The American Library Association (2011) defines Digital Literacy as " the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills."
A digitally literate person should:
Source: Digital Literacy Taskforce. (2011). What is digital literacy? American Library Association. Retrieved August 8, 2022 from https://alair.ala.org/handle/11213/16260
Being digitally literate in your daily life means, simply, having the ability to locate & consume digital content, create digital content and communicate digital content (Spires & Bartlett, 2012).
Evaluating information is an important part of locating, creating and communicating digital content. Critical evaluation helps determine what digital content to use for any given need without being overwhelmed by a sea of information.
Graphic: Spires, H. A. & Bartlett, M. E. (2012). Digital literacies and learning: Designing a path forward. https://www.fi.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/media/media/2013/05/digital-literacies-and-learning.pdf
Key questions when evaluating a source:
What expertise does the author hold?
What evidence does the author provide?
Who is the audience?
What is the main purpose?
When trying to ascertain the truth of a story on the web less is often more, and what you need are not long lists of attributes to gauge, but quick and directed moves that solve simple scenarios quickly and complex scenarios in a reasonable amount of time. Education expert and information literacy blogger Mike Caufield came up with these "four moves" for evaluating sources:
Adapted from "Recognition Is Futile: Why Checklist Approaches to Information Literacy Fail and What To Do About It" by Mike Caulfield, February 18, 2018, Hapgood.us