Wag the Dog:

A Digital Literacies Narrative 

The abilities to communicate and gather information are fundamental to the human experience. Since 1990, communication and information have become increasingly digital. On any given day, it is likely that you will use a digital device to communicate or find information. In an attempt to grapple with the tectonic shifts that have occurred during the digital revolution, in her LRA Presidential Address, Dr. Betsy Baker will propose four characteristics of digital literacies, make bold predictions about the future of literacy, and explore implications for literacy research and pedagogy.  

Case in point: LRA 2020, including the Presidential Address, will be online. Wednesday December 2 from 4:30-6:00p CT, you are invited to use your digital literacies to attend the Presidential Address followed by an online reception. 

Dr. Elizabeth (Betsy) A. Baker is President of the Literacy Research Association, Executive Producer & Co-host of the Voice of Literacy podcast, professor of Literacy Studies at the University of Missouri, and former editor of LR:TMP. She began her career as a second-grade teacher in Greenville, SC where she became fascinated by literacy acquisition and development. She holds a BA in Elementary Education from Furman University, an MEd and EdD in Reading/Literacy Education from Vanderbilt University.

Her research agenda takes place at the substantive crossroads of literacy, technology, and teacher education while drawing from sociocultural, cognitive and systems theories. She seeks to harness the affordances of varied technologies while mitigating challenges to teaching and learning. Research projects include the federally funded development of ChALK (Children as Literacy Kases), naturalistic explorations of the nature of literacy in digital environments, analyses of the literacy learning and pedagogy supported by classroom web sites, as well as Talk to Read: a speech recognition app project.

Among others, her research appears in Reading Research Quarterly, Journal of Literacy Research, Language Arts, Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, NRC Yearbook, Journal of Reading Education, Reading and Writing Quarterly, Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, Handbook of Research on the Societal Impact of Digital Media, Teacher Education Quarterly and her edited book, The New Literacies: Multiple Perspectives on Research and Practice with Guilford Press.

Her research, teaching and service have been recognized by college, campus, state, national and international awards including the Computers in Reading Research Award(International Literacy Association), Ernest L. Boyer International Award for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Technology (International Conference on College Teaching and Learning), Thomas Jefferson Award (President of the University of Missouri System), and the William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence (Kemper Foundation).