Costanzo, “Reading, Writing and Thinking in an Age of Electronic Literacy”

William. "Reading, Writing and Thinking in an Age of Electronic Literacy."
Literacy and Computers: The Complications of Teaching and Learning with Technology.
Cynthia Selfe and Susan Hiligoss, eds. Research and Scholarship in Composition
Ser. New York: MLA, 1994. 11-21.

In this overview, Costanzo provides a snapshot of C&W concerns and vocabulary
in 1994.  He acknowledges the changes in the "tools of literacy" and the
related shifts in the "nature of texts."  Centrally, the computer screen is
the focal site of this change.  Costanzo refers to Haas’ notion of the
challenge in electronic prose related to "getting a sense of the text" (12) and
reports that the distinctions for how hand and eye work with electronic texts
has bearing on literacy.  Shifts from linear reading to hypertext also
apply here. 

According to Costanzo, theories of reading have tipped in favor of Frank
Smith’s Understanding Reading and comprehension rather than Jean Chall’s
Learning to Read and decoding (12). Basically, computers introduce new
factors affecting how we read; he mentions Selfe’s concept of "layered literacy"
here and also acknowledges a more complex visuality and related design
considerations bearing on reading and writing activities.  Before wrapping
up with three chapter summaries, Costanzo works through the areas related to
response and collaboration–the network dimensions of computing (though he
doesn’t call it this): interactive fiction (16), enactive models for writing
processes (17), and communal contexts/intertextuality (keeping with Vygotsky and
Bakhtin) (17). He also introduces, briefly, Ong’s secondary orality and matters
of representation related to desktop publishing (democratization of tools) and
access (19).

Electronic versus Printed Texts
Reading and Writing Electronic Texts
The Look of the Text
A Sense of Response
Historical Perspectives
Questions of Representation

"Whereas textbooks may describe the processes and teachers may give
demonstrations, computers serve as enactive models" (17).

Related sources:
Haas, Christina. "Composing in Technological Contexts: A Study of
Note-Making." Written Communication 7 (1990): 512-547.
Haas, Christina. "Does the Medium Make a Difference?: Two Studies of
Writing with Pen and Paper and with Computers." Human-Computer Interaction
4 (1989): 149-169.
Smith, Frank. Understanding Reading. New York: Holt, 1971.