natives we are teaching are open and able.

Chen, Xinran, et al. “Why do Social Media Users Share Misinformation?” Journal of Academic Librarianship, vol. 41 no. 6, 2015, p. 583.

Cuban, Larry. “Beliefs in the Goodness of Technology: Those Talkative Kids in Ads.”

“Evaluating Web Sites.” Cornell University Library. 2016. Oct. 5 2016.

Fleming, Robert B. “Leaving a digital legacy, or how to protect your online footprint.” Aging Today Jan. 2015: 16. CINAHL Complete. Web. 4 Oct. 2016.

Frost-Arnold, Karen. “Trustworthiness and Truth: The Epistemic Pitfalls of Internet Accountability.” Episteme, vol. 11, no. 1, 2014., pp. 63-81

Jackson, Ruth. “Plan for Your Digital Legacy.” The Times (London, England), NI Syndication Limited, London (UK), 2015.

Miller, M. B. (2013). “Avatars and social media: Employment law risks and challenges in the virtual world.” FDCC Quarterly, 63(4), 279-294. Retrieved from

Ng, Wan. “Can we Teach Digital Natives Digital Literacy?” Computers & Education, vol. 59, no. 3, 2012., pp. 1065doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2012.04.016.

Price‐Dennis, Detra, Kathlene A. Holmes, and Emily Smith. “Exploring Digital Literacy Practices in an Inclusive Classroom.” The Reading Teacher, vol. 69, no. 2, 2015., pp. 195-205doi:10.1002/trtr.1398.


One thought on “Theory to Practice

  1. A decent reflection that discusses some of the challenges you faced in finding the more practical applications of strategies and resources to address your issues and goals. A little more discussion of where you found the most fruitful resources (Social media vs UBC Journals, etc) and the ways you modified your search to find better results would be helpful for your readers. Great Works Cited list.


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