Chapter Three: 1961-1970
Four experiences stand out among all participants in this chapter: they actively sought out electronic literacies, primarily self-sponsored in electronic literacy practices, seemed to be economically motivated to learn these new literacies, and felt empowered to learn and practice electronic literacies. It is important to keep in mind that the members of this generation were teenagers when electronic devices began to flood the market, therefore the paths they took to learn about these new technologies were primarily self-sponsored or actively sought out. Although not all participants experienced encouragement when it came to acquiring traditional literacies their flexibility and willingness to seek out technological literacies sets them apart; they wanted technology-rich jobs and often created micro-tear zones in their homes (see Figure Three), schools, and at work because they recognized the importance and prevalence of technologies in their personal and professional lives. They also believed that there were greater economic and educational opportunities available in the United States at this time. Concrete stories of racism and comments regarding the furthering of a deep digital divide in Mexico are also revealed in this chapter.
Figure Three: Home Computer Station
In his commentary regarding participants of this chapter, Scenters-Zapico remarks about how members of this generation while aware of the benefits of technologies, were able to identify some of the drawbacks. Also, they recognized the importance of technologies in their home, school, and work lives. However, according to these participants, self-sponsorship was key in learning these evolving electronic literacies. As educators, it is important that we think about the reasons why these participants had to self-sponsor and remind ourselves that sometimes access to technologies, or opportunities of sponsorship by a friend or peer may not be as abundant as we think.