Changing the way we read and write
Posted April 20, 2012on:
I liked reading How We Will Read, an interview with Clay Shirky. There are lots of takeaways, but my favourite quote was: Institutions will try to preserve the problem for which they are the solution. Anyone who is an agent for change will relate to that statement.
If a newspaper publisher wants to keep selling papers, it will not encourage citizen journalism or cannibalize its sales with iPad versions of its paper. If a university wants to promote only its on-campus experience, it will not venture into the online realm.
But back to changes to the way we read and write…
Shirky made a good point that publishing had already changed (you can do it at the click of a button). My thinking out loud here is evidence of that for crying out loud! And that is just one way writing has changed: It can be more public.
Reading has changed to include the processing of images, sounds, and videos. I think Shirky hinted at that. But he made a more obvious statement about reading being more social. Not social as in book club, but as in shared bookmarks, highlights, annotations, and comments. I had similar thoughts when I wrote about the levels or evolution of e-books.
So the reader is not just a consumer but a participant, a critic, a consultant, and a producer. What’s not to love about reading in the early 21st century? But again I have to ask: Are we teaching kids to read this way?