Stop a minute to consider what it’ll be like to be literate in the 21st Century…
A profound shift is taking place in the way people communicate, express themselves.
What’s happening? The 21st Century literate combine images, sounds, words with alacrity to communicate ideas, tell stories, design products, advertise services, hold meetings, explain issues, teach concepts, discuss direction. Computers themselves are a dimension of the new language, transforming the other elements, enabling the crafting of messages like never before. It goes well beyond the concept of convergence which is mostly about technology.
21st Century literacy will transform the way we learn, run our businesses, cities.
To compete, companies, organizations, communities must become fluent… sooner not later… or risk being left behind. The cumulative evidence leaves no doubt.
In 21st Century terms, I recently learned I’m illiterate and so, likely, are you. I mean no disrespect here. I know you can read and write. You’re sophisticated in expressing yourself. You did well in school… made the honor roll… received a college degree.
But, it’s no longer enough to put words to paper or computer. It won’t cut it any more.
That sums up conversations I participated in over the last few months with leaders in the 21st Century literacy field. They persuaded the most skeptical among us.