Another kind of filtering needed too

Apple retail stores aren't the only places employing tech "geniuses." Libraries are too. The Internet has turned out to be a "major tool" not only for patrons but librarians as well, saving space, making library resources accessible at home, and bringing more patrons to the library, Michigan's Saginaw News reports. Research that the Saginaw News cites indicates patrons are figuring out that librarians are better than anyone at information filtering. "With their training, librarians are more adept than the average citizen at using search engines to locate and decipher reliable data. [Librarian Gail] Parsons notes her experience helps her discern valid sources and recognize biases." The need for those filtering skills has never been greater – not only for being good scholars and media consumers but also for safe, productive use of technology (phones, the Web, virtual worlds, videogames, media players, etc.). Parents and educators, too, play vital roles in this filtering education. Media-literacy teaching at home and school can be aimed at critical thinking not only about 1) incoming information but also about 2) incoming communication – from everybody, friends or not. It also needs to move beyond what's coming in to include 3) outgoing behavior and communication from a child, via text, images, voice, and video (see "Good citizens in virtual worlds, too"). About Nos. 2 and 3, children can be taught to ask themselves questions like: What's this person really saying to me – is this a form of manipulation? Am I being fair to this person if I IM this about him – would I want him to say this about me? Should I send a photo around with this person in it if I don't have her permission? Will posting this video of me possibly embarrass me in the future if I can't take it down and someone could copy and repost it anytime?

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