MLA 2015: Plenary Session IV: Eszter Hargittai

Web of Opportunity or Web of Confusion? The Role of Skills in Internet Use

  • we can intervene and focus on skill development
  • generational myths
    • all young people are digitally savvy
    • young people are savvier than older people
  • who benefits most from their digital media uses?
    • social mobility vs social reproduction
    • digital divide
  • web-use skills
    • awareness and understanding
    • efficient info seeking
    • credibility assessment
    • participation
      • joining communities
  • what are the outcomes of these — get jobs, get involved in policy making, better health outcomes?
  • main data sources for studying Internet skills
    • in-person
    • observations and inteviews
    • surveys
  • waves of data overtime
  • use an attention check question
  • 34% of students didn’t know what BCC was about
  • 88% of students could not correctly identify a reliable URL
  • gender and skill (ex: reading) — women rate themselves lower, but it might be self-perception errors vs objective evaluation, but the perception still affects skill and behavior online
  • more skilled people tend to be more active online
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