in Everyday Communication
Read-write lag time Explanation
Words were first spoken to the illiterate masses, who, after centuries of listening, learned to read. But it was still
centuries before the average citizen
was expected to be able to write.
If you understand the image
above, then you understand the
crux of this article: more and
more, images are being used to
communicate ideas once reserved
exclusively for text. For more information, a text-based explanation
Literacy: being able to read and
write the media forms of the day,
whatever they may be.
Literacy requires being able to consume and produce the media forms
of the day, whatever they may be.
For centuries this has involved primarily words, particularly words
recorded and read on paper. But during the past ten years, the default
media form has been slowly shifting from the text-centric report
to the new media collage. From
PowerPoint presentations to digital
stories to the ubiquitous web pages
that follow us around all day, the
multimedia collage is the media
form that now bridges the worlds of
work, school, and personal pursuits.
Shrinking Lag Time Between
Read-only to Write-possible
The shift has come about due to the
presence of inexpensive, pervasive
tools that have reduced the time
taken for media to go from mass
media (written by a few and read by
many) to personal media that the
general public can both read and
Consider the lag time that has
passed between reading and writing
The Attitude Is the Aptitude
Clearly the trend is an ever-decreas-ing amount of time for new media
forms to go from the read-only to
write-possible. We can anticipate a
day when new media forms enter
mainstream communication channels that are read-write from the
outset. Thus, we need to be facile
enough to grasp their value and
mechanics. Once again the digital
age is telling us the attitude is the
aptitude. Our intelligence in part
will be determined by our ability to
quickly learn new communication
forms while adjusting to the role
that old ones play. As new media
forms emerge, it seems reasonble
to assume that they will add new
communication dimensions to the
media collage, expanding the foundation of Web 2. 1.
For the first half century of TV’s
existence, it took engineers and substantial financial backing to produce
and distribute TV material. However,
today anyone can create a “TV station” using an inexpensive video camera and a broadband connection.
During web 1.0, the web was read by
many and written by few. But in Web
2.0, nontechnical people can create
or add to blogs, Wiki or other social
media forms with little or no training.
Web 2. 1 in Education
Media collage: integrating a number
of media into a unified narrative.
We have been relatively comfortable with Web 2.0 because it has
been primarily text-based. But as we
shift from text-centrism to media
collage, we lose our footing. Very
few of us feel comfortable integrating text, images, video, music, and
other media into a unified narrative because it is a relatively new
media form. And yet, that is exactly
what the world now depends on,
and what education does not stress.
Some possible ways to address this
• Finally and officially recognize
art as “the 4th R.” Art is no longer a content area, it is the cross-curriculum literacy needed for
basic forms of communication.
It should be supported in school
systems as such.