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Thinking between the lines: literacy and learning in a connected world

Lynne Anderson‐Inman (Based at the Center for Advanced Technology in Education, University of Oregon Eugene, Oregon, USA)

On the Horizon

ISSN: 1074-8121

Article publication date: 15 May 2009




The purpose of this paper is to highlight trends affecting student writing and studying in the twenty‐first century and, as a consequence, the changing nature of literacy in this digital era.


The paper uses Thomas Friedman's concept of “flattener” technologies that are creating new levels of access and participation around the globe to emphasize changes that learners and schools need to use to become literate. Making use of a vignette followed by discussion of the research relevant to these developments, the features and distinguishing characteristics of these literacies are explored.


Six overarching recommendations for capitalizing on present and future innovations in technology and communication that provide new potential for twenty‐first century learning and future consciousness are made: competence; convergence; curriculum; customization; collaboration; and connectivism.


The paper provides an overview and insight into some of the many changes and challenges impacting on the world of education due to the large‐scale availability and use of digital text and digital media. The exploration of strategies to capitalize on the media rich environments in which our students live is compelling and evidence‐based.



Anderson‐Inman, L. (2009), "Thinking between the lines: literacy and learning in a connected world", On the Horizon, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 122-141.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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