Theorist Gregory Ulmer said that electracy “is to digital media what literacy is to print.” This sums up the definition of what it is to be electrate nicely, but there are still more questions to be answered from what it means to be electrate and how one becomes electrate.
Before there was digital media, there was print. Before print, people were only able to express their knowledge and opinions orally. The classical Greeks invented alphabetical writing. This allowed them to record their knowledge down on to something tangible where other people could learn from these writings and go on to share their own ideas. However, schools had to be made as well in order to teach people how to use this new way of communication. Their civilization experienced a whole shift because of this. People now had a new apparatus for communication.
Today we are experiencing another shift from print to digital media. A lot of people get their news from the internet. Other people even read books electronically ranging from e-books to downloading books right onto their iphone or computer. With this shift in society from print to digital media, we also need to create programs in our education like the new media program that teach us how to use new technology to its full potential. Or in other words, to develop a tool set that allows us to use the full communicative potential of new electronic media like virtual worlds, multimedia or open source software.
6. Ulmer, Gregory, “From Literacy to Electracy”
7. WEIGHT, Jenny, “Cyborg dreams: from ergodics to electracy”