Re: Dawn of the New Literacies

I came across this article that mirrors the sentiment of yesterday’s article. The general gist is a call for teachers to recognize that the world our students live in is changing, centered around technology and so should be our approach to reading and writing.

While the article does make many valid points in favor of technology in the classroom that I do agree with, I am skeptical that changing the format of a book is necessary. The argument is that today’s “screenagers” are different from readers of the pre-screen era and the way they interact with the reading and writing process is different.

I question whether this call for updated book formats is misguided. Do the books need to change or do the assignments that come with the books need to change? I certainly do not write my school papers with pencil and paper nor do I complete/submit/present assignments the way I did in high school (cerca 2008), but despite having an e-reader and following a handful of social media sites, I still feel that more is required on of the part of the reader with black-on-white text.

The argument that students should interact online with reading/writing more I acknowledge and personally do myself. There is a huge online community of bibliophiles and I admin a local community page for other book lovers in the area, sharing and discussing ideas. The online community spans many platforms (YouTube, online book club meetings, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and all engage with each other over the ideas presented in books (the supposedly outdated format, I should add).

It is difficult to pass judgement until more research is performed and concrete results obtained and methodologies are created for how to integrate web-based literature into reading and writing classes. Until then, I intend to keep my heavy ink-and-paper books within reach.


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