Transliterate Divide – Working Definition

CC Image courtesy of ElektraCute on Flickr
CC Image courtesy of ElektraCute on Flickr

Transliterate Divide – The gap between people who have the skills to understand (read) and create (write) a message (information) and interact using a variety of tools across multiple media and platforms and the ability to apply those skills to new situations and formats and those who do not.

My interest in transliteracy is tied to the skills one needs to be transliterate and determining the role of libraries in the acquisition and development of such skills.  Although the primary direction of my work and this blog is tied to the internet and digital content, transliteracy is not.

I’ve been reading. A lot. Reading about literacy and all the different types of literacies, technology, the digital divide and anything specifically written about transliteracy.  My research and subsequent note-taking on a relatively new term (the practice is in no way new) has created a need for definitions.  What about those who are not transliterate, un-transliterate, non-transliterate, transilliterate?  I don’t know, I gave up on moved on leaving the decision, if any, to individuals wiser than me.

This lead to my next issue, since I’m more interested in the skills and the development of those skills, I am interested in the divide between those with the skills and those without them and what that divide represents. I need to talk about that divide and have a understanding of my meaning. Based on my knowledge of transliteracy, definitions of transliteracy, digital divide and literacy divide* I worked up the term transliterat divide and a definition. Is it needed? I don’t know. Will anyone other than me use it? I have no idea. Will I use? All signs point to yes. It is a working definition, not set in stone and certainly open to questions, suggestions and modifications .

Definitions accessed

  • Transliteracy is the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks.
  • Literacy Divide – literacy divide of the 20th century distinguished between people who could functionally read and those who could not
  • Digital Divide refers to the gap between people with effective access to digital and information technology and those with very limited or no access at all. It includes the imbalances in physical access to technology as well as the imbalances in resources and skills needed to effectively participate as a digital citizen
  • Digital Divide – the gap between those individuals and communities that have, and do not have, access to the information technologies that are transforming our lives.
  • Digital Divide– the divide between those with access to new technologies and those without

What I was reading

*Although the term “literacy divide” is used frequently I had trouble finding a definition for it.

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