10 Websites that Can Improve Your Digital Literacy - dummies

10 Websites that Can Improve Your Digital Literacy

By Faithe Wempen

Here is a selection of ten great websites you should be familiar with to be literate about the Internet. By visiting these websites, you can get support for your computer, look up interesting facts, be exposed to new ideas, and more.

  • Microsoft Support. Start here if you need help with any Microsoft product, including Windows, Internet Explorer, Office, Surface Xbox, Skype, or Windows Phone. There are self-help articles, online expert forums, training modules, and lots more types of interesting content.

  • Wikipedia. As a wiki (a public collaborative encyclopedia), its information is not considered authoritative, so you probably won’t be able to cite it in academic papers, but, wow, can you learn a lot here informally.

    This giant online encyclopedia will fill you in on the basics of just about any topic, in clear, easily understood language.

  • CNET. CNET is a huge computer-focused site with many sections, each one of which would make a notice-worthy website.

    The Downloads section has links for downloading hundreds of thousands of shareware, freeware, and trial applications, and the Reviews section provides unbiased reviews of new hardware components, software, computers, and mobile devices.

    The Video section contains how-to videos, and the News section will keep you up to date on the latest technology news.

  • Open Yale. A free education? Yes! Open Yale is a website sponsored by Yale University that provides access to free online courses taught by some of the world’s best professors. No registration is required.

    This site doesn’t offer degrees, but it does offer a very high quality education, with courses comparable to actual courses at top universities.

  • PC Magazine. PC Magazine has been a leading print magazine for computer enthusiasts for decades. Its companion website contains detailed reviews of all types of computer and electronic components, as well as how-to articles, computer industry news, and price comparison information.

  • How Stuff Works. If you have ever wondered how a certain technology works, or how something is made, you’re sure to find the answer here. Start reading in the Tech section, or browse some of the non-computer areas to broaden your scope.

  • Ted Talks. Ted talks are free inspiring and educational videos on a huge variety of subjects. Each video is fairly short (about five minutes), so you can sample many different bits of knowledge in a single afternoon.

  • Google News. There are many news aggregator sites, but Google News is among the easiest to use and customize. It shows a constantly changing array of headlines in a variety of categories.

    Best of all, you can customize the news page to see only the types of news that interest you. You can create a category that shows the latest news about your hometown, for example, or that contain a certain keyword in the story.

  • Internet Movie Database. The Internet Movie Database, or IMDB, is the ultimate dinner table argument-settler over what actor was in in that movie about that girl and that guy.

    Internet Movie Database is a huge searchable repository of information about nearly every movie ever made, including the cast, plot summary, reviews, bloopers, and links to sites where the movie is for sale, either on DVD or for download.

  • Project Gutenberg. When the copyright on a book expires, the book becomes public domain, and sites such as Project Gutenberg can offer the text for free to anyone who wants it.

    On this site, you can download the text of millions of full-length books that are out of copyright, including most of the books that teachers assign as required reading in high school and college classes literature classes. Many of the books are also available in Kindle and other e-book formats.