There are positive and negative repercussions to having the most cutting-edge technology inour pockets. While it’s possible to google search virtually anything in the world and get animmediate, in-depth response, it’s also been proven that search histories are now used to depictadvertisements that a user will see. Facebook, too, can be a positive force; its an incredible toolfor staying in touch with friends and family, bringing groups of people together for events, andspreading awareness. However, the 2016 U.S. election proved that Facebook users were moresusceptible to a vast array of circulating fake news articles. Lastly, if a user wanted to move offsocial media and onto a personal website as a means of finding freedom and creativity, doingso on an unprotected domain could result in having their registrant contact informationpublicized.Having the great power of these tools at our fingertips means that the implications of our useare high, and our awareness for using them has to be higher. We must take active measures tobecome digitally literate, and understand the full reach of our online presence.
This workshopwill begin by defining digital literacy and then arguing its importance. Being literate implies thatone holds the necessary reading and writing skills to communicate, interpret, and analyzeeffectively in an intellectual environment. Digital Literacy encompasses a larger set of behaviorsand technical skills to accommodate the use of digital devices for creation, expression, andadvocacy. This workshop tackles one of OER’s prominent themes, learning in the open, byallowing attendees to explore what digital literacy could mean for themselves and others in aweb hosting environment.
Owning, curating and managing a digital identity is arguably becoming a necessity in today’ssociety. Given that the open-source content management system, WordPress, is now poweringclose to thirty percent of the web, the workshop will be heavily focused on utilizing this tool as amethod for practicing digital literacy. The workshop will be sectioned primarily into two parts.The first portion of this workshop will be a discussion about the importance and practicality ofdigital literacy and identity. Speakers will share real-time case studies of how these skills areused to approach important themes of collaboration, expression, and advocacy online.
For thesecond half of this session, conference-goers and speakers alike will dive into a guided,hands-on narration of building a digital identity.Participants will be given the opportunity to register a domain of their choice on the spot, learnhow to install WordPress, and ‘look under the hood’ at the folders and files that make up aWordPress instance. Attendees will leave the workshop with a necessary understanding of theirnew web hosting cPanel and WordPress dashboard, folder and file structures, file transferprotocol, and general skills needed to carve out their own digital identities outsides of thealgorithmically mediated news services like Facebook and Twitter. Due to the hands-on natureof this workshop, participants are asked to bring a laptop or iPad to this session.