[From Claire Belisle’s presentation] “Reading has put an indelible stamp on human cognition.” (Olson, 1994: The World on Paper)
The experience of reading has made us aware of our intellectual functions. Thinking is not dealing directly with things but with representations of reality. This is what being literate is about. Printing gives us specific representations of reality. In the digital world we have other kinds of representations — how will that change our ways of thinking and our idea of being literate?

Students today look for information in two languages. “Seeing it in two languages makes it clearer to me”, they say, “this aspect is better explained in English, whereas this is clearer in French.” Languages are tied to culture, so this is a real shift, two systems of representation.

Claire: I think the internet is making us aware that reliability is not and has never been a function of information but of relationships. The idea of reliable information is based in print. Before print – and even in print – we had to trust a person.

2 thoughts on “changing literacies – digital, bi-lingual and more

  1. Jim

    Jill, thanks for the tip on Olson. It comes at exactly the right time for me.

  2. Jill

    Yeah, it sounds like a great book.

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