Being Literate in the 21st Century tackles some of the most difficult questions for the next generation around literacy and thought. What will happen to our children and to ourselves as we move from a literacy-based culture to a digital one? Will our capacities for memory and attention change, and with it our patience for the present forms of literature? Will our thinking change? What will be the effects on the young? Will writing itself change. This book looks at research from multiple disciplines on what it means to be literate and nonliterate in terms of the plasticity of the reading brain. The affordances of different mediums will be examined, and a proposal for a biliterate brain will be presented. Finally, one of the great experiments in global literacy will be presented as a model for tackling the problem of universal literacy.