Multiliteracies in ELA Classrooms

New Directions for Literacy Education: E-Literature

July 11th, 2013 · No Comments

Electronic Literature is such a fascinating topic, and during my preparation for my group’s presentation, I learned more than I ever thought I would. After reading Elizabeth Hayle’s article, an aspect of e-lit that really stood out for me was the issue of preserving and archiving work so that it would be available for future generations. What intrigued me about this topic was the fact that I had never (ever!) even thought about the importance of preserving e-lit, and really had no idea how the process would even work. This article really emphasizes the point that digital media is not something that remains stagnant, it is constantly changing, and “whereas books printed on good quality paper can endure for centuries, electronic literature routinely becomes unplayable (and hence unreadable) after a decade or even less” (Hayles). Although I am aware of the fact that both software and hardware are constantly changing and improving, I had never really thought of the fact that they can change to the point where certain programs can become completely incompatible, and thus, lost.

Today, we are so used to the constant flow of new editions of our favourite electronic items, and because they almost always support the programs of earlier editions of the same device, “losing” any type of electronic work/composition is usually not an issue. What we must keep in mind is the fact that this scenario may not ring true when there is a 20 or 30 year age gap between different editions of the same device. This fact emphasizes the point that in order to make the innovations of today available for tomorrow, preservation and archiving must seriously be considered.

Besides the issue of archiving electronic literature, something else that I am really interested in is the idea of comparing the different experiences one may have with print literature (a plain old book) and an online digital novel. I had the opportunity to read some digital novels online, and I found that while they were incredibly engaging and entertaining, I simply just prefer reading a physical book. In my case, I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that I cannot sit in front of my computer screen for very long, and also, that I equate reading with peace and quiet. I am interested in hearing what my classmates have to say, and look forward to hearing their different perspectives.


Works Cited

Hayles, N. Katherine. (2007). Electronic Literature: What is it? The Electronic Literature Organization. <>


—– Natasha Randhawa



Tags: e-literature · Uncategorized

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