Friday, January 16, 2004

Nonlinear Reading? - The New Literacy
A concept being discussed in some quarters, and taught and implemented in others, is called New Literacy.

Dr. William Kist, a professor at Kent State University's Stark Campus, is a proponent of it, has researched it extensively, written papers and an upcoming book on the subject, and teaches it to his students.

New Literacy has several definitions, but one theme stands out: The ability to process information and apply knowledge is as important, if not more vital, than the traditional teachings of reading, writing and math.

``I would say, in a nutshell, the theory is that we human beings are going to read in a different manner in the 21st century than we did in the 20th century,'' Kist said.

``We are going to spend more time in front of a screen than we spent in front of a page.

``Now that doesn't mean that we're not going to need to have to know how to read print. That's absolutely imperative,'' Kist said. ``However, this theory... is saying that the way we read and write is going to be different. It's going to be nonlinear.''