Sunday, August 8, 2010

People of the Screen

Okay, this article does not have much to do about digital literacy, regarding how we read, but it was extremely entertaining and amusing, so I have included some great facts that really do matter to digital literacy.

Kevin Kelly (2010) states in his article, From Print to Pixels, “as digital screens proliferate, people are reading a whole new way” the written word has moved off the printed page and on to all kinds of screens. In today’s world people are reading from somewhere around 4.5 billion screens (2010). These screens are on televisions, cell phones, computers (laptops, iPads, netbooks), gaming systems, and music devices. “Right now ordinary citizens compose 1.5 million blog posts a day” and “young people around the world collectively write 12 billion quips per day from their phones.” That is a lot of reading and writing!

The author does a great job at looking at the history of the written word and how it has changed our lives but no print sources have infiltrated our lives like screen reading. There are screens in many rooms of our houses, throughout our schools, and mobile screens that we carry around with us where we go. Even billboards have been replaced by screens on highways, sports arenas and on the sides of buildings.

Kelly states, “Books were good at developing a contemplative mind. Screens encourage a more utilitarian thinking” (2010). The world is at our fingertips 24/7. It is a different way of reading—print is coming off the page but a screen is hitting you with all kinds of hypermedia in all different directions.

Kelly concludes, “Last year alone, five quintillion transistors were embedded into objects other than computers” and “screens will be the first place we will look for friends, for news, for meaning, for our sense of who we are and who we can be” (2010).

Reflection: Well hang onto your hats and get ready for the ride of your life! Digital reading is going to be essential for being a literate adult. Students will need, at a very young age make sense of what they see and what they read because it will not be in a book that they carry around with them it will be on screens everywhere they look.

Kelly, K. (2010). From print to pixels. Smithsonian, 41(4), 122-128.

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