What is literacy? Literacy is the ability to read and write. But, much more than that, it is the ability to comprehend and understand the changing world around us. This essay will examine and explain the various sections of literacy, how they relate to real world situations, and how technology and art are changing literature. Cultural literacy is important for understanding one’s culture and where their knowledge begins and ends. In so many words, cultural literacy is used as a bridge into another person’s viewpoint and culture.
When an immigrant leaves their country to come to America, they may not understand a lot of our stories and traditions. For example, old folktales or proverbs such as Shakespeare’s writings may be cryptic and unintelligible. Visual literacy is the ability to make an interpretation from an image. This basically means that images can be interpreted to form an idea, or establish the artist’s position. The images are so understanding and self-explanatory that you can conceptualize them without any words. A good example for visual literacy would be modern art. There are often political and personal meanings behind their images.
Visual literacy is the way artists capture peoples attention. Digital literacy is the ability to manipulate and create information with modern technology. Digital literacy does not replace traditional literacy, it just builds upon it. Using technology is just a more modern form literacy. For example, a firm grasp of common applications like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel are necessary for an individual to get a job in any office position. Digital literacy is communicating information and literature through technology. Illiteracy is the inability to read or write.
Someone who is completely illiterate would not be able to do a simple task such as writing their name or even reading a book. Often times those who are illiterate come from developing countries and are never taught literacy. Illiterate people often don’t have the opportunity or motivation to further their education. As you have read, literacy is much more than simply the ability to read and write. It emcompasses tradition learning techniques as well as modern technology. Cultural, visual, and digital literacy can all be applied in everyday problems and are constantly being applied to a changing world.