In the past, and even today, literacy has been emphasized as an important aspect and a right in civilized society. The ability to encode and extract information with printed text has been fundamental in the sharing and collaboration of ideas. LIteracy has allowed people, and their thoughts, to transcend time and space and to live forever……
In todays post-modern world, however, printed text no longer fulfills the same role. Books are becoming PDF’s, Wikipedea has essentially replaced Webster, email has overrun snail-mail, and newsprint has been displaced by Google News. Digital technology has overrun printed media and it appears that this trend will continue and accelerate. Thus, literacy for printed media, while still important, is no longer sufficient on its own to excel in todays electronic world. We need a new type of literacy to encompass this new electronic environment that we have created for ourselves; we need ‘Electracy’.
The term ‘electracy’ is a combination of the words ‘electronic’ and ‘literacy’; just as someone who is proficient in electronic media is said to be electric, one who doesn’t understand how to utilize electronic media is said to be ‘anelectric’. (Internet/computer illiterate )
Electracy describes the kind of “literacy” or skill and facility necessary to exploit the full communicative potential of new electronic media such as multimedia, hypermedia, social software, and virtual worlds.While literacy s right brained, electracy is left. Literacy encompasses an analytical technique to consolidate complex long-chains of information in the human mind through arbitrary symbols we call an alphabet. Electracy uses digital imagery and techniques as a means to convey vast amounts of information and translate it into affect or mood(Wasserman, 2009). “Literacy and electracy in collaboration produce a civilizational left-brain right-brain integration. If literacy focused on universally valid methodologies of knowledge (sciences), electracy focuses on the individual state of mind within which knowing takes place (arts).” (Wikipedia).
Class Blog, By Professor : Lila Pine.
Interview : with PhD student
David Wasserman University of Toronto, Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience),