Archive for January 20th, 2009

Reality literacy

January 20, 2009

My comrade in editorial arms, Gaynor Backhouse, is quoted in today’s Guardian about the long term future of higher education. She puts forward an idea that we have been debating in the office recently: reality literacy.

Where the current concern of educators is digital literacy – the ability to judge the provenance of information on the Web – in 20 years’ time the problem is more likely to be connected to our ability to judge what is real. In the Guardian piece Gaynor makes the point that we are likely to see the widespread use of virtual reality and virtual worlds in education. The technologies that support this – advanced displays and haptic (touch) interfaces – will make today’s VR, like Second Life, look positively clunky. We may even have a situation in which we have to train the young in reality literacy – discerning real life from virtual worlds.