“Books fall open, you fall in” is the beginning line to a poem by David McCord. Reading the words of a book, comprehending the words and then making my own scenarios was easily my biggest delight for much of my youth. I who had been a loner, especially during the teen years, had definitely “fallen in”.
Reading and writing, were the components of being literate for centuries, even as recently as just 100 years ago. The literacy landscape has warped so quickly, that now a new type of literacy is being required of citizens with each passing decade.
As a Children’s Librarian I feel a sense of duty to help people, especially our children, learn to absorb and adapt to one our newest literacies — digital literacy.
There are other literacies to be mastered for sure, such as financial literacy or cultural literacy. Yet, since I am still a lover of a good book and the computer-age appears to be here for some time, digital literacy seems like an appropriate place to start fulfilling my duty.
Join me here. There will be times when we will be learning together about digital literacy and what strikes me as the newest literacy — transliteracy*. And while we may not necessarily get that “falling in” feel that McCord wrote about regarding a book, I have a suspicion that if we get to just the correct stage of learning and/or teaching, we’ll still feel like we’re being drawn in.
Debra E. Johnson
* Transliteracy is the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks. (Note: the term seems to still be in flux but if you extra curious, you can do some searching via the links below. Pay attention to the name, Sue Thomas. Her name comes up consistently when searching out leaders of the transliteracy movement.)
<a href="http://nlabnetworks.typepad.com/transliteracy/” target=”_blank”>http://nlabnetworks.typepad.com/transliteracy/