“Stop integrating technology and, instead, redefine literacy and integrate that.” –D. Warlick, Redefining Literacy 2.0
- Step One: Stop integrating technology
- Step Two: Redefine literacy (Or, as the gnomes would put it, “????”)
- Step Three: Integrate That!
It’s a wonderful idea in theory, but in practice it’s a mammoth undertaking. Warlick himself pointed out that “the basic fabric of our society changes much less quickly [than technological tools] and with a greater deal of resistance—and this is fortunate” (p. 7). Redefining literacy will not be able to be accomplished through one book (even a 2nd edition), one person, or even one generation. Much like you have to understand the first three physical dimensions (length, width, height) as a single point in order to understand the fourth dimension (see Imagining the Tenth Dimension for illustration), all of academia will be required to understand the original concept of literacy (reading, writing, and arithmetic) as a single “given” in order to move on to Warlick’s proposed new “Three E’s” of expose, employ, and express (p. 14).
In the fourth dimension (what we normally think of as “time”), a single three-dimensional entity is seen as crossing through the fourth dimension. In the same manner, all three of the original Three R’s will be crossing through Warlick’s Three E’s; they are a requirement for branching into the “new literacy.” In other words, the Three R’s aren’t going away, they’re just becoming an assumption. Without the ability to read, write, and compute, it will be impossible to focus on the “contemporary literacy” of the learner.
So, while I wholeheartedly agree that all we need to do is redefine literacy, the practical question simply becomes, “but how?”