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Digital Literacy

A Primer on Media, Identity, and the Evolution of Technology

Susan Wiesinger and Ralph Beliveau

The Internet, World Wide Web, and digital devices have fundamentally changed the way people communicate, affecting everything from business, to school, to family, to religion, to democracy. This textbook takes a well-rounded view of the evolution from media literacy to digital literacy to help students better understand the digitally filtered world in which they live.
The text explores digital literacy through three lenses:
• Historical: reviews snapshots of time and space to delineate how things were in order to lend context to how they are;
• Cultural: explores how values and ideals are constructed and conveyed within a given cultural context – how humans absorb and share the informal rules and norms that make up a society;
• Critical: illuminates how social changes – particularly rapid ones – can put certain people at a disadvantage.
All three angles are helpful for better understanding the myriad ways in which our identities and relationships are being altered by technology, and what it means to be a citizen in a society that has become individualized and is in constant flux.
Written in a conversational and approachable style, the text is easy to navigate, with short chapters, short paragraphs, and bullet points. Comics and images illustrate complex topics and add visual interest.
The text is ideal for media literacy, digital information literacy, and technology courses that seek to integrate human impact into the mix. It is also a good starting point for anyone wanting to know more about the impact of communication technologies on our lives.
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Acknowledgments

Extract



Susan Wiesinger offers her love and appreciation to the family and friends who supported this project from idea to publication. She owes a particular debt of gratitude to John Wiesinger, an exceptional first-line editor and keepin’ it real content evaluator, and Debra Johnson, who served as proofreader and applied skills adviser.

Additional thanks to:

– Ralph Beliveau, who made significant contributions to Chapters 6, 9, and 11, and whose initial enthusiasm helped buoy the project.

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