The Changing Spaces of Reading and Writing

Text and it’s technological roots.

Downloaded from FLIKR

Downloaded from FLICKR

One of the earliest forms of writing to be developed came out of ancient Sumeria approximately in the 30th century BC.  They made use of standardized punches and clay tablets as a way to keep track of trade and the bounty from early agrarian culture.  So when asked to contemplate text and technology my mind first jumped to “when it all began”.

The development of early writing systems as well as the independent development of the written word at various times in the past has always been a source of fascination for me.  In Jerrod Diamond’s book, “Guns, Germs and Steel”, he touches on the development of early language, specifically how the written word was discovered independently by various different cultures around the world, specifically what is now Iraq, Egypt, China and southern Mexico/Guatemala.

As we quickly approach 2010 I am amazed at the rapidly developing use of text in the digital age.  In particular I find the movement towards collaborative writing (both software and conventional language) as seen in the open source and wiki movements as being particularly exciting.

My name is Richard Biel and I work at the Sunshine Coast Alternative School.  I teach the humanities in a blended learning environment to students ranging in age from 15-19.  I team teach with a gentleman that has been using Learning Management Systems and computer based technology and alternative text formats since 1994!!!


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