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Electronic Literacy and its Problems due to the Onset of the Electronic Era

        Computers have invaded many areas of our lives, whether or not we are consciously aware of its impacts. We hear of companies springing up everyday and areas such as business and industry, education and training, science and engineering and even at home and play have taken on extensive use of Information Technology (IT) at a much faster pace than anticipated. Even in areas of entertainment and the arts, there has been vast improvement in the Information Technology used - an area which would not come to our minds in the first instance that we are asked on the areas that are impacted by computers.

        Knowing this great extent of the use if IT in our immediate and not so immediate surroundings, how does this ‘great wave’ affect those who do not know the workings of computers and what does this mean for electronic literacy?

            Firstly, what is electronic literacy? Electronic literacy refers to ‘literacy activities (such as reading, writing and spelling) which are delivered, supported, accessed or assessed through computers or other electronic means rather than on paper’. (Topping) It is important to note the differences between ‘electronic literacy’ and ‘computer literacy’. ‘Computer literacy’ is often applied to knowledge and competencies in using the computers in general, for e.g. keyboard skills, familiarity with Windows environment, etc.) Electronic literacy will indeed change the way we look at "literacy".


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