Searching for information and forming opinions
The internet has become one of the most important sources of information for us. Be it news on current world events, test and experience reports on specific products and services, opinions, recommendations and discussions or detailed background information on every conceivable topic: all this and much more is just a click away. In contrast to other media, the internet enables the sharing of information and the exchange of people via forums, blogs, wikis and social media. Content is not only accessible at any time, but also at any place. We no longer necessarily need to know everything, it is much more important for us to understand how to find the relevant information on the internet.
Materials for this module
- Handbook (pdf)
- Curriculum (pdf)
- Learningmaterial (Wiki)
This module is divided into the following sub-chapters:
- Searching for information on the Internet
- Information and knowledge management
- Opinion making and fakenews
Searching for information on the net
Already in 2018, there were a total of over one billion websites worldwide. The sheer number of websites alone shows how important it is for us to know different ways of getting the information we want. The aim of this chapter is to develop strategies on how we can find suitable sources of information on the internet, check them for their truth and information content and judge them according to their value
Manage and use information from the network
As we move around the internet, we regularly come across interesting websites and information. In order to be able to access this knowledge again at a later time, we need to save the information we have found. No matter how we manage our knowledge, the more content we collect, the more important it becomes to keep track of it. To do this, it is necessary to know the advantages and disadvantages of the different ways of storing knowledge and to store it in a structured way.
Opinion making and fakenews
The reality we live in is based on the circumstances around us and our opinions. This in turn is based on our experiences and the information we receive and process. The internet has increased the speed and range of news transmission. However, this also means that much more information reaches us than we can process. We try to keep track of everything and are faced with the challenge of filtering content, separating the important from the unimportant. In the process, it becomes increasingly difficult to read and check all the information in detail.
Besides renowned news sources, internet services like Twitter and social networks like Facebook & Co. have established themselves as sources of information. The information comes to us automatically, we are no longer forced to actively research and look for it. We live under the fallacy that what is important will already reach us.
Social networks are now places where public opinion is formed. We like, comment and "share" in order to belong, to be part of the digital world - whereby reflection falls by the wayside. We overlook the fact that in the social networks mostly only opinions are spread and a discussion or even a constructive exchange of opinions only takes place to a limited extent. Discussions and posts in social media also suggest that a topic is important because there is a lot of talk about it; but in reality it can be quite different. And automated systems have long been used to send targeted messages and information to specific audiences.
We must realise that our world view is strongly dependent on these external circumstances. Therefore, we have to be clear about the corresponding mechanisms, remain critical and look beyond our own nose every now and then.