19 September 2008

Orality: Hearing x Image > text

Michael Miller of NavPress writes on thoughts on Media, Publishing and Spirituality,

I attended a conference not long ago sponsored by NavPress. There were leaders gathered from all across the country to discuss the change in learning styles and reading preferences of Millennial’s. I must tell you, I was shocked by what I learned! We discussed issues related to Orality. If you are not up on this movement you need to do some study on this subject.

We also discussed what has been termed “secondary orality.” These sound like heavy intellectual issues but they are huge issues for ministry and businesses as we move further into the 21st century.

Research indicates that the amount of books read by U.S. adult population is quite small! It is not that they lack the skills to read but they prefer not to read!

The natural question is how do they get their information? One of our NavPress employees explained to me that his preschool child is learning in a new way in his pre K school. The resources are web based images and oral stories! Text is taking a back seat in the process of learning for these children!

I sense that a major shift is taking place in our world in the ways that people learn. Have you seen evidence of this in your part of the world?

Video is king. I was one of the founders of the first social network website for Christians www.godtube.com. I discovered as we built the site that people are drawn by the power of images to hear and listen to a message about God. We cannot underestimate the power of image in seeking to share the truth of the Scriptures!

So here is the new formula for learning in the 21st century. Hearing x Image > text. What do you think? Am I over exaggerating this change? NavPress is seeking to understand this trend and begin to consider the development of materials that will start with people based on their preferred style of learning.

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