Network Literacy Revised

After today’s symposium, my understanding of what it means to be “network literate” has developed. While it is about giving as much as we take, and referencing from where we take, it is far deeper than just this. It is about form as well as content. Knowing how to create content but not understanding the form it’s published in would be regarded as network illiterate. I found the examples of the parallels between print and network literacies helpful in illustrating this;

It was argued that print literacy is a culture that has become embedded in us and that if we were asked to write a book, we would know how to without asking. We know the tools to use, such as the paper and the pen, we know the place we can go to have our work printed. Essentially, we know how to create print content first hand, without the aid of third party services. Honestly I’m not sure what the outcome was to the printer problem, whether we are still considered print literate if we don’t understand how a printer works or not. Though from what I gathered Adrian argued that because we merely understand what a printer does that is enough; that is, we know that it puts ink on a page.

I don’t think it is important to understand the way a printer prints to be considered print literate because it isn’t relevant to control; it’s just a faster alternative to manual labor. Network literacy is more complicated because knowing about how the content is produced has to do with control. The more we rely on ourselves and our own knowledge, rather than a third party service to publish content, the more power we have over exactly what it is we’re publishing in our name.


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