Illiteracy VS Literacy | Week Four Lecture Reflection

It’s always interesting to see where the discussion in the weekly symposiums heads. One simple question can take us to a whole new branch of different concepts for us to consider.

A key thought that I took away is the idea that there is no fine line between being illiterate or literate in any given area. More specifically, there are many different LEVELS of literacy. It is much more appropriate to arrange these levels on a continuum rather than dividing them into two discrete categories.

For example, take network literacy. There is no defined checklist of things you must know or do in order to be given the title of being ‘literate’ in the area. Sure, you might be able to code HTML and CSS to make a simple webpage. Don’t get me wrong, that’s impressive and all, but it is very probable that someone else has a higher level of expertise in the area. They might have a more extensive knowledge of HTML and CSS, or maybe they’re even responsible for the development of the tools you use to input your HTML. However, this does not mean that they are network literate and that you are not. They simply have a higher level of network literacy on the continuum.

I was thinking about this in relation to my own life. I would think that I have a reasonable level of network literacy – I’ve been an avid internet user for 10 years and have experimented with a range of mediums. By no means am I an expert, but I also am not completely naïve. On the other hand, my Mum was quite late to conform to the realms of the Internet. With time and painful teaching procedures however, she has since developed the basic skills necessary to perform Google searches and the like. Have a look at the continuum now:


Evidently, we all lie somewhere on this continuum. I think it is almost impossible to reach the pinnacle at either end.

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