At De Montfort, Sue Thomas, a professor of new media, is more interested in the impact that transliteracy is having on higher education and pedagogy. In these terms, many academics are in essence illiterate, says Thomas. Most would admit it, even taking a certain pride in their part-removal from the world of e-communication. This matters if they find their teaching relationship with hyper-transliterate students breaking down because of an inability to communicate fully with one another.
—Hannah Fearn, "Grappling with the digital divide," The Times Higher Education Supplement, August 14, 2008
Penley's colleague Alan Liu, an English professor, agreed: "Our kids are reading and writing like crazy," he said.
In 2005, Liu launched a UC-wide project, Transliteracies project, which has scholars studying the evolving definition of literacy in the digital age.
Among the things that make online reading unusual is that it adds a social dimension to literacy, Liu said. "We're researching what reading and writing is becoming if you redefine it to include this whole, thick social zone."
"We need to learn from them (teens)," Penley said. "transliteracy is not starting from, 'It's bad,'but, 'What is reading in the digital era?'"
—Kim Lamb Gregory, "Pages turn to the next chapter of youth literacy," Ventura County Star, August 19, 2007
—"Research in the Technological, Social, and Cultural Practices of Online Reading," June 17, 2005
Wikipedia claims that transliteracy comes from this older verb, but that's obviously wrong. (What!? Wikipedia wrong!? Say it ain't so!?) Transliteracy combines literacy with the prefix trans-, which means "across; through", so a transliterate person is one who is literate across multiple media.