A Community of Connections

It has taken me some time to write this culminating and concluding weblog post. In our preceding readings we have been exploring how written languages have been in a constant state of change. Developed through our readings with Ong (2002), we examined how different writing systems from various cultures have affected the evolution of print. This shift throughout our history from an oral to a literate culture has also impacted the way in which thoughts, ideas, and understanding has and will be developed. Bolter (2011) states that, “Ancient and modern Western cultures have often constructed writing technology to enhance the power and status of abstract or technical discourse and thought…” (p. 192), in doing so, the manner in which we communicate has also altered the way in which we design and conceptualize. I would suggest that hypertext continues perpetuate this idea, and in doing so, this new media “disrupts” the once linear nature of print.

This disruption in the linearity resonated with me as this activity unfolded. I reconnected with Alexander’s (2008) microcontent; a concept actualized as I sorted through the myriad of topics and ideas. As an aggregator of content, our community weblog helped me to sift through content.  It was also apparent that our contributions were evolving, in which I felt a recognition due to our greater understanding of the changing nature between culture and print. As I perused contributions made in our community weblog, the demonstration of this understanding came through in the different media woven with text.

Connecting with past posts took me to earlier readings, which taught me to look at the history of print. For me, there was value in understanding our transition from an oral culture to a literate, and to the media’s role in affecting how we tie this into education. Most importantly, it has changed my outlook on how oral and literate culture affects schools today. The ideas of fulsome praise and agonistic name-calling (Ong, 2002b, p. 45) created new respect for different music, media, and print.

Further to this, Cope and Kalantzis (2009) questions of  “why”, “what”, and “how” related to literacy pedagogy was touched by many. Many posts have directly referenced or touched on Multiliteracies (The New London Group, 1996),  both in terms of the changing role of the student, but also for the need to instruct for these different literacies. It was also recognized that supports for changing literacy instruction needed to be there for teachers as well.

In my concluding thoughts, I am taken back to the finality and closure of print (Ong, 2002c). As indicated by Ong, print denotes a sense of ownership. With our electronic writing community, we challenge this notion, suggesting that ideas and knowledge be shared freely. I leave with a final quote from Bolter (2011), “If technologies really determined cultural values, then the notion of copyright would already have been severely curtailed, if not abolished… Hypertext seems to suggest a different economic and social model…” (p. 211).

Thanks to Jeff and Teresa for a wonderful semester. And to all of you for the excellent discussions and feedback,



 Alexander, B. (2008). Web 2.0 and emergent multiliteracies. Theory into practice, 47(2), 150–160. doi:10.1080/00405840801992371

Bolter, J. D. (2011a). Writing the self. In Writing Space: Computers, Hypertext, and the Remediation of Print (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Bolter, J. D. (2011b). Writing Culture. In Writing Space: Computers, Hypertext, and the Remediation of Print (2nd ed., pp. 203–213). New York, NY: Routledge.

Cope, B., & Kalantzis, M. (2009). “Multiliteracies”: New literacies, new learning. Pedagogies: An International Journal, 4(3), 164–195. doi:10.1080/15544800903076044

Ong, W. J. (2002a). Writing restructures consciousness. In Orality and Literacy (2nd ed., pp. 77–114). New York, NY: Routledge.

Ong, W. J. (2002b). Some psychodynamics of orality. In Orality and Literacy (2nd ed., pp. 31–76). New York, NY: Routledge.

Ong, W. J. (2002c). Print, space and closure. In Orality and Literacy (2nd ed., pp. 115–135). New York, NY: Routledge.

The New London Group. (1996). A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures. Harvard Educational Review, 66(1), 60–93.

About jmah

I've taught a wide variety of subjects at the middle/jr. high level. Most recently, I've specialized in the area of Industrial Technologies (Robotics, CAD/CAM-CNC, Electronics, etc.) I currently reside in Calgary, Alberta.
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2 Responses to A Community of Connections

  1. Hi Jerry,

    This is an interesting conclusion to what we have discussed in our course. I particularly liked when you say that “As indicated by Ong, print denotes a sense of ownership. With our electronic writing community, we challenge this notion, suggesting that ideas and knowledge be shared freely”. The sense of ownership doesn’t seem to exist in this one but also in many writing communities we can find in cyberspace. I personnally like the idea of a world global community where barriers are less evident and where people can interact freely. Now how we need to do is find a way to include all communities in the world for instance those in developed countries. As a world wide community we still have some challenges to resolve.


    • jmah says:

      Hi Johanne,

      Thank you for your comments. One of your last lines really resonated with me, “… we need to do is find a way to include communities in the world…” in reference to internet connectivity. I believe the idea of universal access is gradually happening.

      For example, the one laptop per child http://one.laptop.org/about/faq program uses an innovative concept in the creation of a network – without having to invest or develop a permanent wired or wireless infrastructure.


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