Glossary

Aggregator

A republisher of information originating from other sources. Republishers like Facebook use an algorithm to determine what content to display.

Algorithm

A set of rules used to calculate an answer to a query, or question. Web search engines use highly complex search algorithms.

Black Box

A way to describe a device that is characterized by its inputs and outputs and where the calculations at work are hidden. An algorithm is a kind of black box.

Clickbait

Online content with an intriguing title or pitch but insubstantial content. A product of the contemporary digital information environment.

Confirmation Bias

The tendency to selectively search for and interpret information in a way that confirms one’s own pre-existing beliefs and ideas.

Content Mill

A disreputable type of online publication where writers are often anonymous and content is produced quickly and often without verification of facts.

Critical Thinking

The objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement.

Cyberchondria

Anxiety produced by browsing online medical information.

Digital Capabilities

Those capabilities which fit an individual for living, learning and working in a digital society

Digital Footprint

The trail of ‘electronic breadcrumbs’ you leave behind you as you use the internet both intentionally but also unintentionally.

Digital Identity

Refers to your “online self”, the electronic representation of who you are.

Digital Literacy

The ability to understand and use information in multiple formats from a wide range of sources when it is presented via computers

Digital Native or Net Generation

The idea that a person who has been born or brought up during the age of digital technology will be familiar with computers and the Internet from an early age.

Digital Self

The way you use the range of technologies and digital tools you use in different aspects of your life

Digitally Mediated Communication Space

Any online location or platform that can be used to communicate with others. Examples include Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, WordPress, and Tumblr.

Echo Chamber

An online environment that reinforces pre-existing biases and beliefs.

Evaluative Literacy

The ability to assess information, especially by contextualizing, critiquing, and confirming its truthfulness.

Fake News

Misleading or biased information, usually political in nature, enabled by digital forms of information sharing.

Index

For search engines, an index is a collection of webpage information compiled by spiders and used to generate search results.

Inlink

A hyperlink connecting one webpage to another. If site A links to site B, that counts as one inlink for site B.

Intellectual Property

An original work or invention to which an individual or company has rights. For example, a research paper that you write for class is an original work and you own the copyright to that paper; no one else can use your paper unless they cite you. Depending on copyright law where you live, you may also be able to apply for a patent, copyright, trademark, etc. for your original work.

Lateral Reading

Fact-checking by reading contextually about a website.

Metaliteracy

The ability to identify gaps in one’s own knowledge, understanding, or literacy skills.

Metanarrative

From postmodern theory, a grand, overarching story of the way the world functions, which is used to explain and justify; a narrative about narratives.

PageRank

An initial rule used in Google’s algorithm where webpage relevance is determined by inlinks.

Positionality

The notion that personal values, views, identity, and location in time and space influence how one understands the world.

Propaganda

Information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or a particular point of view.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The practise of editing a website to improve Web search-result ranking.

SMART Goals

Goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Spider

Also called a crawler or a robot, this snippet of code is used by search engines to webpages and retrieve information for the index.

Typology

Classification based on types or categories. For example, linguistic typology classifies languages according to their structure.

License

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Digital Citizenship Toolkit by Edited by Michelle Schwartz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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