“Aha” Moment…Oprah would be proud.

During class today I kind of had this…wait for it… ‘aha’ moment.  I was listening to some of my peers talk about the future of literacy with a large focus on technology as a tool of literacy, and I began to wonder if we separated the two, literacy and technology, and considered our future of literacy this way.  In discussing the future, innovative advances in technology are what we focus on when it comes to literacy, or really anything for that matter, because it’s out never-ending quest for a fast-speed, uncomplicated and efficient Utopia.  To me, the future of the literacy remains and will remain the act of reading or writing (a tentative definition, of course) while, in regards to literacy, the use of technology has just simply been this evolving mold over the form or structure of literacy.  It may be valid to argue that the function of literacy will remain the same in the future but the technology that surrounds, alters, and fosters these functions of literacy will change and advance rapidly.  So to say that the classrooms of the future will have 12 40” television screens with smart boards everywhere and ipads at every desk may just be a prose solely for the advancements of technology.  Whether to say that the actual practice or concept and function of literacy as reading or writing will or will not change may define the true future of literacy.

To pose the question like this: is it true to say that the advancements of technology inevitably alter or affect the function and future of literacy?

I know that in class discussion and with the scholars we have heard from the two concepts of literacy and technology, when considering the future of literacy, have kind of come hand-in-hand. But let me know what you think about separating them…? Do you think it is it even possible?







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14 Responses to “Aha” Moment…Oprah would be proud.

  1. Eric says:

    Wow! What a great thought/post! I think that you have come up with a really great idea and bring to light an interesting concept. And in my opinion, to answer your question: I think it is totally possible to separate literacy from the never-ending advancements in technology. In a way, don’t we have to? Like you said, literacy will always be what it has always been. And in the most simplistic way, that is: “the ability to read and write”. So, in whatever way we as individuals may be completing this act, it will always keep that same function. Whether we are using e-books, the internet, smart screens, etc. we are still using basic literacy, in a form that will always remain archaic, in a sense.

    I think by separating these two ideas, we make everything less difficult. And that has kind of been the theme of this course, I feel. It goes back to Holly’s idea about the “BIG L” and the “little l”. We can’t combine, link and fuse everything into literacy. We’ll drive ourselves crazy. So, perhaps separating technological advancements from the idea of “forever changing the way literacy exists”, sounds like a great idea to me!

  2. dmk says:


    I agree with Eric that this is an interesting way to try to consider technology and literacy! I don’t think I have ever separated the two. But here is why: I think it is very possible for literacy to be the one to change due to the evolving technology, rather than technology evolving to conform to what we think literacy is today (as you say above). And, if literacy at some point will be computer literacy (although some might think it already does), it then becomes virtually impossible to separate technology and literacy. It comes down to whether or not you believe that literacy has the ability to change, right? I think it can, but it seems like you think it can’t. If that is true, why do you think it can’t change?