Thursday, August 04, 2005


(c) 2005 Darren Hester (cc) SA-NCIncreasing attention is being paid by educators to the rise (and rise) of digital texts and the impact of the affordances associated with new technologies. One that comes to mind is a change to the way we understand authorship. In a print-centric universe, the BOOK is a delineated piece of text. It has a beginning and an end and a clearly defined set of authors. The book itself is a cultural artifact with a physical presence in the everyday.

The certainty around this arrangement is becoming a little shaky I think. Have a look at wikibooks and see what you think. These are multiple authored, continuously edited and updated, online books. There is no delineated end, no strictly defined set of authors and while still a cultural artifact, one with a quite different physical presence.

Makes you think, doesn't it?

What does this mean for the ways in which we see academic work and the production of texts and papers? What does it mean for classroom teachers who depict the act of authorship in quite specific ways both culturally and technically.

Given that one of the key outcomes of new digital technologies is now being understood in terms of social networking and the ways in which the young construct and conduct their social worlds, what does social or community authorship mean??

I know, more questions than answers, but geeze they're interesting questions.

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