Ryan Nade is not a librarian. He is one of the authors of a white paper, “Digital Literacy in Canada: From Inclusion to Transformation” calling for federal leadership in creating a national digital literacy strategy to ensure that all Canadians have the necessary skills to use digital technologies to their fullest potential.
Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning talked with Nadel about how transliteracy and new media technologies are altering our lives.
Spotlight: What does it mean to be effectively transliterate?
RN: Kids are transliterate. They are naturally using so many mediums. If you watch them interact, especially socially, they talk, they’re on their phones and on their laptops.
But, are they effectively transliterate? Do they connect all of those spaces in meaningful ways? How do you go from friending someone on Facebook to meeting them at the corner store and sending them a text when you leave? So their transmedia education is not about how to use email, but the ability to adapt to using new literacies. You will learn how to use an iPad or a Kindle, but is there an understanding between the iPad, the classroom and the playground? We need to create experiences that speak to that.
Parents and teachers see kids using Facebook, texting and using other technology so fast, and it’s such a huge part of their lives, that on the other side of the digital divide we ask, “What do we have to teach them? It’s their medium. It’s their social ecosystem.” But what’s missing is how does one medium translates to the next. It’s about connecting all of these chains of communication.