In the information age, literacy of one kind or the other will continue to be as important as ever-- perhaps even more important than before. "In an information age, citizens need to make meaning--rather than merely consume information--in informal, formal, imaginative, and analytic ways and in many settings." (English Coalition)
But what kind of literacy, and where do we figure in the making of it?
The new media can obviously be used to enhance collaboration in various networked environments. We're doing that now and will probably be doing it a lot more.
Here I'm more concerned with a philosophical crux. If the postmodernist argument is correct, we should be working wholesale to help our students move into the twenty-first century and help them get immersed in the non-linear, exploratory, intensely involving McLuhanite world of electronic media. But if my misgivings about reading and writing in hypertext are even partially correct, then we have to decide whether we want to resist this world, or at least try to co-opt and remake it.
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