The Changing Spaces of Reading and Writing

The Photocopier

Hi everyone,

You can find my research paper about the invention of the photocopier in a wiki here. Comments are most welcome!



November 1, 2009   No Comments

On to the web… and then back off?

I was reading this New York Times article about Pixable and it made me wonder if a similar trend will emerge in writing. Just as Pixable envisions getting images back off the web and into traditional photo albums, will technology provide the means by which we will get text back into tangible forms?

October 17, 2009   No Comments

Does the Brain Like E-Books?

Does the Brain Like E-Books?

This group of articles was brought to my attention.  Five authors discuss their research on ebooks and the future of literacy.  I am hoping to find some answers to many questions raised in our current reading.

I hope you find it thought provoking and look forward to continuing the discussion on this topic.

October 17, 2009   No Comments

Technology workshops for teachers – article

I found this article on Edutopia about professional development conducted in a US school district.  I thought it might be of interest to those of you who are teaching and for all of us really as we may be the ones who are called upon to train our colleagues within our schools or school boards.  It’s a challenge I willingly accept.

October 1, 2009   No Comments

Twilight of the Books…is the end near?

I read an interesting article in the New Yorker concerning the history and future of reading for pleasure. Ong and his theory of secondary orality are discussed in the article, but the work of Maryanne Wolf caught my eye (or my mind?). Here is an excerpt of  a section which made me think of this week’s readings and Ong’s theory that literate minds would not think as they do were it not for the technology of writing:

 “The act of reading is not natural,” Maryanne Wolf writes in “Proust and the Squid” (Harper; $25.95), an account of the history and biology of reading. Humans started reading far too recently for any of our genes to code for it specifically. We can do it only because the brain’s plasticity enables the repurposing of circuitry that originally evolved for other tasks—distinguishing at a glance a garter snake from a haricot vert, say.” (Crain, 2007,¶8)

If this is true, what are the long-term effects of such repurposing? Will we lose the ability to recognize garter snakes?  😉

I am of the opinion that the brain did not “rewire” to adapt to reading, but instead grew (created new connections, new synapses) from literacy. I suppose this could be what Wolf considers “repurposing”, and I admit I have not read her book. However, I don’t think our brain is rerouted resources from one area to another. I think our brains slowly formed new and effective pathways of thought.  What do you think?

(There is a nice discussion citing Ong and secondary orality in the article too!) Erin

Crain, C. (2007). Twilight of the books. The New Yorker. Available online 29, September, 2009, from

September 29, 2009   1 Comment