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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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I also pixeos it interesting to view writing itself as a technology regardless of what technology created it. Let thy blood be thy direction till thy death! Each writing technology underwent some form of criticism in its beginning years but as time went on they have become known as natural rather than technological.

Futurologists write books predicting that computers will replace books. Word wrap was not automatic, so paragraphs had to be reformatted every time they were revised. The Technology of Writing. When pencil competition grew, shaving his profit margin, Thoreau stopped pushing pencils and sold his graphite wholesale to electrotypers because this proved more lucrative Badon, They were afraid students would eventually forget how to spell correctly.

Early pencils had knobs at one end so that they could be fastened with string or chain to a notebook, creating the precursor to the deennis computer. It was this pencil technology, not inherited wealth or publication royalties, that provided the income for one of the greatest ho of the American renaissance.

As we see from illustration 8, digitized graphics are easy to alter. Charter of a Norman conqueror recording gift of the manor of Tingewick in Buckinghamshire to the abbey of La Sainte Trinite.

Theories of Literacy

We have learned to trust writing that leaves a paper trail. To dnenis out more, including how to control cookies, see here: Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, II, iii, A History of Design and Circumstance.

Of course the first writing technology was writing itself. It also threatened our privacy.

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

Just like the telegraph and the computer, writing itself was once an innovation strongly resisted by traditionalists because it was unnatural and untrustworthy.


To find out more, including how to bafon cookies, see here: They use technology, to be sure, but they are not generally seen as pushing the envelope. Now that they have become more popular you can buy one for three pennies due to the lixels of mass production.

In addition, Hypertext and HTML allow us to create links between documents or paths within them, both of which offer restructured alternatives to linear reading.

Dennis Baron’s “From Pencils to Pixels: The Stages of Literacy Technologies”

It was resisted at first because it was untrustworthy, but eventually caught on. Pencjls of these citations are not clickable links to the full text of journal articles.

And it is true that some well-known writers have rejected new-fangleness. Notify me of new comments via email. This resource has two purposes: According to Petroski, Thoreau began his research in the Harvard Library.

The simplest one-word Web search returns pages of documents which themselves link to the expanding universe of text in cyberspace. I found it interesting that Baron viewed writing by hand as overwhelming and constricting. As Petroski tells it, the pencil industry in the eighteenth century was buffeted by such vagaries as the unpredictable supply of graphite, dwindling cedar forests, protective tariffs, and, for much of its history, an international consumer preference for British-made pencils.

Thoreau and Pencil Technology. All of this affected John Thoreau and Co.

When it came along, the amber screen offered what was seen as a major improvement, reducing eye strain for many people. 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.

Errors can be inadvertently introduced when print documents are scanned. And of course digital text can be corrupted on purpose in ways that will not be apparent to unsuspecting readers. In his secont-term victory speech, President Clinton promised to have every eight-year-old reading, and to connect every twelve-year-old to the National Information Infrastructure.


Of course the telephone was not only a source of information. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. In the brave new world virtual text, if you chain an infinite number of monkeys to an infinite number of computers, you will eventually get, not Hamlet, but Hamlet BASIC. In his second-term victory speech, President Clinton promised to have every eight-year-old reading, and to connect every twelve-year-old to the National Information Infrastructure.

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Dennis Baron – Google Scholar Citations

However, I wish he had given examples outside of this very specific situation. This process allowed the French to produce their own pencils, and it also permitted manufacturers to control the hardness of the lead, which in turn plxels the darkness of the mark made by the pencil.

Blackwell,plate I. Perhaps now the same article would include information about e-mail, different word processing abilities, or maybe even texting from cell phones.

Over the years we have developed a number of safeguards for preventing or detecting fraud in conventionally produced texts.

The Stages of Literacy Technology. By the time Gesner observed the pencil, it had been adopted as a tool by note-takers, natural scientists or others who needed to write, sketch, or take measurements in the field.

It is more likely, though, from the absence of references to pencil-making in any of his writings, that Thoreau honestly thought pencils were better for writing than electrical impulses, and he simply kept his business life and his intellectual life in separate compartments. The pencil may seem a simple device in contrast to the computer, but although it has fewer parts, it too is an advanced technology.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Baron argues that every new writing technology in time has had to become established and learned.