Becoming Information Literate In The Digital Age

749 words - 3 pages

Having been working in academic libraries for several years, I noticed college students rely heavily on the Internet for research. For most people, opening a browser means connecting to the world wide library of information. At the same time, some college students are not aware of the risk of using online information without evaluation (Gross and Latham, 35). They tend to focus on relevancy more than the quality. That is the reason why so many professors are surprised to see how much information their students used is from biased, inaccurate, and commercial websites. This essay aims to provide a holistic view of online information and how students can improve their search ability in the digital age.
To understand how information is communicated online, students need to understand the basics of the global network. The Internet, as it sounds, is a connection of millions of networks of various organizations. The network, according to Shelly and Vermaat, is “a collection of computers and devices connected together, often wirelessly, via communication devices and transmission media… Networks allow computers to share resources, such as hardware, software, data, and information” (10). Networks can be as small as in a geographic region, often called local area network (LAN), or “a LAN that uses no wires” (472), to metropolitan area network (MAN) and wide area network (WAN). The largest network that users connect with is the Internet. Users can get access to another user’s hard disk and deliver files to each other via the Internet, which is called peer to peer network, or P2P (Shelly and Vermaat, 475). The most frequently used type is more between clients and companies which provide servers.
Used firstly as a platform for scientists in sharing and backing up data in the 1990s (Shelly and Vermaat, 75), the Internet evolved explosively as the global channel to meet diverse needs. The Internet connection, at the same, also has gone through several stages to meet the demanding needs, from cable, DSL (digital subscriber line), fiber to the Premises (FTTP), fixed wirelesss, celluar radio network, to currently popular Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) and satellite internet service (Shelly and Vermaat, 76). Nowadays, users face many ISPs (internet service providers) and wireless ISPs, and many companies like AT&T and TMobile are competing intensively in providing the best...

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