This week’s readings are an interesting mix of ideas involving techno-literacies (or New literacies) and arguments about the divide between the connected and the un-connected.
Selber gives us very useful (if a little outdated) information on ‘functional literacies’ – which involves students understanding not only the uses of the technology, but also its limitations. I can’t express how often I get students blindly trusting their grammar checker to fill in a thousand semi-colons because the student suffered from an incurable bought of comma-splice-itis.
Further, Cynthia Selfe (in her 1999 article “The Perils of Not Paying Attention [an article many of us got familiar with in Harker’s course]), give us a bunch of statistics from the Clinton era, that were very startling when they came out. I remember hearing a lot of it in the news.
Grabill‘s essay then, (and he used to be a GSU prof, for those of you who didn’t know) looks even deeper into the issue of the digital divide among class, race, and gender, and gets us into the idea that the interface we are so familiar with may be a little… culturally idealistic.
In the interest of bringing everyone in the Computers and Composition course this semester more up to speed with what has been happening very recently, I will be showing you a few ‘new literacies’ that I have picked up just in the past few months. I will use twitter, storify, and a few other ‘tricks’ to illustrate how there is no such thing as a digital native, and that there is, in fact, quite a divide in what our young writers are bringing to the composition classroom. After the presentation, I will post the storify for all of you to look at more closely. It will have a bunch of links you can follow, if you are interested in pursuing this topic further.
For now, I leave you with a few, more up to date, statistics in a friendly form.
Below is an infographic from the Pew Institution (the information for the site was sent to me through Helen [thank you!]) showing what percentage of adults own internet-capable gadgets, separated out by several factors: age, income, education, and race & ethnicity