Saturday, October 10, 2009

Part 2.5 or "Am I literate?"

So the project below you heard in Pt.2 (if you haven't, take a few minutes to do so) is me. One day i just got a new MIDI keyboard controller that had just a minute 2 octave range. So i decided to plug it in and noodle away. Now, what you didn't hear was the full 16+ minute of me just constructing the piece. So, out of 16+ minutes, you only hear 4. So technology strikes again.

But lets be honest, do you really think that even in those 4 minutes that i meant to hit all those notes? As much as i would like to say that i did, i didn't. So, luckily, i went in and could move notes where i wanted (pitch) and extend or shorten them (duration) depending on my likeness. Strike another one up for technology.

I finally added some compression to even out the sound over the entire piece as well as some reverb to add some depth. Gotta love it.

So? Lets think about 20 years ago (wow, i'm dating myself). But had i done this on conventional tape, what you may hear would be choppy, more wrong notes than right one's, and actually, you wouldn't have heard anything, cause i wouldn't have been able to post on the internet (yay technology!)

Am I literate?
That depends. Literate in what? Religious text...well, 12 years of catholic school...guess that makes me literate. Wow, am i glad that's NOT the way it is. So, what else is there? I can write and read and for the most part I understand what I write and read. Literate? Not really.

I always equated literacy as some sort of synonym for expertise or competency in an area. I still think thats the case. The area (whatever it is--blogging, music, reading, etc.) has some norms associated wit
h it. We develope in a literacy by how you (or I) make sense, create, and critique/reflect in the area.

It seems that literacy has been talked about like it's some sort linear thing that has a start and end point. It's not, it's evolving. And what happens if you are an expert in an area? Is literacy over? You're totally literate with nowhere to go? I don't think so. But now we're getting into creativity/innovation, aren't we? That's a whole other discussion.

In conclusion, my head hurts (bordering on a migrain), my son has a fever (c'mon H1N1), and that Kress article may just be the reason for my headache. But literacy is not linear, nor is it just related to reading and writing. To me, being literate is being aware of the different Discourses (notice the big "D") in which you operate. I know that does
n't really explain it, but maybe my concept map will?

A note on the concept map I made
In case anyone is interested, there is software out there in which you can make a concept map pretty easily. I've been messing with it since yesterday and i'm really starting to like it. It really does bring to light some things that you may overlook. The software is from Smart and you can get it here. You can try it out for 30 days before buying it.

1 comment:

  1. I think that this is a great point and illustrates what I would call "fluency" as opposed to "literacy". In the literature on technology fluency, they disentangle the ability to read and write technology proficiently as opposed to doing so fluently. This is akin to learning a language -- we may be able to decode parts of the language but becoming fluent means that we are able to read, write, and speak in complex contexts. Does this seem to stick with what you were thinking?

    Thanks also for sharing your link to the concept mapping software!