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Literacy and Paradigm Shifts

Literacy and Paradigm Shifts

Author: Elizabeth Helfant

Examine how literacy has changed.


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Phaedrus2 0

The Paradigm Shift from Oral to Written

In Plato's Phaedrus, Socrates says:

And in this instance, you who are the father of letters, from a paternal love of your own children have been led to attribute to them a quality which they cannot have; for this discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality. (Phaedrus, 274c-275b)


Is there a corrollary in what teachers say today about transmedia communication?

How We Think- Literacy and Tranparency

Directly from Vimeo:

In "This is How We Think," Richard E. Miller and Paul D. Hammond explore how education must change now that we live in a world where information abounds, where reading and research have moved from the library to the laptop, and where the act of learning itself is now making its way out of the shadows into the public eye. In this collaborative presentation, Professors Miller and Hammond discuss their efforts to invent new media teaching practices that encourage students to engage with the most pressing problems of our time.

"This is How We Think" continues the line of thinking begun in Miller and Hammond's "This is How We Dream," which is currently posted on YouTube.

How We Think Video

Some Questions

Use the Q and A tab to discuss these.

What does it mean to write in the 21st century?

Does Content matter more than phrasing?

What is meant by connective thinking in real time?

What is multivariant thinking? What does it mean for our students?

The Tools for Transmedia Literacy

The video shows students writing using google docs. Students do close reading together using annotation tools in Diigo. Hyperlinked writing is done on blogs. or are good choices.


Below are tutorials and more detailed explanations of these tools.

Writing in Google Docs

Annotation with Diigo