3. Exploring the Idea of Literacy

Exploring the Idea of Literacy

How We Shape Our Own World View

In the most practical and general sense, literacy in a particular domain or realm is the ability to use a set specific skills, tools, and resources needed to understand, move around, and accomplish things. Reading, writing, and speaking a language, therefore, is humankind’s most foundational and functional form of literacy. To develop other kinds of literacy, such as: financial, political, legal, mechanical, scientific, technological, medical, musical, environmental and artistic, to name a few, we rely our ability to read, write and speak in order to communicate and learn develop other skills. We then specialized further in our forms of literacy in order to accomplish far more. 

Each domain of literacy has its own language, levels of skill and sophistication, its own frames of development, through constant real-world practice and interaction with others over time. No form of literacy is mastered over a weekend, a week, or a month — rarely even a year let alone by watching others demonstrate it. It almost always requires: 1) enough practice to solve a variety of real world problems, 2) feedback from people you’re working with and 3) hand-eye skill development and coordination of some kind. 

DVL thus combines: 1) Digital literacy: our ability to accomplish things with computer-based devices and software, and 2) Visual literacy: the capacity to think, create, access, use visual images – by ourselves and with others, to accomplish far more than with words alone; 3) Verbal literacy: Speaking, reading and writing. DVL merges these three forms of literacy together as a hybridization that leverages both human and machine capabilities.

Our course, Visual Supercharge, is a first-generation, casual, conversational exploration and demonstration of this merger. The format is therefore clearly aimed at creating the kind of experience we want people to have in learning DVL, which is more relaxed, inspired, spontaneous, playful, experimental, fluid and flexible and authentic. We want you to have fun and not be judgmental. So it’s anything but at attempt to be canned, scripted, highly structured, formal or polished. You may even notice in moments that Bart and I occasionally laugh at ourselves as we trip into spontaneous awkwardness during our back and forth exploration.

In this way we strongly feel the more free of judgment you are, the more you’ll enjoy investing yourself in learning, trying new things and sharing them with others. Our general tendency in this world is wanting to impress people with our skills and therefore not sharing our little-by-little progress as we go. So, don’t fall into that rut here, habit, please.

Give yourself the time and patience to learn as you would without the pressure of performance. Do make every effort to apply the various skills you’re developing to real world challenges, tasks and needs. That way, you’ll progressively increase the relevance and usefulness of all you’re learning.