Literacy in a Digital World

 

I remember the day when I learned the definition of literacy.  I was between 3 and 4 years old, but the moment is permanently embedded in my memory.

The book was full of colourful pictures of children playing some sort of game with a large beach ball.  What caught my attention was the squiggles that ran in straight lines across the bottom of the page.  I had no idea what they meant, but I knew they were significant.

Reading – that was what my mother called it.

And so, began my journey to literacy…

This year, International Literacy Day’s theme is “Literacy in a Digital World.”

We have the technology and digital resources to connect and educate our world.  UNESCO’s Seven Outcome Targets may seem optimistic, given their twelve-year timeline until 2030, however I believe that it can be accomplished.  Indeed, our survival will depend upon reaching these goals.

Seven Billion people live on this planet.

Sustainability will be the word of our century.  To continue, we need everyone’s participation. The foundation will be literacy.

Join me in celebrating International Literacy Day on September 8, 2017.

 

26 Comments

  1. Christy B

    Cheers to reading! Yes! I loved your memory of first understanding what literacy meant.. and those “squiggles” on the pages are ones I delight in daily 🙂 Let’s celebrate the day and celebrate great friendships like ours too ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gallivanta

    I am also confident that in a digital world it will be possible to have world literacy by 2030. We often hear that technology is hurting literacy and literature but I find the opposite to be true.In our whole history there has never been as much engagement with the written word as there is today. Is the little free library in your neighbourhood?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clanmother

      I agree, Gallivanta! I believe that technology is creating learning spaces never before possible. Diversity encourages deeper learning, collaboration and a holistic approach to problem solving. To achieve sustainability we need to move quickly and be open to new ways of thinking. That little free library is located on Granville Island. Every time I visit, I check out the titles. They are constantly changing, a testament to the functionality of the program. I am encouraged!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ms Frances

    Hmmm!! 2030 is less than fifteen years away–very ambitions probably! However, we are constantly told to “dream big” and the impossible becomes possible. At my age, kindergarten, grade school, high school, college, university are all behind me. And–I still am learning things that I never knew before. The answer: books! Learning never ends. There are ancient writings that have been translated even! And yes, I have not even touched them, let alone read them!! A life time of reading only skims the surface of what can be learned.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clanmother

      I agree – books open a realm of amazing possibilities. I remember when 2010 seemed a long way away, but time goes quickly; 2030 is an audacious goal that will require all of our participation. So many people add to the growth of literacy – parents, daycare providers, teachers, writers, poets, artists. Reading is the link to all disciplines. You make an excellent point about ancient writings that have yet to be translated. The work continues. It is a testament to humanity’s need to connect and grow as a community. There will never be enough time to read all of the books. And that gives me great comfort. Special thanks to the writers and poets for their good work.

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    1. Clanmother

      Isn’t it interesting what we remember! Some of my childhood friends learned to read more quickly than I did. When I look back, I realize it had to do with seeing the squiggles in a different way, more like a picture, rather than a sign representing a letter. I enjoy our conversations about books. And now that September has arrived, I’m looking forward to the winter months filled with good books, and copious cups of tea a la C.S. Lewis.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Martina Ramsauer

    Nowadays I really love these little free libaries very much, which here in our region are frequently to be found in now useless phone booths. The books offered here are frequently in several different languages, which gives me the feeling of being in contact with the big world, despite the fact that I am just in a little village! Isn’t it great to lose our way from time to time? Thank you ,dear Rebecca, for this lovely post.😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clanmother

      How insightful! We are in a huge global community, brought together by travel, technology and curiosity. A few years ago when we downsized our living arrangements, I did not have access to the internet for about 1 week. When I finally “plugged in”, I felt connected to a world of opportunity. It isn’t as if I am online 24/7, but the availability is at my fingertips. As for languages, there are many wonderful on-line programs to learn another language. I remember feeling illiterate when reading road signs in a different language. We are only as literate as our language permits, another good reason to learn another language. Thank you for stopping by!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. elisabethm

    I will definitely be there with you!
    Loved reading about your personal experiences. I remember how one day when I was about six or seven it just ‘clicked’ and could suddenly read without spelling the words out first. I never stopped;-) I was always in a corner with my book, and every week took out the maximum number of books from the library.
    Good that you are highlighting (il)literacy. Thanks, Rebecca

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clanmother

      Isn’t it interesting how one day you know that something has changed your life forever! Do you remember the first time you entered a library. For me, the library was a small little house under huge trees. I loved the crowded spaces, with very few tables and chairs. The librarians wise chose to fill the tiny space with books rather than furniture. It is good to know that you and I were in a library together, even though we were miles apart. “People can lose their lives in libraries. They ought to be warned.” Saul Bellow

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      1. elisabethm

        Oh, that is good to know! You have wonderful memories of the library! Me too, I don’t remember the first time I went, but I remember all the books. My favourites were Astrid Lindgren books. We went every Wednesday afternoon to our library in Amsterdam west. It was the seventies, and Amsterdam was a hippy town (my boyfriend thinks it still is 😄) On Wednesday afternoons they organised a children’s afternoon, with reading, singing, games and painting. Those are the best memories, my sister and I loved going there. I did lose my life there a bit. Now it doesn’t exist anymore. What were your favourites, Rebecca?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Clanmother

        You are going to be amazed by my favourite book personality. Pippi Longstocking. I read all of the books over and over again: Pippi Longstocking, Pippi Goes on Board, Pippi in the South Seas. I loved her fearless attitude. She prevailed over the sharks of the South Seas. And then there were the gold pieces that appeared whenever needed. I identified with Pippi’s red hair, independent spirit, and especially, her courage to confront difficult situations. It seems that we have always travelled the same pathway!

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      3. Clanmother

        I only had the books when I was growing up. But I understand that she was the fourth most translated children’s writer. She sold roughly 144 millions books worldwide. Without a doubt Astrid Lindgren was a champion of literacy.Truly remarkable.

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      4. elisabethm

        Yes, I think you’re older than me. In the seventies we had the Swedish tv series of Pippi Longstocking on Dutch tv, it was really good. We didn’t have tv, but we watched it at my grandmothers’. I remember her standing at the top of the stairs, saying “Hurry up, it has started already!” It was all filmed on the island Gotland, that I fly over often, flying from Amsterdam to Helsinki 😊 There were other children’s books from Astrid Lindgren translated into Dutch too, and I devoured them all. It is the most wonderful gift if a writer enchants children all over the world! And unites people born in different parts of the world, like us 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Clanmother

        So very well said! I loved that she allowed children to question adults. Yes I am older and belong to the baby boomer generation. I was raised in northern Manitoba at a time where there was no television. We had access to Canadian Broadcasting Company – radio only. Books were my travel adventures, connecting me to a huge global world, before we even considered the possibility of a personal computer.

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      6. elisabethm

        It seems our childhoods were similar, and so were our interests. Yes, books allow you to travel from your chair. I also believe that you learn a lot about life from reading. But I’m glad that we have internet now, and that we can discuss these things online 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Clanmother

      I agree wholeheartedly, Liz. Where would we be without reading!!?? The target of 2030 is extremely ambitious, but it is one that we need to reach as a global community. Can you imagine universal primary and secondary education for everyone by 2030? Amazing.

      It is easy to feel illiterate again. Just travel! I remember trying to understand the Gaelic signs in Wales and the Outer Hebrides. We have a rich and robust variety of languages that need to be honoured and preserved. Ah… I just found out that February 21st celebrates International Mother Language Day. The celebrations continue…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Liz

        I think it is marvellous that we as a global community are putting so much effort into the preservation of traditional dialects – long may it continue. I have often mused about learning Gaelic – something to get around to some day! Perhaps 21st Feb would be a good time to start… 🙂

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