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Clive Thompson on the New Literacy

Clive Thompson discusses the new literacy in Wired Magazine. He uses a study by Andrea Lunsford of Standford University to base his claims that the Internet is providing a new ground for literacy development.

“Of course, good teaching is always going to be crucial, as is the mastering of formal academic prose. But it’s also becoming clear that online media are pushing literacy into cool directions. The brevity of texting and status updating teaches young people to deploy haiku-like concision. At the same time, the proliferation of new forms of online pop-cultural exegesis—from sprawling TV-show recaps to 15,000-word videogame walkthroughs—has given them a chance to write enormously long and complex pieces of prose, often while working collaboratively with others.”

Compare this post with the previous post where another Standford study finds that the fast-paced literacy confuses the decision-making process. We’re living in interesting times!

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