The new literacy student

I think a lot of the talk about digital literacies and literacy teaching in the 21st century in general focuses on the new texts/media and required skills themselves and thus the conversation fails to adequately acknowledge the student. In my research, I’ve focused some on how the social subject (simply: a person within society) changes from oral to written culture. And thus now I turn to how we have changed from a written culture (thinking mostly in terms of print-based texts) to now this technoculture. We are connected to the knowledge, power and environment of our current historical situation. From Manovich (2001): “As distribution of all forms of culture becomes computer-based, we are increasingly ‘interfacing’ to predominately cultural data–texts, photographs, films, music, virtual environments. In short, we are no longer interfacing to a computer, but to culture encoded in digital form” (p. 70). What I’m interested in is how the social subject has changed psychoanalytically, especially in terms of the way they approach communication. How are our students conceptualizing reading and writing in this new technoculture in ways that are different from, say, the ways I conceptualized literacy during my own education?

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