I just finished my literacy remixed assignment, and it made me think a lot about digital literacy. Before having taken this class, I never would have thought of the digital composition as a literacy event. When I listened to my final product, it seemed, at first glance, very far removed from the traditional literacy events of reading and writing. The fact that I was listening to the composition in the first place and that it was on a computer is what put me off, I think, from looking at it as a literacy event. Also, the music in the composition played such an important part in the project that I think it displaced some of the more traditional literacy elements of my project; like the fact that my subject itself was literacy.
When I began to rethink the digital composition as a literacy event, it hit me how different digital literacy is from traditional literacy. I mean, the Audacity program has so many literacy components that it would take me pages upon pages to describe them all. Knowing how to navigate all of the program’s functions and using the correct tools in the correct manner, are all literacy practices that Audacity requires one to know. For example, it took me forever to figure out what the envelope tool was supposed to do and I don’t think that even by the end of my project, I was using it in the correct way! Never in a million years would I have thought that I would need to know how to use something like this. As a junior in college and an English literature major on top of that, I consider myself highly literate, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that my ego came out somewhat bruised by the end of this class assignment.
However, I truly believe that this is the direction in which our future is headed. I wouldn’t be surprised if within the next fifty to one-hundred years digital literacy became just as relevant if not more relevant than traditional literacy. Can you imagine a future where we no longer have to hand in written essays, but rather digital compositions that require the use of such programs like Audacity? I sure can’t, and I’m not by any means saying that such a dramatic change will definitely occur. Nevertheless, it is worth to thinking about. While I don’t believe there will ever be a time where printed books go out of fashion and written essays become extinct (or maybe this is just my own nostalgic and wishful thinking coming in the way…), I do think that technology and digital media will only continue to grow in relevance in the near coming future. I think more jobs will require more advanced training in technology and computers and that anybody training in those fields now will have an advantage over the rest of us in the future. As for me, I don’t ever foresee myself turning into a techie; I’m just too traditional and technology challenged. However, one can always change, and with these changing times, who knows what will happen?