New developments in online educational technology have a profound effect on notions of intellectual property. Theories of the social construction of technology explain the extremely unstable nature of new technologies. Walter Ong's theory of the alphabet effect provides insight into the ways in which knowledge changes as media of communication change. Shoshana Zuboff's ideas on how managerial knowledge is transformed by technology help us understand how certain kinds of knowledge resist being textualized. These ideas help us understand the effects of new teaching technologies in terms of a longâ€“standing struggle between two views of knowledge: knowledge as performance and knowledge as thing.