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Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars A navigator to find my way home, 12 April 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Digital Literacy (Paperback)
Digital Literacy
Paul Gilster, the author of Digital Literacy, Finding it on the Net, and The Web Navigator, started off his career studying and teaching Medieval English and history. Gilster made a career change and became a commercial aviator before he found an interest in computers. This interest grew after he began exploring this new medium and decided that it would be an excellent source for his writings. The Internet is an enormous collection of data with millions of pages of information. Many users of the Internet feel overwhelmed by this because they are not digitally literate. Gilster describes digital literacy as the "ability to understand and use information in multiple formats from a wide range of sources when it is presented via computers." He shows that despite this overwhelming amount of data it is possible to find the information that you are looking for and confirm that it is from a reliable source. The reader is able to learn how to use the Internet to their advantage not only through software applications, but also through logical thought processes. The book tends to be for those readers who are somewhat familiar with how the Internet works. Readers who have not yet tried to explore the internet on their own may find that the Gilster provides a lot of information that would not be fully understood with out first experiencing it first hand. For those who have Internet experience, chapters on searching the Internet, content evaluation and hyperlinks provide valuable skills for evaluating and interpreting information found on the Internet. The skills that I have picked up from this book have already proven to be valuable in researching and surfing the Internet for entertainment. The main fault that I found with Gilster's Digital Literacy is that for an informative instruction style book he tended to be long winded and stray off into tangents in parts of the book. This was very evident in the section of the book called "An Internet Day." Gilster takes the reader through a day of Internet surfing. Some things were for entertainment and others for research, but the messages he conveyed in this section could have been done just as well with out the ramblings and stray thoughts of a man surfing the Internet. Over all I felt the book was very well written and contains invaluable information for Internet users. I would recommend Digital Literacy for anyone who spends time on the Internet. Although the book is not directly to the point, Gilster's ideas are very clear, and user friendly. We are living in a world that is changing very rapidly, in the most part do to the growth of the internet, those who are digitally illiterate will be left behind.
Gilster, Paul. Digital Literacy. New York: Wiley, 1997.
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