Media 2.0

I tried reading Amusing Ourselves to Death a couple of times.  I still have a copy sitting on one of my shelves, waiting to be finished.  I can’t ever get through it; about every couple pages or so I want to start yelling at the author that his problem is not with visual mediums versus language – but with mediums that are read-only versus ones that are read/write/execute.

One of my greatest hopes for this totally wired generation, and all the ones that come after it, is that they learn to see all media as read/write/execute and none of it as read-only.

When kids first learn to read and write, they go in cycles.*  They will work on practicing reading for a while, then writing, and then they back to reading…and on it goes.  Each time they practice their reading, their writing improves too, and vice versa.  Better writers make better readers and better readers make better writers.  True literacy requires know how to write as well as read, no matter the medium.

Tweens are at that age where they have the cognitive skills to start testing out “writing” in more complicated mediums, like movies, video games, and websites.  As I’ve mentioned before, not many of the tweens that come to my library have the access to this kind of equipment.  Even if their family does have a computer with the proper programs at home, letting the 11 year old make vids is hardly a top priority for such valuable real estate.  I desperately want to start some programs that give more tweens this opportunity to “write” in their native media.**

*sorry, I do not have a proper citation for this.  My source is my mother, who has spent the last couple decades teaching kids to read, preschool through second grade.

**also, I’m curious as to how much computer access my kids really have at home.  I’m thinking a survey may be in order.


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