By Nicole Glassman
Today people use word processors, blogs, instant messaging, e-mail, bulletin boards, web editors, web browsers and many other information and communication technologies daily to acquire knowledge or send information to others. In order to use these technologies, people need to develop skills and strategies the same way we develop skills and strategies when we learn to read and comprehend written information. “Electracy,” is a term invented by Gregory Ulmer. He describes it as an apparatus, a word he uses to stress that, ” it is not only a technology but also an institution that works with technology.” Electracy is a transition from print based literacy to electronic based literacy, and a skill that is needed to access electronic media. Electracy is also an ability to understand images and variety of symbolic interactive relationships. Farah and Maybury see it as a change from “print based tradition to a digital artfact, sometimes even to virtual reality experience…”
To become “electrate” is to become immersed in a new electronic-based way of thinking; to be able to utilize communication functions of electronic media, to keep up with new inventions and at the same time to be able critically analyze them.
New technologies are emerging at a rapid speed and the nature of literacy is changing rapidly as well. People who ignore the literacy of the Internet and other electronic communication technologies will not be able to function well in a society where the growing use of electronic technology becomes way of life.
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Ulmer, G.L. Internet Invention: From Literacy to Electracy. New York: Longman, 2003
Farah,C.S, and Maybury,T. “Implementing Digital Technology to Enchance student Learning of Pathology.” 2009
Gye, Lisa, Halflives, A Mystory: Writing Hypertext to Learn.
Leu, Donalad, and Kinzer, Charles: Toward a Theory of New Literacies Emerging From the Internet and Other Information and Communication Technologies. .
MacManus, Richard. Electracy Comes from other planets. ReadWriteWeb. 9August 2009. < http://readwriteweb.com/archives/electracy_comes.php>.