Get your savvy on.
This ain't your grandma's digital literacy course. Good thing, too, because you'd have some trouble accessing the Internet via a typewriter.
We skip all the duh-moments and go straight for the meat in these ten lessons. Sure, we'll do a little how-to, but we're more interested in the why.
Because let's face it: the Internet is confusing.
Unit 1. Digital Literacy
10 Lessons, 10 Topics:
- Browsers and Branding
- Social Media
- Online Safety and Privacy
- Online Community and Citizenship
- Search Engines and Strategies
- Using and Citing Online Sources
- The Digital Future
Sample Lesson - Introduction
Lesson 2: Email
Which of the following email addresses is appropriate to use when emailing anyone other than your BFF and your schnauzer?
Ding ding! If you chose D, you're ready to join the real world.
The email address you choose is kind of a big deal. Just imagine you're at a party and you meet someone awesome. You want to keep in touch, and they're like, "What's your email address?" "Um…firstname.lastname@example.org?" And…there go your chances.
Now if the email handle you choose is this important, just imagine how much the content of your emails matter. And that's why we want to introduce you to Shmoop's #1 Rule for Email:
Assume that everything you write in an email will end up on the front page of the New York Times the next day. If you don't want the entire world to know it, don't put it in an email.
It might sounds cynical, but Every Politician Ever would probably have appreciated a reminder. Just sayin'.
Sample Lesson - Reading
Reading 1.2a: FAQ
Which email client should I use?
Shmoop is a fan of Gmail, but we say: if you have an email client that works for you, OWN IT. Just know that people might judge you if you still use AOL.
How many email addresses should I have?
This one's up to you. We definitely suggest having more than one: one for professional stuff (work and school) and one for personal stuff (Disney gifs). You might even have a third one where you get all your spam-ish stuff sent…coupons, offers, all that jazz. Just don't go too crazy: if you have more than three, you'll probably start losing track of which end is up.
Is it really okay to have my name as part of my email address?
Yep. Anyone you're emailing (or who's emailing you) should know your name already anyway—or you should want them to. So you're good to go.
How do I know when I should save an email?
Your call. All email clients give you the ability to archive emails, which means you can save stuff without it getting in your way—fancy folder names included.
Sample Lesson - Reading
Reading 1.2b: Undo Send
We're about to change your life.
YOU CAN UNSEND YOUR EMAIL.
Step 1: Click on that little cog-looking thing on the top right of your Gmail window.
Step 2: Click Settings.
Step 3: Click Labs.
Step 4: Click Enable next to Undo Send.
Warning: the option to undo send only lasts a few seconds, so late-night-emailing-that-you-want-to-take-back-the-next-morning isn't a thing. This is more for you-sent-the-email-complaining-about-homework-to-your-teacher-instead-of-your-friend-and-realized-just-as-you-clicked-send moments.
Sample Lesson - Activity
Activity 1.2: Know Your Audience
Unless you're living under a rock (in which case, say hi to the worms for us), you use email for every purpose under the sun—and to communicate with every person under the sun. But if you're emailing your mom, your best friend, your teacher, your boss, and a total stranger all on the same medium, you have to be careful not to slip up.
Let's put you to the test.