I never thought much about the transference of data from codex to the internet before now. I guess I just thought that someone decided to put it there and wham, anyone with a computer would have access to it. The digitalization of books call into question quite a few issues that are on second glance much more critical than books over digital database.
Who decided what texts are important enough to be digitized is the first issue at hand. There are untold millions of books by millions of authors but the importance given to specific books makes them as important as they are. Digitizing books is another layer of preserving the canon that exists to raise some texts up while devaluing others.
Who owns the texts that are being digitized and is the access to them equal? I mentioned earlier that anyone that has access to a computer would have access to these texts, but the digital divide is still real, so those without computers and/or internet access will certainly have difficulty accessing digitized text. Freedman himself asks – in Latin no less, who it is that polices the databases?
As teachers increasingly look to the internet for ready made curriculum and on line access to text analysis,we are left to wonder whether the author’s original intent will be obscured, if if fact we ever knew it. Or, how much of the hypertext that is attached to digitized text is telling teacher how and what to think about a certain text?
Lastly, in an age when more education programs teacher teacher to follow curriculum as opposed to teaching them to create curriculum, where is the place for deep analysis and original thought regarding archived text?
I think that digitizing text is not so much a bad thing, but being wary of the questions that the process summons is imperative.
Provocations: 1)How can we as consumers of this medium have a voice in the process?
2) Each iteration of data has been it its way laden with issues, Have we learned for the issues of the past with regards to managing and sharing information/texts? (Think the printing press and forward)