Exploring mind amplifiers since 1964

Net Smart

Mindful use of digital media means thinking about what we are doing, cultivating an ongoing inner inquiry into how we want to spend our time. I outline five fundamental digital literacies, online skills that will help us do this: attention, participation, collaboration, critical consumption of information (or “crap detection”), and network smarts. I explain how attention works, and how we can use our attention to focus on the tiny relevant portion of the incoming tsunami of information. I describe the quality of participation that empowers the best of the bloggers, netizens, tweeters, and other online community participants; I examine how successful online collaborative enterprises contribute new knowledge to the world in new ways; and I present a lesson on networks and network building.

There is a bigger social issue at work in digital literacy, one that goes beyond personal empowerment. If we combine our efforts wisely, it could produce a more thoughtful society: countless small acts like publishing a Web page or sharing a link could add up to a public good that enriches everybody.

Download the Introductory Chapter and Table of Contents  

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5 responses to “Net Smart”

  1. Tgolightly says:

    I really like Net Smart. I’m suggesting it to my friends and colleagues that feel intimidated by online tools and activities. I love that Howard Rheingold is of the baby boomer generation because I can point out that he is not too old to understand these things; he has been part of making them what they are.

  2. I enjoyed reading your book very much and immediately started to put it into practice. Yahoo pipes for example proofs to be very helpful. 

  3. Psbarnwell says:

    Completely enjoyed your book and look forward to using plenty of the ideas in the classroom this fall.

  4. DrLeeanne says:

    Bravo! Mindful awareness practices adapted to digital literacy = much needed!


  5. Maperez324 says:

    The cultural context modified by tech is contributing to change our cognitive model. But we are becoming “the shallows” suit an high hells teenegers? Mr Rheingold is our most well reputed schollar and his book let us undestand what happen with our mind in the Internet era.