The Changing Spaces of Reading and Writing

The future of reading?

ebooks kindle amazon, originally uploaded by libraryman.

I chose this image because it features the Kindle (a digital book reader) which combines two of the key preoccupations of the course: text and technology. Discussions about the Kindle were briefly the rage among technophiles at my school, until it became apparent that, at least initially, the device would only be available in the U.S.

I’m Phil, a teacher-librarian and journalism teacher at Centennial School in Coquitlam, B.C. I’m in my 10th year as full-time secondary teacher, after seven years in the Canadian newspaper business. My last newspaper job was working as a copy editor at the Toronto Star. I was born in Vancouver and raised in the Okanagan, so it didn’t take long before the desire to come home set in. I had moved to Ottawa to do a master’s in journalism at Carleton, and it was there, working as a TA in Journalism 100, that I started thinking about teaching as a career. A bleak Toronto winter sealed the deal. After earning my BEd at UBC, I started teaching English and journalism. At Centennial, the teacher-librarian asked if I would be interested in taking a library block to help with Internet and digital (then CD-based) resources, and in the years that followed I slowly picked up library blocks and dropped the English classes. I wasn’t too interested in pursuing an MEd in teacher-librarianship until recently when it became apparent that the role of technology was being more closely examined by TLs. I’m an early adopter, but also a skeptic. Technology is costly for schools and many of its affordances and non-monetary costs are poorly understood. As Postman pointed out in the Technopoly excerpt (which I confess I read from my print copy rather than the PDF), there are costs as well as benefits in all technologies. It seems the school community is populated with technophiles and technophobes, and an insufficient number of people willing to inhabit the murkier middle ground. This will by the final course in my program and I am looking forward to it. However, I was waitlisted and just given access last week, so my first task is to catch up with the rest of the class!


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