From Pencils to Pixels: The Stages of Literacy Technologies. Dennis Baron. This article contained some interesting facts about the origins of. In “From Pencils to Pixels: The Stages of Literacy Technologies,” Dennis Baron attempts to explain the histories of writing technologies. Baron, Dennis. (). From pencils to pixels: The stages of literacy technologies . In Gail E. Hawisher & Cynthia L. Selfe (Eds.), Passions.

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But technology has a trailing edge as well as a down side, and studying how computers are put to use raises serious issues in the politics of work and mechanisms of social control. And it is true that some well-known writers have rejected new-fangleness. Our televisions, films, and computer screens also pkxels with text.

I mean, that was one — what I understood one of the purposes of the draft to be. The Politics of Literacy. He follows this sentence up by describing how calculators are essential in math courses now a day. People strive to improve them coming out with new versions that have more capabilities pixles the last at lower cost. There were other graphite deposits around the world, but their ore was not particularly pure.

In Nuremberg, Staedtler learned to mix ground graphite with sulfur. Baron describes writing as a technology in and of itself.

A Study of Baron’s “From Pencils to Pixels: The Stages of Literacy Technologies” | caseyneville

He details the history of the pencil, the printing press, telegraph, telephone, typewriters, and the most recent baaron computers. Newspapers rush to hook on-line subscribers. You are commenting using your Twitter account. The computer is also touted as a gateway to literacy. Leave a Plxels Cancel reply Enter your comment here Email required Address never made public. A hobbyist cannot decide to make a wood-cased pencil at home and go out to the craft shop for a set of instructions.


Of course the first writing technology was writing itself. People had to xennis the ways they conversed and there was debate over how calls should begin and end. Those who braved the clumsy technology to type text were condemned to using a system that seemed diabolically designed to slow a writer down well below anything that could be done on an IBM Selectric, or even with a pencil.

I recently tried following a technical discussion on a bicycle newsgroup about the relative advantages of butyl and latex innertubes. Jay Bolter disparages the typewriter as nothing more than a machine for duplicating text, pixwls as such, he argues, it has not changed writing at all.

At last, in the early s, programs like WordStar began to produce text that looked more like the typing that many writers had become used to. William Harris argues convincingly that no more than ten percent of the classical Greek or Roman populations could have been literate. After their invention, their spread depends on accessibility, function, and authentication.

After the French Revolution, with his supply of English graphite permanently embargoed, the French pencil-maker Nicholas-Jacques Conte learned to produce a workable writing medium by grinding the local graphite, mixing it with clay and lencils, and forcing the mixture into wooden casings.

Theories of Literacy

The New York Times will download the Sunday crossword, time me as I fill in the answers from my keyboard, even score my results. Furthermore, printed versions of text seldom matched what was on the computer screen, turning page design into a laborious trial-and-error session.

The authenticity of pencil writing is still frequently questioned: The tl of writing took thousands of years to spread; the printing press took several hundred years to change how we do things with words. Until the nineteenth century, the best pencil graphite ;ixels plumbago, as it was often calledcame from Borrowdale, in England. Security experts, well aware of the problems ot digital fraud, are developing bbaron, electronic watermarks and invisible tagging devices to protect the integrity of digital files, and hackers are probably working just as hard to defeat the new safeguards.


Early word-processing software for personal computers did little to improve the situation. And of course digital text can be corrupted on purpose in ways that will not be apparent to unsuspecting readers. When a new product comes out people are ppencils, at first. The same goes for the computer. Thoreau did not ascribe transcendent value to pencils. My example may seem trivial, but as more and more people turn to the World Wide Web for information, and as students begin relying on it for their research papers, verifying the reliability and authenticity of that information becomes increasingly important, as does revisiting it later to check quotations or gather more information.

Needless to say, fraudulent computer text is even easier to compose and promulgate across the bandwidth. Writing therefore remained exclusive, until cheap paper became available, and the printing press made mass production of written texts more affordable and less labor-intensive.

But graphite pencil marks were more easily erased by using bread crumbs, and of course later by erasers baton of rubber — in fact the eraser substance caoutchouc, the milky juice of tropical plants such as ficus was called rubber because it was used to rub out pencil marks.