Now more than ever, there is a sense of urgency surrounding advances in technology and their impact on literacy. Changes in the nature of literacy can be seen in many classrooms in United States and around the world. Most classrooms have at least one computer that is connected to the Internet and lessons often include Internet research, electronic content, and online homework.
New forms of literacy are critical in an age of technological revolution and our education system faces the challenge of deploying new technologies in creative and productive ways. In the past, basic literacy skills included reading, writing, and calculation. Today literacy includes critical thought, persuasive expression, and problem-solving. It also means utilizing a well-organized set of facts to find new information and use it to solve novel problems. Regardless of age, nearly all of today’s learners use the Web extensively for information, communication, collaboration, and socializing. Students expect to interact with information and receive near-instantaneous responses. Using digital archives, databases, and the tools of a profession allows students to engage in “first-person” learning. Rather than being told conclusions, students build their own understanding (Oblinger, 2005).