Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Digital Literacy: Can It Replace the Traditional Kind?

Recently at the high school library where I work as a teacher librarian, I was speaking to some frequent fliers about finding print books on the shelves and pathways to discovering recreational reading materials. They admitted that they have a narrow route to find print books with a limited searching process.   Granted I don't have the best selection of titles in their eyes (average copyright date mid 1990's and a disproportionate amount of adult for young adult, classic, and historical fiction titles not selected by me) since they gravitate towards popular new titles (maybe that is all they know), but I can guide them hoping that they will be open to broadening their horizons and read a book that was published before 2005.  I consider myself to be a A-one picky reader but I always find something to read on the school library shelves.  Yes I work as a teacher librarian but just ask my Mom I am a reluctant reader despite her wonderful influence and encouragement.

I believe that some aspects of digital literacy is leaving out the element of discovering books outside comfort zones which seems to be shrinking for teens these days. Can teens start the process of finding print materials without dependence on a device? I appreciate how electronic devices expand our awareness of titles but I wonder if they sometimes limit the inquiry process.

This conversation reminds me of the article Digital Literacy Will Never Replace The Traditional Kind linked here.

With digital literacy are we fully owning our interests and realizing our curiosities?

Multiple literacies teach students to embrace knowledge in various formats. I think that an Internet savvy person means using digital tools AND being able to articulate interests, curiosities, passions, and make connections between ideas and topics. And despite technology rewiring of our minds are we able to find, escape, and enjoy a good book on the shelves anymore?