“The End of Literacy? Don’t Stop Reading” by Howard Gardner

Go to the Washington Post to fill out your free online subscription account and read this opinion piece with Gardner’s view of literacy’s future and the Web.  He says:

“In the past 150 years, each new medium of communication — telegraph, telephone, movies, radio, television, the digital computer, the World Wide Web — has introduced its own peculiar mix of written, spoken and graphic languages and evoked a chaotic chorus of criticism and celebration.

But of the changes in the media landscape over the past few centuries, those featuring digital media are potentially the most far-reaching. Those of us who grew up in the 1950s, at a time when there were just a few computers in the world, could never have anticipated the ubiquity of personal computers (back then, IBM‘s Thomas Watson famously declared that there’d be a market for perhaps five computers in the world!). A mere half-century later, more than a billion people can communicate via e-mail, chat rooms and instant messaging; post their views on a blog; play games with millions of others worldwide; create their own works of art or theater and post them on YouTube; join political movements; and even inhabit, buy, sell and organize in a virtual reality called Second Life. No wonder the chattering classes can’t agree about what this all means.

Here’s my take.”

And he has an interestly optimistic long view.

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