NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ852016
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
ISSN: ISSN-1195-4353
New Perspectives on Popular Culture, Science and Technology: Web Browsers and the New Illiteracy
Charters, Elizabeth
College Quarterly, v7 n1 Win 2004
Analysts predict that the knowledge economy of the near future will require people to be both computer literate and print literate. However, some of the reading and thinking habits of current college students suggest that electronic media such as web browsers may be limiting the new generation's ability to absorb and process what they read. Their approach resembles the actions of web browsers in several respects, especially its lack of discrimination and its treatment of sets of words as decontextualized images exclusive of any ideas behind them. One cause may be that, as media theorists McLuhan and Postman have pointed out, technological advances in the way we package information, including the printing press, television, and now computers, have influenced the way people use their minds to take in, structure and store information. There are a number of disturbing implications from this trend. According to information processing, psycholinguistic and brain theories, this treatment of complex syntactic structures as meaningless image patterns may inhibit brain development and lead to a sub-class that, while technically competent, cannot cope with the vast amounts of information generated by the electronic media. (Contains 1 figure.)
Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology. 1750 Finch Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario M2J 2X5, Canada. Tel: 416-491-5050; Fax: 905-479-4561; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A