A Global Imperative: Report of the 21st Century Literacy A Global Imperative

Various authors, The New Media Consortium, Aug 29, 2005
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Unintentionally, I think, the authors present a stark contrast: a two-columned PDF that is almost unreadable on a computer screen, interspaced with nifty little graphics that capture meaning much more effectively than the dense text. The main point is that "21st century literacy is the set of abilities and skills where aural, visual and digital literacy overlap. These include the ability to understand the power of images and sounds, to recognize and use that power, to manipulate and transform digital media, to distribute them pervasively, and to easily adapt them to new forms." As Kathleen Bennett writes, "A new language is being born: 'rich in ways that extend traditional forms of communication with visual imagery and sound' and it is a global imperative that we understand this far-reaching phenomenon."
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