Discerning Accuracy

Welcome to Digitally Literate, issue #367. I worked on a bunch of stuff in the background. More to come soon.

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You Don’t Hate Books: The Simple Method I Use to Read 100 Books a Year

Discusses the phenomenon of starting but not finishing books. The video proposes three categories of books based on the way content is delivered and its effect on their energy: informative books, expressive books, and storybooks.

  • Informative books are categorized as “swappers” or “stoppers” and deliver content in clear chunks, often in chapters.
  • Expressive books share the thoughts and opinions of the writer and deliver information in small, distinct chunks like paragraphs or sentences.
  • Storybooks deliver the entire content in one cohesive chunk, keeping the reader engaged from start to finish.

Meet the Digital Nomads

Digital nomads are remote workers who travel the world while holding down corporate jobs, usually in the tech sector. They use platforms like Nomad List to find destinations that offer low costs of living, high-speed internet, and a vibrant business community.

The impact on locals is mixed. Some residents benefit from the influx of foreign money and appreciate cultural exchange, while others complain about rising rents, gentrification, and exploitation.

Why this matters. It is interesting to see how digital nomads impact the local communities, as well as how they deal with burnout and take care of their mental health. Working remotely can be stressful and demanding, especially for digital nomads who have to juggle multiple roles and responsibilities. They may also experience fatigue, anxiety, depression, or boredom from working alone or in unfamiliar settings.

Health Advisory on social media use in Adolescence

The American Psychological Association (APA) issued a health advisory on social media use in adolescence, based on the scientific evidence to date. The advisory states that using social media is not inherently beneficial or harmful to young people but depends on their personal and psychological characteristics, social circumstances, and the content and features of the platforms they use.

The advisory also provides 10 recommendations for areas of social media literacy that will help adolescents have more positive experiences and reduce risks online, such as understanding how social media affects their mood and behavior, managing their privacy and security, and seeking help when needed.

Why this matters. We’ve discussed this quite a bit in previous issues of DL, but social media may be bad for your health. I don’t think there is a need for technopanic, but there is a need to be fully aware of what we’re doing with these tools, and what they’re doing to us.

The burden falls to the user to discern accuracy

ChatGPT and other generative AI platforms can produce answers to questions by predicting likely word combinations from online data. However, these platforms may also foster science denial and misunderstanding by creating misinformation, making things up, or failing to reason correctly. 

The article suggests some ways to be on alert when using or encountering generative AI, such as approaching information with skepticism, verifying sources and evidence, and seeking multiple perspectives.

Why this matters. We already knew that most online users were very poor at critically examining online information. We now have a bot that seems human and will spit out answers for you. One of the key elements again is a healthy skepticism as you engage and connect.

Allowing students to display critical thinking skills in creative ways

Multimodal literacy is the ability to communicate using different modes, such as text, images, audio, video, and animation.

Jason DeHart argues that teachers can guide students to develop multimodal literacy by offering a variety of literacy-focused projects that allow students to display their critical thinking skills in creative ways. DeHart provides some examples of multimodal projects, such as creating comics, podcasts, digital stories, and infographics, and suggests some strategies for scaffolding and assessing multimodal work.

Why this matters. Multimodal is a term that I’ve been using a bit too much throughout my career. As new AI tools become more multimodally literate, it’s interesting to see how they adapt to these texts.

You should know these numbers

This article provides some basic statistics about the U.S. education system, such as the number of students, teachers, schools, and districts. The piece also shares some data on student achievement, graduation rates, college enrollment, and education spending.

Why this matters. This post has resonated with me multiple times over the past week. It is a stark reminder of how enormous the K-12 educational system is. It is also a reminder (IMHO) of the importance of local educational matters.

Use AI to help you in your next online interview

Ecoute is a live transcription tool that provides real-time transcripts for both your microphone input and the user’s speaker output in a textbox. It uses this information to generate a suggested response using OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 for the user to say based on the live transcription of the conversation.

Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.

W.B. Yeats

Cover Photo CC BY using DreamStudio.AI

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