Thing 2

Thing 2. Digital Literacy 101

Introduction. Everybody Googles 

In Thing 1, you learned a bit about information literacy and digital literacy. Before moving forward with the Things, we want to make sure you are comfortable with the basics of digital literacy. One of the principal tenets of digital literacy is enhanced knowledge of computer basics such as searching. Also, understand that when we say “Google” we mean “do a web search”; you are free to Bing or Yahoo or DuckDuckGo, no judgment here. 

In this Thing, we will look at some Google basics, including searching and evaluating results as well as provide some tips and tricks to craft a more effective search. We offer both videos and print articles to move your search skills forward.


As library workers, we pride ourselves on our ability to answer questions from patrons and to search Google to retrieve better, more accurate information to answer patrons’ questions. But, there is always more to learn. Watch this video to pick up a hint or two to improve your search techniques.

  • How to Google Like a Pro! Top 10 Search Tips & Tricks, 2020 (5:40)

Once you find a site that appears to answer your question, verify the information. This series of short videos offers ways to do that:


You can pick up more tips from these articles. They are also useful to create handouts for staff training, using in lessons with students, or for public programs.

  • 20 Search Tips to Use Google More Effectively | Lifehack Article

  • Why Students Can’t Google Their Way to the Truth | EdWeek Article

  • Googling. Is it one of the most underestimated skills in the world? | LinkedIn Article


You can use these activities yourself or with staff, friends, students, and the public. Activities labeled for students/kids can be presented to parents, teachers, and caregivers as tools for their work. Working through those activities will often teach adults new skills or provide new information. 

  • Be Internet Awesome! Explore this free tool to help kids learn to navigate the online world safely. Tools for children, families, and educators.

  • If you really want to stretch your skills, the SearchResearch blog author posts challenges to find the answers to various queries. Dan Russell works at Google. He is the author of The Joy of Search: A Google Insider’s Guide to Going Beyond the Basics (find in a library ) His website

Conversation Starters

  • With Google being designed to be so easy to use, what is the value of learning to use it more effectively? 
  • What is one thing you would like to change about internet searching, to make it work better for you? 

Evaluation – while not required, we would love for you to complete the evaluation for this Thing. If you wish to receive clock hours, you must complete the evaluation with your registered email address. 

Additional Resources

“Applied Digital Skills”, online course from Google for Education, with videos and lessons for classroom use.

Digital citizenship from CMLE Linking Our Libraries Literacy from Prairielands Libraries Exchange

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