Thursday, December 20, 2007


Question mark I can't decide what I think about the concept of transliteracy. I can see some of what the transliteracy proponents are getting at, but at other times, it feel like so much blindly obvious BS. Am I missing the point? Is transliteracy a real and susbstantive concept of just the latest trendy meme (trendliteracy?).

Transliteracy: Crossing divides. First Monday, 12, 3 December 2007
Abstract: Transliteracy might provide a unifying perspective on what it means to be literate in the twenty–first century. It is not a new behavior but has only been identified as a working concept since the Internet generated new ways of thinking about human communication. This article defines transliteracy as "the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks" and opens the debate with examples from history, orality, philosophy, literature, and ethnography.


  1. Something related I've been thinking about - a lot of HE is delivered through students reading printed text, or transcribing lectures and reading them back.

    But for informal learning particularly, or daily lifelong learning, how willing are people to learn form text? (although maybe the bite sized chunks of text that dominate the blogosphere, for example, shows there is a role for text in daily, informal, opportunistic learning).

    Maybe as educators, (in the OU particularly - which tends to be print dominated) we are the first people who should be developing "transliteracy" skills?

  2. I think text has got a lot of mileage in it yet. It's so efficient, e.g. social bookmarking - how would we ever replace text.
    People are certainly keen to watch video, but how do we quantify what they actually learn from it?

  3. Heh heh - EC report on media litereacy

    ""In a digital era, media literacy is crucial for achieving full and active citizenship," said Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding. "The ability to read and write – or traditional literacy – is no longer sufficient in this day and age. People need a greater awareness of how to express themselves effectively, and how to interpret what others are saying, especially on blogs, via search engines or in advertising. Everyone (old and young) needs to get to grips with the new digital world in which we live. For this, continuous information and education is more important than regulation."

    Media literacy relates to all types of media, including television, cinema, video, websites, radio, video games and virtual communities. It can be summed up as the ability to access, understand, evaluate and create media content."