A radical proposal for digital literacy

Standard

The author’s suggests a contemporary standard for who we consider functionally literate and who we do not. At the dawn of the 21st century a literate person might rightly be one who is not only able to access and enjoy the wealth of digital resources available through the internet but one who also is able to and does produce and publish original digital content. As our author reminds us a person living in the recent or distant past would hardly have been considered truly literate if though he could read he could not himself write. This provocative but persuasive premise is then directed toward our UU clergy and a challenge is issued which in many ways has been accepted and met as we see a growing proliferation of UU content online. However I regret that rich visual content and content that employs the latest interactive capabilities is scarce and in this area we miss such opportunity.

Nagoonberry

One of the grumbles I hear in UU circles is about our congregations’ invisible buildings. We have tucked our churches into residential neighborhoods, hidden them behind trees, and set them back from the street by wide expanses of lawn.

Reticence about self-promotion seems to be part of our UU DNA. Rather than actively seeking those who would flourish as members of our congregations, we prefer that they find us––and we don’t make it easy for them to do so. Then we wonder why we’re not growing in numbers.*

I’ve been thinking about our hidden buildings as a metaphor for a lack of digital visibility in many of our congregations. In this digital age, congregations need vibrant, informative, easily accessible web pages, and an active Facebook presence as well. Twitter is quickly becoming another necessity. Visitors no longer discover a new faith community by driving by a building. They find it…

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