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From Pencils to Pixels: The Stages of Literacy Technologies (Essay Sample)


For your seventh writing exercise, read the article in the link below. Then, in 1-2 pages, answer the following prompt. Remember to quote directly from Baron's article to help support your points.
Writing Prompt:
Select a writing technology Baron talks about and write a brief history of how it has spread to its current number of users since it was invented. Does Baron's account of how new literacy technologies spread seem to fit the technology you're studying?


From Pencil to Pixels
Author Name
In “From Pencils to Pixels: The Stages of Literacy Technologies,” Dennis Baron discusses the history of writing technology and argues that “the success of every writing technology depends on its function, authentication and accessibility.” Baron first details the history of pencils, printing press, telephone, telegraph, and typewriter. Then he talks about the most recent technology (computers) and claims that all writing technologies underwent some form of criticism in the beginning, but with time, things changed and they become a must part of our lives. It's safe to say that each writing technology has had affected literacy and the author's central acquisition is about the advantages and disadvantages of computers and how do they shape our future.
The computers as you know them today were invented in 19th century by professor Charles Babbage. He designed a simple analytical engine and used it for calculations. Computers are primarily divided into three generations, and each generation gave us an improved version of the equipment. In 1937, Clifford Berry and John Atanasoff built the first digital computer titled Atanasoff-Berry Computer. Later on, in 1943, an advanced computer (Colossus) was developed for army forces. In 1946, Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer revolutionized the world of technology. This particular computer had over 14,000 vacuum tubes for processing information and weighed 25 tons. In 1962, computers were primarily used as translators and had restricted features. However, in 1970, a light-weight computer for commercial use was presented to the public. It had no operating system but its unique features and color combinations were admired by the world. After the invention of integrated circuits, we were introduced to third-generation computers, in which more powerful computers were built to ease our works. They had extraordinary characteristics as well as reliable operating systems.
With time, the number of computer users increased; people started using these machines to accomplish plenty of tasks simultaneously. Today, a computer has become a must part of our lives; we use to sell products on the internet, communicate with friends through social media, meet new customers and grow our business, and perform numerous tasks. Baron's “From Pencil to Pixel: The Stages of Literacy Technologies” is strongly tied to Brandt's article about sponsors of literacy, where he states that all writing technologies including pencils and computers have been a sponsor of literacy. In one way or the other, these writing technologies have given meanings to our lives and made

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