What is the relationship between print-based literacy and multiliteracies?

Print-Based Literacy Meets Multiliteracies

New Literacies

As evidenced in the youtube video, print-based literacy has been meet by multiliteracies in education. Or has it? Lankshear and Knobel (2007), in their recent work, explore what they term as new literacies. New literacies go beyond print-based literacy, and incorporate blogs, podcasts, vodcasting, gaming, etc. (Lankshear & Knobel, 2007, p. 5). They take on a sociocultural perspective of literacies, which integrates social, cultural, political, economic, and historical practices. "If we see literacy as "simply reading and writing" - whether in the sense of encoding and decoding print, as a tool, a set of skills, or a technology, or as some kind of psychological process - we cannot make sense of our literacy experience....Different kinds of text require "somewhat different backgrounds and somewhat different skills" if they are to be read (i.e. read meaningfully)" Lankshear & Knobel, 2007, p. 2). New literacies open a complex door to making meaning in new ways. They allow for increased participation, collaboration, and distribution of information - an avenue for shared knowledge. New literacies allow for individuals to be in-sync without being in the presence of one another. Why is it then, that the world of education struggles to incorporate such new literacies into their everyday practices? Is it the lack of time, money, and professional development as suggested in the youtube video?

Will the life of the book remain?

"But now that the rustle of the book's turning page competes with the flicker of the screen's twitching pixel, we must consider the possibility that the book may not be around much longer" (Rosen, 2008, p. 20). Books have long offered an experience to readers in which they physically embrace the weight and texture of the paper as they mentally connect with the author. Research supports exposure to books within the home setting as such exposure is key to preparing children to be proficient readers (Rosen, 2008, p. 29). Further, print-literacy has been viewed as a building block to civic engagement.

Digital literacy and the Internet have changed how individuals read.
Screen reading promotes a different level of reading than print-based literacy. Bell, as cited by Rosen (2008) suggests that "screen reading allows you to read in a "strategic, targeted manner," searching for particular pieces of information" (p. 24). It allows you to jump from one piece to another in a quick manner - to connect, compare, and contrast ideas. 

With the recent rise in digital literacy, will the reported benefits of print-based literacy be left behind or outweighed by the proposed benefits of screen reading? Will print-based literacy be further enhanced by the ongoing digital enhancements? Those advocating for digital literacy suggest that print-based literacy will not keep up, therefore they seem to lean toward "replacing, rather than supplementing, print-literacy" (Rosen, 2008, p. 20).
On the contrary, some individuals argue against screen literacy and refer to it as fragmented as it encourages scrolling and jumping from topic to topic, which does not promote scholarly reading like print-based literacy. "The jury is out on whether or not the benefits [of print-literacy] will transfer to screen reading" (Rosen, 2008, p. 24). Time will tell.


Is California moving toward the use of digital textbooks?

Enhance the Current Print-Based Literacy

The author of the blog: Around the World in 100 Books: Exploration in World Literature -   http://booktraveller.blogspot.com/2007/02/literature-in-schools.html - spoke to literature in schools in her February 12, 2007 post. She urges educators to consult with their students about what print-based literacy should be used in schools today. She is not suggesting that print-based literacy be replaced by multiliteracies, but rather that consideration be given as to what text is used in schools today.

Knobel, M. & Lankshear, C. (2007). A new literacies sampler. New York, New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.

Rosen, C. (2008). People of the screen. The New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology & Society. pp. 30-32. Retrieved July 5, 2009, from www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/people-of-the-screen