The difference is not, emphatically not, in the communication
technology involved. Print does not necessarily bestow authenticity,
and an increasing number of digital resources do not, by themselves,
reflect an increase in expertise. The task before us is to extend into
the digital world the virtues of authenticity, expertise, and scholarly
apparatus that have evolved over the 500 years of print, virtues often
absent in the manuscript age that preceded print.
Admittedly, when I saw this come through on Joyce Valenza’s blog, I thought it was going to be an indictment of all things that rely on the wisdom of crowds. However, this quote stood out for me as something more than the theory of “the rising tide to lift all boats.” It has validity, and I think it clearly defines what our push for new literacies must strive to do: make all of our learners ethical, thorough and utterly discerning citizens.