Baron, Hesse, Wysocki & Johnson-Eilola:
Literacy and the definitions of literacy (in multiple forms) was the subject of this week's readings.
Baron uses the pencil to provide a point to compare and contrast the present perceptions of technology to those of Thoreau's era. From there the author goes into some historical analysis of how other forms of technology fit into the rhetoric used to describe computer technology today. The telegraph and the telephone are both used to demonstrate how their emergence (as forms of technology) were simultaneously derided by traditionalists and celebrated as social panacea by futurologists. In an examination of cuneiform, Baron interjects humor as a means of providing a parallel between then and now.
Hesse examines a specific definition of literacy in the form of the essay. He takes traditional examples of essays and places them in contrast to electronic forms of communication common to the net. In challenging the paradigm of the 'essay' and how that particular definition is constructed, Hesse recognizes the inherent power (and political nature) of language.
In the final piece the socially constructed nature of the definition of literacy is best identified. The definition provided recognizes that 'literacy is not monolithic' and that it is often 'contradictory'. Perhaps more important as well as pertinent, they see literacy not as a 'skill' but as a 'process of situating and resituating representations in social spaces'. As a capstone this article contributes to an understanding of literacy as positioned and privileged.
Question: How can the Blinded by the Letter article be used in classrooms as well as communicated to the larger academic establishment?