The Language and Culture of Literacies

It’s an entirely different thing to talk about these issues when the very act of asking questions is what’s being weaponized.

For a few weeks I’ve been trying to make sense of this talk by Dana Boyd. It’s jumpy, but there’s a lot in there. One of the underlying messages is that society has been focusing too much on “how”, and not enough on “what”. That is, infatuation with “how” technology is used for communicating, for learning, for anything…and not enough thought into “what” is communicated, is learned, is the subject matter.

She doesn’t stop there though, as this point about ‘what’ and ‘how’ has been made many times before. She goes further and claims that with the ‘what’ de-emphasized, the digital literacy tools and skills that have been emphasized (the ‘how’) have the potential for a strong negative impact on society.

She relates this all to media literacy. And, a question I always come back to, is about how the word “literacy” has changed (and is changing) over the course of my lifetime. Now we have “literacies”, and the emergence of relationships between different types of literacies.

Buried in her talk is a plea for what comes between all of these literacies. At the least, we need a sense of the language and culture to translate between different literacies.

More thoughts on a book by Boyd

More – She also talks about “When tech is involved, it often comes in the form of “don’t trust Wikipedia; use Google.” which is all too true.


One thought on “The Language and Culture of Literacies

  1. Pingback: Literacy and Fluency | A Point of Contact

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