This series of seminars aims to get students to think critically about their own digital skills, introducing a number of useful tools for adequate knowledge of the online environment.
No previous knowledge is required
Course unit content
This series of seminars aims to present the different dimensions of digital skills (Information Processing, Communication and Collaboration, Content Creation, Security, Problem Solving) and then dwell on some specific skills that will be critically discussed in order to gain greater awareness of the digital environment.
The starting point of the seminar will be a brief introduction to the architecture of the web (from Arpanet to the ecosystem of commercial platforms) and the difference between (surface) web, deep web and dark web.
Among the tools that will be focused on, special attention will be paid to those that allow one to refine one's searches (e.g., Boolean operators) and query the memory of the web (e.g., the cache copy, archive.org).
The topic of online content availability will then be used to discuss different styles of use as well as issues of piracy and copyright.
In addition, we will look at the topic of "digital footprints" in order to become more aware of one's being online, the information being disseminated, and how to experience the net in a more aware and informed way.
Students will then be introduced to the world of the "Fediverse" and the social alternatives it offers compared to the commercial platforms of big tech.
Should the students find it useful, one session of the seminar series may be devoted to the basics of effective communication particularly using "power point" software, asking them to take up presentations they have prepared in the past and analyze them from a self-critical perspective, making an updated version in the light of the knowledge learned in the classroom.
Materials discussed in class with the teacher
Seminar format with lectures by the lecturer and an active role for students who will be constantly called upon to participate and intervene, including through group work.
Assessment methods and criteria
For credits to be awarded, enrollees are required to attend at least 4 out of 5 sessions. Student evaluation will be based on active participation in class and the completion of a series of assignments (individual and/or group) to be presented in class.