[NHDOE-ETNews] Provocative blog post titled "Burn the Boats/Books"
CHiggins at ed.state.nh.us
Mon Jun 7 08:59:19 EDT 2010
The following excerpt is from a fascinating blog post by David Parry, Assistant Professor of Emerging Media and Communications at the University of Texas at Dallas. He studies how the transformation from an analog to a digital archive changes knowledge production and dissemination. By focusing on technology and language as a technology, he theorizes negotiations of the act of reading from print culture to the internet. The URL of his blog, AcademHack is http://academhack.outsidethetext.com/home/
“Earlier this year Marc Andreesen was interviewed by TechCrunch <http://techcrunch.com/2010/03/06/andreessen-media-burn-boats/> on the future of publishing,in particular journalism. Andreesen’s response was, provocatively, “Burn the Boats.” What he was referring to was the moment Cortez, fleeing from Cuba, and landing in Mexico, ordered his troops to “burn the boats,” preventing any possibility of return. The lesson: don’t defend lost ground, at times there is no going back, and making decisions to insure that one does not consider a return is a good move. Andreesen’s point was that old print based media forms are dead, and it does no good to try and re-envision them for the 21st century, rather journalism institutions need to boldly move to future web based models, giving up on their print based biases.
In a similar regard I would like to suggest that academics “Burn Their Boats” or in this case, more specifically “Burn the Books,” making a definitive move to embrace new modes of scholarships enabled by web based communication, rather than attempting to port old models into the new register. Rather than providing the book with a digital facelift for 21st century scholarly communications, academics should move past book based biases which structure scholarly communications and instead imagine and execute born digital scholarly forms, which leverage the evolving digital media landscape.”
Dr. Cathy Higgins, State Educational Technology Director
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NH Department of Education
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