This semester has definitely been an introducing one, and it’s made me think about literacy in ways I had not before considered. My definition, surprisingly enough, has remained the same, for the most part, but I’ve come to realize the definition is not the important part. I have my definition, and the rest of the class has their individual definitions. These are useful only if we study the areas surrounding literacy, i.e. the uses of literacy. Each person’s individual definition allows them to focus on different areas to focus upon; for me, I’m primarily concerned with reading and writing, as per my definition, and my dream of being an English teacher usually has relating literacy to a classroom setting. Additionally, as a lit and fiction major, I have a passion for writing, reading, and self expression, which raises concerns about the preservation of the artist in a world of changing literacy.
My posts on the blog became more interested on these subjects after the midterm. For example, I found I did a post entitled Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Internet? that focused on Carr’s “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” I found his article to a list of excuses for laziness. Google, and technology, is not to blame for a person’s new lack of interest in tackling large articles or books. It’s a scapegoat to make the author feel like he has no control over his reading habits, which is completely and utterly false. I think, despite all of the changing technology, the way a person pursues literacy and challenges himself lies completely within the person. Blaming technology is easy, but it’s wrong.
We saw this again in the “Why Johnny Can’t Write?” article, which I also felt was trying to blame television for the shortcomings of student. Aside from being an article that did not address the overall positive trends of literacy, the article didn’t offer any kind of solution to the problem it presented. I think instead of blaming technology, we should embrace it and find ways to use technology to increase our literacy as a society. People learn in different ways, through different media; we should acknowledge this and use this to our advantage. Technology is a big scary word to some scholars, but it doesn’t have to be; Richard E. Miller encourages his students to use technology outside of the class, which is a small step in the right direction. Unfortunately, I disagreed with him when he made bold claims about how students are not longer able to interact with texts on a deep level and think about what they’re reading in creative and interesting ways. I think our blog proves this claim to be false; we’re all capable of interacting with texts and thinking and expressing these ideas.
With embracing technology, we need to be aware of how it’s changing. I brought up the question: Can Kindles and Books Coexist? The English nerd inside of me jumped for joy when people replied with faith that books will never disappear. At another point I responded to a concern about how technology affects the artist (Cursive By Candlelight Response). I think technology can really help artists and allow for more efficient creations; I don’t think the personality of the author is lost by using modern technology, but I feel like each artist is capable of making his own decision on how to preserve his authenticity.
The definition of literacy doesn’t matter to me; what’s important is how we use literacy, how the media surrounding literacy is changing, and how we have to have to be aware to take full advantage of these changes.