Learning in our information age has increasingly become a necessary lifelong process.  We simply must be able to access, process, evaluate and use information.  Are you ready to increase your skill level?  Digital Literacy is an all-encompassing phrase for knowing about computers, basic software programs, and the Internet. It is knowing how to find authoritative information online as well as how to use various digital media and formats such as pdfs, mp3/mp4 files, digital pictures, word documents, spreadsheets, flash drives, etc. Here is a formal definition for digital literacy, from my alma mater, UIUC.  These specialty dictionaries may also be beneficial as you learn:  NetLingo and Urban Dictionary.

Many public and university library web sites offer valuable resources such as subject guides, tutorials, lists of reference/research resources, how-to's for citing sources, and copyright information. Check out what they offer. Their resources have often been created by their staff. When I discover a library resource that fulfills what I want to provide here, I link to it. Thank you to all those hard-working librarians!

21st Century Skills are those information skills necessary for today's society.  These "college and career readiness" skills utilize higher levels of reasoning and problem-solving.  Here's a link to another 21st Century Skills list which has been slightly customized by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  I checked out their modifications and even those are relevant to the everyday citizen.  In a nutshell, possessing these skills ensures that you will be best able to function independently and successfully in your work, home, and public environments.

21st Century Skills

Resource suggestion which depicts a very detailed list of each skill.

Computer Tutorials

Basic Skills Videos   from Pasco County Library System in Florida, this link takes you to chapter one of the tutorial. You will be able to navigate to the other five chapters down below the video of chapter one.

Computer Basics   from gcflearnfree

Online form   practice filling out an online form

Mouse Tutorials

Mouse Aerobics   from the Monroe County Library System in Michigan

Mouse Exercises   perfect for seniors

Mousercise   created by Chris Rippel from the Central Kansas Library System

Mouse and Keyboard Tutorial   from Mesa Public Library in Arizona

Mousing Around   from the Palm Beach County Library System in Florida

Typing Tutorials

Dance Mat Typing for Kids   from the British Broadcasting Company

Learn2Type   offers lessons, timed tests, and a ten key numeric test

Peter's Online Typing Course   a very thorough instructional site

Digital Photos

Archiving Digital Photos   watch this video from the Library of Congress

Adding Descriptions to Digital Photos   watch this video from the Library of Congress

Keeping Personal Digital Photographs   from this Library of Congress page, you can download two valuable pdfs:  "How to Transfer Photos from your Camera to your Computer" and "Archiving Tips" can be downloaded by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page which says "download this page."

Personal Archiving   from this Library of Congress index page, select either of the following to access a downloadable pdf document: "How to Scan Your Personal Collections" or "Perspectives on Personal Digital Archiving."

Digital Video   yet more helpful information from the Library of Congress

Cambridge in Color   offers lots of tutorials

Design Instruct   you will find links to lots of online resources here

Photoshop Tutorials   from Smashing Magazine

Composition   a youtube video tutorial, an example of what you can find by searching online. ☺   You can find many more youtube video tutorials on photography by typing "photography tutorials" in the YouTube search box.

General Tutorial Sites   tutorials on learning both Windows and Mac computers, email, search engines, navigating a website, and cloud storage.   Here is a list of topics on which they offer tutorials. There are over 90 tutorials on email, technology, Facebook 101, life skills, and career assistance.  This site is a program of Goodwill Industries in North Carolina.

In Pictures   screenshot tutorials for MS Office 2003-2007, Open Office, and some web development topics.   When you don't want the uncertainties associated with relying on youtube tutorials, purchase a  membership with Lynda and have unlimited use of all their video tutorials. Subjects include technology,  software, education, business, design, web development, photography, video, audio, animation, and CAD.

Tutorial Find   just about any topic

Wiki How   learn how to do anything

Information Literacy

Evaluating Web Sites   from the Christopher Center Library at Valparaiso University in Indiana


Super Simple Learning   educational and entertaining

MOOCs   Massive Open Online Courses

Internet History, Technology, and Security   a free course from the University of Michigan

If you are new to the term "MOOCs" please read my blog post or browse my MOOCs page.

Privacy and Safety Information

"Surveillance IS the business model of the internet."   Bruce Schneier, security expert

"As We Sweat Government Surveillance, Companies like Google Collect our Data"   Guardian article, April 18, 2014
Center for Democracy and Technology   promotes an open and free Internet
Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights   released by Pres. Obama's administration in 2012
COPPA   Children's Online Privacy Protection Act
CVDazzle   camouflage from face detection
DuckDuckGo   the search engine that does NOT track you!  Read more.
EFF   Electronic Frontier Foundation battles NSA's illegal mass surveillance program
"How to Block Online Tracking"   ProPublica, July 3, 2014
KidRex   filters bad stuff from search results
People Smart   privacy education resources
PRISM   U.S. Government is collecting our data,  Uncrunched blog post, June 2013
Online Privacy   a great action guide!
Privacy   consumer information from the Federal Trade Commission
"The Right to be Forgotten"   Stanford Law Review article on EU legislation
Un-Google Yourself   a how-to from
"U.S. Postal Service logging all mail for law enforcement"   New York Times, July 3, 2013
Web of Trust   determine which websites are trustworthy


How to conduct research, whether you are in school or learning independently.

Chapter Seven "Supporting Your Ideas" of Public Speaking: the virtual text  covers the basics of where to look for information.
FedWorld   locate government documents
Google Scholar
Research Project Calculator   courtesy of Univeristy of MN Libraries, MNLink and MINITEX.

APA Style Guide   for citing sources in the social sciences
MLA Style Guide   for citing sources in the humanities


Bare Bones: Searching the Web   from USC's Beaufort Library, Spanish version is accessed via a link near the bottom of their page.

Finding Images on the Web   from Boston University Libraries

Good Tutorials   Photography, Photoshop, and lots of other web development topics

How to Start a Wiki

Learn the Net   also available in French and Spanish

Web Development Tutorials

Dreamweaver CS5.5 icon is a FREE nine hour course at Udemy. I took it as a refresher since my only experience was with version 4. The instructor is thorough; the course is paced well for beginners.

Good Tutorials   CSS, Flash, HTML, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Illustrator, Java, JavaScript, Maya, Photography, Photoshop, PHP,  and 3ds Max

Processing   tutorials are rated for Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced users

W3Schools   for all skill levels

WebMonkey   a web developer resource which offers tutorials and advice for people of all skill levels on  web design and programming web applications.

Book Suggestions

Check these out at your local public library -- woohoo! or purchase a copy online from one of these booksellers.

Assessing 21st Century Skills: summary of a workshop  2011

50 Ways to Protect your Identity in a Digital Age: new financial threats you need to know and how to avoid them

The Complete Digital Photo Manual: Your #1 Guide for Better Photography      Digital Photos Magazine, 2011

The Complete Guide to Wikis: How to Set Up, Use, and Benefit from Wikis for Teachers, Business Professionals, Families, and Friends    T. Brian Chatfield, 2009

Computers for Seniors for Dummies     Nancy C. Muir, 2013

Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do about It     Robert K. Knake, 2012

Learn Digital Photography with Geoff Lawrence available as an ebook and pdf  iBookstore

Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who Are Bringing Down the Internet    Joseph Menn, 2010

How to Create Stunning Digital Photography by Tony Northrup, 2012

The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging      2008

The Internet for Dummies    John R. Levine

Pearson Education has three avenues of publishing which are relevant to my readers: FT Press, InformIT, and Peachpit. FT Press publishes in these areas: business, marketing, sales, finance, leadership, management, strategy, HR, and global business. Here are links to all three publishers. (Pearson Education)

Pearson Education (InformIT)

Peachpit is a leading publisher for web design, graphic design, digital photography, Adobe Photoshop, digital video, and Apple OSX Training series.

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