TL;DR (too long; didn’t read?): There is now a search icon in the header and footer of the Hub Blog so that you can search for things.
A few months back there was an article in The Verge making the rounds which proposed that today’s students were no longer as adept with directory structures in computing environments. You know, the simple (for some) understanding that you have folders and files that exist on your computer and to find them you need to know the path – which you likely (though not always) created. I saved this file in my documents folder in a subfolder named drafts and I called the file firstdraft.doc.
For many of us, this kind of digital literacy is foundational and so simple that it can be taken for granted but for others, due to greater and greater search capabilities inside of computing environments, they see no need for it… well until they do, as The Verge article articulates.
As you begin to amass information (or anything really), where you put things and how you find them later becomes something you need to think about. Yes, knowing the location is one way but in a digital environment you also have the option of searching for that item. Then, poof! There that item is, at your fingertips, and though you have no idea where it actually resides you probably don’t care.
As a blog which has been going for about a year and a half, currently has over 70 posts, multiple authors, and a small but diverse readership from around the world – we have a similar organization problem.
At first we dealt with this by creating categories. If you scroll our main page you will see that we have highlighted several categories such as Teaching Tips, External Speakers, a category for our campus’ new 3 to 4 credit hour initiative, and more. These categories curate posts into the categories that the authors find resonate with their post.
But we can’t create infinite categories! There is no way to create a category for everything that every reader may be interested in, and even if we could then we would just have the same problem – information overload!
So, I’m excited to announce that we just put search capabilities into the Hub Blog! You will find search bars at the top and the bottom of the site and so if you are looking for posts on say… active learning, rather than looking under the teaching tips category and scanning through all of the posts there (which may or may not have anything to do with active learning) you can type “active learning” into the search bar and all posts which mention active learning will be returned. Additionally, that search page has a unique URL so if you wanted to tell someone “Hey, here are all the posts on the Hub Blog which mention active learning” you can copy the URL after you do the search and send them to https://dearbornhub.net/?s=active+learning
I still think it is good for individuals to understand the file structures of their computers and I do think this is a digital literacy that we may be losing. But I also think that there is a big difference between individuals’ personal computing environments and shared public digital spaces. So, be you a reader or an author of the Hub Blog, I hope the new search feature will help the blog be more useful to you.
Photo by Marten Newhall on Unsplash