Renee's Academic Realm\Essay 3

A. The Electronic Text

B. The Notion of Literacy

D. Electronic Texts: implications for an Online Literacy

E. Re-defining Literacy

F. Conclusion


C) Print Literacy vs. Online Literacy

According to Tuman, in this electronic era, there exist a dichotomy of literacies i.e. print vs. online literacy. Indeed, electronic writing has created this dichotomy of 2 literacies. As I will argue later, these 2 literacies are not mutually exclusive (see section E). In fact, they are interdependent and should be united as one. But even as we are speaking of 2 literacies here, the notion of print literacy itself has, in fact, been changing over the centuries. From the 16th century's notion of literacy defined as "the ability to recite from memory long passages of important texts and writing" to "new reading and writing skills, with more direct links to material progress" (Tuman, 1992: 18) of the industrial age, the definition of print literacy has undergone tremendous change. And now, with the advent of the electronic age, what does the future hold for print literacy? Will it stay or will it be displaced? In spite of so much debates over this, the future remains a mystery. Instead of arguing whether print literacy will be displaced, let us turn our attention to a new literacy that has emerged from electronic text - online literacy.

Copyright Renee's Realm. 2000.