Isn’t it ironic? The NYT examines online literacy

I’m a firm believer that education, as it is currently conceived, doesn’t do enough to help students navigate the world of information.? Libraries and schools, as information nexus, haven’t been given the funding or opportunity to embrace the future or adequately prepare for it.

The internet has altered the way that people process information, find information, share information, and schools by still relying on books as their fundamental source for knowledge/information have failed to engage students in a way that the internet does.? It’s a losing battle until they change their mode of attack.

I guess, in many ways, this longish piece in the New York Times this morning looking at the internet and literacy has also failed.? It’s a 3,000 word (estimate only) look at how teenagers process information, which inevitably is dubbed “reading.”? They argue that kids no longer no how to read or even bother to do so because of the internet.? Oddly, the whole point of the article: that kids don’t read in a linear fashion anymore.

Ironically, I didn’t even read the entire piece, but skimmed through it looking for relevant parts, interesting points, etc.

Few who believe in the potential of the Web deny the value of books. But they argue that it is unrealistic to expect all children to read ?To Kill a Mockingbird? or ?Pride and Prejudice? for fun. And those who prefer staring at a television or mashing buttons on a game console, they say, can still benefit from reading on the Internet. In fact, some literacy experts say that online reading skills will help children fare better when they begin looking for digital-age jobs.

Some Web evangelists say children should be evaluated for their proficiency on the Internet just as they are tested on their print reading comprehension. Starting next year, some countries will participate in new international assessments of digital literacy, but the United States, for now, will not.

Clearly, reading in print and on the Internet are different. On paper, text has a predetermined beginning, middle and end, where readers focus for a sustained period on one author?s vision. On the Internet, readers skate through cyberspace at will and, in effect, compose their own beginnings, middles and ends.

Just because kids don’t read in a linear fashion anymore doesn’t mean that they can’t or won’t read.? It’s just that they’ve changed the way they want to access information.

So why would you republish the article in a newspapery linear fashion?? Wouldn’t it have been more bold of the NYT editors to repurpose the print article and illustrate their point by creating a multimedia extravaganza?

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