Chapter one in the New Literacy Sampler by Lang offers the insights and ideas about the definition of Literacy and how it has evolved over time. Sampling “the New” in New Literacy in the first chapter explores the concept that Literacy in the 20th century is much different just sixteen years into the 21 first century. In other words, for most of the last century literacy was based on a person ability to read and comprehend text.
Now with the explosion of social media, Literacy is compounded into varies cyberspace environments that blend the physical world with a variety of ways to communicate electronically. As the text points out, there has been a blending of the cyber-world and the physical world that allows and demands individuals to be much more diversified in their ability to communicate with an extended audience.
Literacy is not only based on a person’s ability to comprehend text, but rather a person’s ability to transcend time and space by multitasking digit-tally while manipulating the real physical world to fit the requirements and rigid demands of today’s world. Literacy requires the ability to create dialog in a variety of formats, and using each of these formats in an authentic way that increases the efficiency in a person’s life.
As we move forward, I am curious if this new literacy barometer will close the achievement gap or will it actually expand the differences between the two demographics. In any case I can see the need to offer as many modes of technology in the classroom, including twitter, blogs, face-book and all other social media outlets that increase communication and offer individuals greater access to information.