The Changing Spaces of Reading and Writing


Making Connections

I have found this  course to be enthralling. Beginning with the very first assignments in which we looked at the changes from orality to print, my attention was captured. In my role as a library media specialist, I have found ways to incorporate our activities in class with collaboration with my teachers. For years I have struggled to convince my teachers of the acceptability of Wikipedia as a resource. When the comparison was made between the development of the Oxford English Dictionary and Wikipedia, I found the pathway to acceptance. Our readings on the development of a print based society with the development of the scroll and codex enabled me to make connections with students as well as discuss with teachers how the format of print MAY have influences Aristotle’s plot structure. Interestingly enough, one of our Grade 7 Social Studies standards addresses the changing formats of communications, so I am developing a unit around the change from scroll to codex to digital—my social studies teachers are willing to let me teach it!

While I enjoyed both Ong and Bolter, I found Bolter’s writings to be more palatable because of the conversational tone of his writing. Ong’s more scholarly format was more difficult to comprehend; although I found his premise that the shift from primary orality to literacy changes the way humans think to be quite thought-provoking and fodder for many collegial discussions. Bolter’s writings were quite intriguing as well, particularly his concept of the Web as a textual universe. Kress’s article and his premise that a multimodal approach to communication is necessary sparked an interest in multimodal forms of literacy and the dichotomy which exists between the artificiality of educational institutions and real world literacy; forming the basis for my project. My project has since taken on a life of its own,  and I am scheduled to investigate some business training simulations in January in order to contrast them with educational simulations.

As Erin demonstrates in her final project, a dichotomy exists between the world our students inhabit outside of the classroom and the educational world. As educators, our mandate is to prepare students for the world they will enter and to find ways to bridge the gap between the educational arena and that world. As  George Siemens expresses, the ability to see connections between fields, ideas and concepts is a core skill and one which most students fail to master.


There are no comments yet...

Kick things off by filling out the form below.

You must log in to post a comment.