Teaching vs. canned texts

This article by D. Brent (via S. Downes) combines great insights in the relationships of orality and literacy, of educational technology and intellectual property attitudes. E. g., that managerial knowledge has always resisted being broken down into Taylorized, canned slices of written “knowledge”, and that learning has similarly retained its “residual orality” and remained a performance. And that the struggle about the interpretation of courseware as a “performance” or as a “thing” is still undecided.

For me, the most interesting part is how he drills the problems down and states that the “issue centres on the question of revision“. Knowledge technology is now ready for emancipation from single-tracked, excessive literacy, but IP policy is not:

With their focus on revisability and incrementality (see #70), many of the new/social software technologies are well equipped for coping with the value-add of several contributors of an emerging knowledge construct, but copyright focusses on the concept of a fixed “work”. (This becomes plausible when looking at its roots: With the printing press, not only the excessive development of literacy started, but also copyrights were born then, as priviledges of the early printer tradesmen.) So, a gradual, improving, development of a product or a process that is taken for granted in sciences and technology, is impeded in the humanities due to their textual and hence IP traditions

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