Typing "transliteracy" into my Word document elicits a wavy green line though "no alternatives were found." But are there alternatives? For those of us working, thinking, learning, reading, writing, teaching, creating in the 21st century are there (adequate) alternatives?
Deeply involved with transliteracy via Sue's shared first forays and my own ph.d research I wonder whether rather than alternatives to "read[ing], writ[ing] and interact[ing] across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks," there are reiterations. And, with each reiteration or development there is something else added. What is added might be the form of technology (now perhaps more specifically including Twitter, Facebook, in-car GPS devices, text-start car starters, wireless parking meters) or perhaps in the way we "think" about transliteracy. Reading a recent paper by Susie Andretta, transliteracy, is currently primarily confined to "the domain of Communication and Cultural Studies." I suppose a recent incremental reiteration for me, has firmly shifted transliteracy into education, pedagogy and learning.
In my current position as a lecturer at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Canada, I'm eager to help my new students not only navigate English literature and grammar but explore the effects of technology and participation on their learning and understanding. Transliteracy, for me, has always included a notion of simultaneity; having the ability to move seamlessly across different modes, information and technologies. But now, at least more clearly for it, it also includes a reflective practise. What does having this ability mean? How does one learn differently by crossing from a university physical newspaper read during class to blogging about an article of interest and linking to the online version? Ensuring that we reflect on our transliterate practise models critical thinking and meta-cognition for ourselves and our learners. This move keeps transliterate practise (with an "s") firmly in the verb and active sense. I see transliteracy as an invitation to engage, not only with technological developments and literacy practises, but also with knowledge and knowledge production in general. Transliteracy, like thought and understanding, is constantly undergoing metamorphoses; changing from objective and "scientific" frameworks to more personal, subjective understandings and then back into that feedback loop. But perhaps it is that the feedback loop is enacted (at least for me with a pedagogical slant), that stands as evidence of transliteracy?
NB: Image from Joe Wikert's Publishing Blog.