Is Literacy on the Downfall?October 12, 2009 at 11:24 am | Posted in uncategorized | 2 Comments
(Authored by Elyse Boress)
I’m trying to remember when it was I first started using the internet. It’s hard to imagine those days without the internet, but I think it was around my college days that the internet was being utilized for anything and everything. Even though we’re in the technology revolution, some people like Tom Long discuss how all these technological advances are harmful to the literacy of our future, whereas others, like Clive Thompson, advocate that these advances are beneficial.. I understand both arguments, but still questioning what technology will do to the future of literacy in our country? In fact, what direction is technology going to take us in the long run?
In Longs article Literacy Limps Into the Kill Zone, which can be found at , he talks about the all out assault on the English language and the role technology plays in that unprovoked and dastardly attack. He also talks about the ways dumbing down the language is not only seen as acceptable, but is tacitly encouraged as the status quo.
In a sense, I understand where Long is coming from. In thinking about all the text messages and emails I’ve written, I can tell you that majority of them consisted of incomplete sentences, slang and symbols that would not be looked highly upon if written on paper. In fact, you might even question whether or not I know how to read or write. It’s not just me either. This is how we are functioning today. Our fingertips type out more information than we handwrite. Are we forgetting how to pick up a pen and paper and write? Are we getting educated by this technology?
In the article Clive Thompsons View of Literacy, Professor Andrea Lunsford says
technology isn’t killing our ability to write. It’s reviving it-and pushing our literacy in bold new directions.
She has found that more people today are reading and writing due to this technology boom. Whether it’s instant messaging, texting, emailing or blogging, people are actually reading and writing while they are doing this. They might not think of it that way, but they are. Also, people are attracted to this type of technology over a pen and paper style of writing because they have a different audience they can address. This means that the meaning, tone and information can change to meet the needs of that audience.
Again, there are some good points here. Yes, I agree that more and more people are reading and writing via technology but you just have to be careful about the slang and types of information they are reading and writing. Also, what about all that information that you don’t want your kids reading about? It’s there. All online. And they’re reading it. Is it educational? That’s for you to decide, but just know that they are reading, even though it might not be the reading you were hoping they would choose.
It is clear that there are arguments on whether or not these technological advances are beneficial in reading and writing or not. Do you think we should continue pushing technology in the classrooms as much as we have been? Or should we push for more paper and pen activities?