Sunday, November 4, 2012

Presentation on "What does it mean to be literate in the Age of Google?"

I give a fair number of talks throughout the year, but my favorite presentation in 2012 has been my talk about "What does it mean to be literate in the Age of Google?"   

Since a fair number of people have asked me for the slides, I thought I'd post them here.  Link to the PDF version of my slides. (Note that I haven't included the videos... so you'll have to imagine what those pieces are.)  

If you want to use this, please give attribution; but otherwise, feel free.  


Title:  What Does It Mean To Be Literate in the Age of Google?

Abstract:  What does it mean to be literate at a time when you can search over billions of texts in less than 300 milliseconds? Although you might think that “literacy” is one of the great constants that transcends the ages, the skills of a literate person have changed substantially over time as texts and technology allow for new kinds of reading and understanding. Knowing how to read is just the beginning of it—knowing how to frame a question, pose a query, how to interpret the texts that you find, how to organize and use the information you discover, how to understand your metacognition—these are all critical parts of being literate as well. In this talk I review what literacy is today, in the age of Google, and show how some very surprising and unexpected skills will turn out to be critical in the years ahead.


  1. Thanks! Great talk in person (in Colorado) and great set of slides. I'd love to use some of them but not all of them, and add some of my own (with attribution of course!).

    Would it be possible to get the source for the slides, in whatever format you produced them?

  2. I went through the slides and found them very interesting even without narration. Do you feel today's literacy extends beyond search and analysis of what one discovers? For example, is skill at image editing a component of today's literacy?

  3. The slides are helpful. . . might you share the ppt or keynote presentation?