ERIC Number: ED412564
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Reference Count: N/A
Electronic Texts and Literacy for the 21st Century.
Bangert-Drowns, Robert L.; Swan, Karen
English Update: A Newsletter from the Center on English Learning and Achievement, p6-8 Fall 1997
As the 20th century closes, Americans access information via a variety of media, and, for most, print is not premier among these. Nonetheless, printed texts, at least in academic arenas, remain the "gold standard" by which other media are valued. The Center on English Learning and Achievement's (CELA) Technology and Literate Thinking project has been exploring school-based notions of "literacy" and what it means to be literate in contemporary society. In focus groups, teachers and students from diverse school settings have discussed literacy and linked literature to paper-based presentations and literacy to decoding and encoding printed text. On the other hand, media logs kept by these same persons indicate that they get by far the majority of their news, information, and entertainment through electronic sources. Now being investigated is how literacy might be redefined to incorporate reasoning from, with, and about electronic "texts." The issue is being examined from three perspectives: clarifying what is essential in "literate thought"; exploring what is gained and the limitations of the symbol systems employed in electronic literatures; and studying how students of varying ages actually engage and "read" electronic texts. To foster literacy in the 21st century, a better understanding is needed of how media characteristics and curricular contexts combine to foster or inhibit language acquisition and literate thinking. (NKA)
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Research Center on English Learning and Achievement, Albany, NY.