Literacy, Learning, and Media

By Adams, Dennis; Hamm, Mary | Technos: Quarterly for Education and Technology, Winter 2000 | Go to article overview

Literacy, Learning, and Media


Adams, Dennis, Hamm, Mary, Technos: Quarterly for Education and Technology


"The very notion of literacy is being altered.... To function in hypermedia, to read and design Web pages and embark on computer-based projects, one must orchestrate a fresh amalgam of graphic, linguistic, and auditory literacies. There is every reason to believe that these literacies will continue to proliferate."

* Howard Gardner, author of Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century (Basic Books, 1999)

Literacy now requires understanding and manipulating the processes used to create messages in the modern world. This implies having the ability to decode information from all types of media. The features of multiple literacies are increasingly overlapping with each other and with basic subject matter. The expanding definition of literacy does not diminish the importance of traditional reading and writing skills; rather, it recognizes the increasing importance of information and communication technology. As the 21st Century gets under way, we see references to technological literacy, visual literacy, information literacy, networking literacy--and we can be sure that more are lurking out there beyond the technological horizon.

THE IMPACT OF MEDIA ON SOCIAL INTERACTIONS AND INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT

Aldous Huxley felt that the more subtle and persuasive the medium, the greater the danger. Media that appealed to the senses of vision and hearing with stunning immediacy were viewed as particularly dangerous to the uninformed. Like Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, Huxley's Brave New World suggests that psychological and moral paralysis can be a direct consequence of powerful communication technologies. We would do well to keep these horrors in the realm of science fiction.

Multiple technology-intensive literacies increasingly cut across subject matter and life. Media literacy is a good example. It involves more than teaching through media; it is teaching about, and creating with, media. As part of an expanded definition of literacy, media literacy may be thought of as comprehending, analyzing, composing, and appreciating multiple print and nonprint symbol systems. As new subject-matter standards point out, communication and information technologies can serve as an integrating and collaborative force in the classroom.

Today's students live in a world where more and more information is communicated through a video screen. The habits of mind fostered through media interactions really do need to be understood by everybody. In 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics pointed to parental responsibility for limiting TV watching. The Academy suggested (based on little empirical evidence) that children under the age of two should not view television at all. Its report also noted that if young children do tune in, the result may even hamper the brain development associated with essential stimuli like close-up interaction with older people. Though these are good arguments, there is little in the way of scientific foundation for them. There is general agreement, however, that direct human interaction is far better than frenzied images. Young children learn best when they can do things in three dimensions--but the video screen offers only two. Some of the same concerns that surround television viewing also apply to computer use at the early childhood level.

Whether it's the television or the computer, a little carefully chosen educational programming doesn't hurt children. In fact, above age three, it seems to be mildly helpful. With every age group, computer programs and the Internet can be fun--especially when an adult or a friend shares the experience. Still, the evidence is clear that children need to be carefully limited to developmentally appropriate material (Hamm, 1999). Children of all ages also need stimulating activities with peers and knowledgeable adults to guide them. However, at some point children have to understand the possibilities and the pitfalls of the electronic media surrounding them. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Literacy, Learning, and Media
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.