Digital skills: succeeding in a digital world
Digital skills: succeeding in a digital world

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Digital skills: succeeding in a digital world

3.2 Find

Described image
Figure 5 Words associated with finding information and people online

Finding information is about planning how you search for the information you’re trying to find, and knowing where and how to look for it. It’s about knowing whether you should use an internet search engine, search specific catalogues or databases, or ask a person. You need to be aware of what sources of information will be most appropriate to your needs. If you can target appropriate sources, your search results will be much more focused, and you’ll find what you’re looking for much quicker. Figure 4 illustrates the words you might use to describe activities in this skills area.

Your success at finding the information you need can also depend on the words and phrases you use in your search. They tell a search engine exactly what it should be looking for and what to exclude.

Activity 4 Finding information and people online

Timing: 15 minutes

This activity provides you with some practical examples of what finding online information involves.

In each of the areas covered, read the description and use the text box to write a sentence or two on how confident you feel in that area.

Then read the feedback, which lists resources you can use to develop skills in that area. Copy any useful links into your Digital plan, and make a note of how they might help you. This will be a good reminder when you return to your plan at a later date.

Knowing what’s online

How confident are you about assessing what you need and knowing where to find it online. Do you know where to find different types of information (news, opinions, experience etc.)?

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Feedback

If you can assess the type of information you need, you will be able to target your search to sites that provide specialist information. This will result in more focused search results.

Resources to help you develop your skills

Searching online

How confident are you at searching online? Can you use keywords and advanced search options to focus your search, or filter a large number of results? Do you know when to stop searching and consider alternative search strategies?

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Feedback

Most of us choose a couple of obvious terms to put into a search engine and hope that we get relevant results. Your search will be more focused if you know exactly what you’re looking for and can choose appropriate keywords that reflect this.

You can refine your search, and get fewer, but more relevant results, by using the advanced search option of your preferred search engine.

Filtering search results quickly is about developing your own judgement and critical skills. Search engines also provide tools that enable you to filter your search results by refining the search criteria you’ve used. This can save a great deal of time, and avoid restarting your search from scratch.

Knowing when to stop and think about using alternative search strategies to find what you are looking for will save you time, and help you to get to the information you need much quicker.

Resources to help you develop your skills

Scanning and skimming

How confident are you at scanning and skimming a web page to get to the relevant information quickly?

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Feedback

You can learn how to scan a series of pages to find the ones that are most relevant to what you are looking for. You can also learn how to skim the content on a page to find the sections that contain the information you need.

Resources to help you develop your skills

Keeping up to date

How confident are you about keeping up to date with news in subjects that interest you for work, study or personal interest?

Do you understand how to use social media to do this?

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Feedback

Social media, like Twitter and Facebook, can be valuable sources of information for work and study. They can be used to share up-to-date information on specific areas of interest.

Resources to help you develop your skills

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