Sunday, August 8, 2010

A-literacy and E-literacy is there a difference?

There was a catchy title to this article and so I decided to check it out and once again there are scary statistics in this article I just can’t pass up! This article points out that young adults of today are not reading for pleasure and books are not the choice way to get information. Then what is to become of the profession that I am just now entering---Media Specialist?

The New Bibliphobes, a chapter written by Mark Bauerlein (2010) states that, “a-literacy is defined as knowing how to read, but choosing not to” is catching on amongst young adults. He quotes a study done in 2002 that only 43% of 18-24 year olds had read any “work of poetry, fiction or drama in the preceding year.” This is a 17% drop from the same study done in 1982 (2010). Bauerlein feels there are more “diversions” than in previous years. Young adults are spending more time on computers, video games and phones than ever before. The amount of time on social networking is a staggering 9 hours per week (2010). He feels they have a quicker attention span and they are multitaskers which take very little time to just sit down and read a book for a couple of hours. E-literacy has taken over but that it is just the quick fix for instant answers without having to remember anything because you can just pull it up again when you need it! Therefore, even though they are “reading more” digitally their knowledge and skills have not risen accordingly “(2010). A Strong American Schools Report shows, that 43 % of 2-year college students and 29 % of four-year college students end up in a remedial class in reading, writing or math”(2010).

Reflection: So what we need among young adults is a change of attitude. They need to embrace books, reading for pleasure and capitalize on what print resources have to offer. I suspect that although they may be reading a lot on the internet—they are like my 7th and 8th graders—just superficial knowledge. So maybe a-literacy and e-literacy are one in the same!

Reference: Bauerlein, M. (2010). The new bibliophobes. The dumbest generation: How the digital age stupefies young Americans and jeopardizes our future. Retrieved from Educational Horizons, Infohio Database, EBSCO Host.

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