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Literacy, Literacy, and Lit-er-a-cy





I can’t speak for everyone, but I can say that I am getting tired of the term “literacy.” I mean, it’s constant. We used it heavily in Intro to Writing. Now, it continues to spiral its way into conversation in Writing in Digital Spaces. Yes, obtaining literacy is a good thing because you have a basic understanding, but it is not as good as fluency, which means you have a complete grasp on a topic. Yes, yes, we are all too familiar with the word.

Yet, this semester it is seen from a new perspective.

One word: DIGITAL.

Changing the Perspective

Eyman has a lot to say regarding the topic of digital literacy. In his article “Digital Rhetoric: Theory, Method, Practice”, he opens up the conversation with a building line. He states, “Digital literacy is a requirement of digital rhetoric” (Eyman, 45). I believe we can all sincerely agree on this. And although Eyman is declaring something seemingly obvious, there lies hidden convolution to the conversation.

Last class’s conversation starter question asked us how we defined digital literacy. At first, I wasn’t sure how to respond. My mind was still fried by last week’s conversation. When I think of digital literacy through my experiences, I think of my knowledge with PC’s.

For example, I can name all the pivotal parts of a PC and explain what they do with maybe a few words. Motherboard is the thing that connects everything, the CPU (not really sure), the GPU is the graphics, etc. I consider myself to be semi-literate in PC’s based on this knowledge.

You can go from understanding what the buttons on your computer do, but avoid dabbling into the intricacies that lie within. In a sense, even that is surface-level understanding. You can know the job of every key on your keyboard, but knowing shortcuts that aren’t so explicitly demonstrated is different. Is it necessary? Most would say no, but I think it depends. It’s a huge umbrella, and I find myself still quite confused on how to escape the rain.

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