Digitally Literate #221


A Brave New Face
Digitally Lit #221 – 11/9/2019

Hi all, welcome to issue #221 of Digitally Literate, thanks for stopping by. Please subscribe if you would like this to show up in your email inbox.

This week I posted the following:


Duolingo for Talking to Children (2:19)

This great video from Saturday Night Live indicates that it is never too late to learn how to talk to children.

I’ll definitely save this for future workshops and talks.


Results from the 2018 International Computer & Information Literacy Study

Relatively good news from results of the 2018 International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS) which assesses 8th-grade students in two domains: computer & information literacy (CIL) & computational thinking (CT).

Results show U.S. 8th-grade students’ average score in CIL higher than the ICILS 2018 average for the second year in a row. US female 8th-graders outperformed their male peers in CIL, but male 8th-grade students outperformed female students in CT.

U.S. 8th-grade students with 2 or more computers at home performed better in CIL & CT than U.S. peers with fewer computers. 72% of US 8th graders reported using Internet for research daily or at least once a week, & 65% reported teaching themselves how to find info online.

If you want to dig a bit deeper, check out the technical notes for the 2018 ICILS, additional information, the questionnaires, FAQs and the full international report.

A teen’s guide to privacy

As part of the Screentime Research Project, I’ve been studying with Katie Paciga, Elizabeth Stevens, and Kristen Turner as we learn about how to live and learn in a digital age.

This post is a good resource detailing how to talk with adolescents about how to participate online.

This piece is from Buzzfeed and is part of their series on schools and social media surveillance.

The Government Protects Our Food and Cars. Why Not Our Data?

Natasha Singer with a post in the NY Times talking about data rights and asking why we do not have specific protections. The United States is the only developed nation without a comprehensive consumer data protection law and an independent agency enforcing it.

Why are Americans protected from hazardous laptops, fitness trackers and smartphones — but not when hazardous apps on our devices expose and exploit our personal information?

Leaked documents show Facebook leveraged user data to fight rivals and help friends

Facebook says they’re trying to protect user privacy, but what they’re really doing is tapping user data — including info about friends, relationships & photos — as leverage over companies it partners with.

Your data & attention are their resource.

As we discuss each week in this newsletter…perhaps it is time to delete Facebook. What are your thoughts?

As a response to this growing cacophony of bad press, and possible government involvement, Facebook put on a brand new face.

I Got Access to My Secret Consumer Score. Now You Can Get Yours, Too.

We now live in world where all of our lives are boiled down to a set of data points, and computer algorithms make split second decisions about us. This could be a job application, loan request, or college admissions packet.

Kashmir Hill did some digging on the data that is used to make these decisions. In this piece she shares some actionable guidance on finding your data.

The post contains a quote from Jason Tan, the chief executive of Sift, one of the companies that uses data to determine consumer trustworthiness.

“We’re not looking at the data. It’s just machines and algorithms doing this work,” said Mr. Tan. “But it’s incredible what machines can do when they can look under every stone.”


Bacon pickle pizza

The fair is in town this week, and one of big hits via social media is pickle pizza.

Make your own with the link above to bacon pickle pizza. Or…perhaps a creamy garlic and dill pickle pizza is more your speed.


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Trust yourself, you know more than you think you do.

Benjamin Spock

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Digitally Literate is a synthesis of the important things I find as I surf, skim, & scan the Internet each week. I take notes of everything that piques my interest, and then pull together the important stuff here in a weekly digest.

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