Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Is a magazine an iPad that doesn't work?

Since I was bored the other day, I asked my PLN what I should blog about. I was feeling in a mood to reflect but not really sure what I should share with the world. The fantastic Jess Oram challenged me to think about this video and it certainly got it thinking about my own circumstances. I have two fantastic children under the age of five. They are both digital natives and not immigrants like myself. Technology has played a role in their entire lives. They are risk takers and are not afraid to ‘play’ to discover things. Whenever we visit Chermside Shopping Centre, Mr 5’s first comment is “When can we visit the Apple Store?” It just seems as natural to them as it does to the child shown in this video.

But the question has to be asked – Is this for the best? Where does traditional print media fit into their world? I am the first to admit that I do not have an iPad or any tablet device. I have a Samsung Galaxy SII phone and couldn’t live without this device now. Some of my friends read novels online on tablet devices but I have never really gotten into this world and don’t think I ever will. But magazines are a different kettle of fish altogether. How awesome will it be to be able to have magazines that are interactive and engaging?

So what implications does this have for education? My whole philosophy about student created content can come into play here. My biggest worry is when I hear schools saying “We are putting all of our textbooks onto our laptops digitally?” I cringe when I hear this. My first thought is – textbooks aren’t fun and my second thought is If you are going to just have a pdf version of your text….what a waste! I have this vision of teachers getting together in their subject areas and creating digital rich content that the natives can consume, remix and collaborate with. I always come back to Biology. I did Biology in year 11 and 12 and didn’t really enjoy it. Wouldn’t it be awesome if a student had access to a textbook that had text, videos, hyperlinks, audio, explanations (like a glossary) of tricky terms and other components? All of the different types of learners would be catered to.

So it certainly seems that in some respects, a magazine is an iPad that doesn’t work!

I would love to hear your thoughts - drop me a comment!

1 comment:

  1. Ashley I think any interactive text/media is a benefit to education. The key for me is that it needs to be interactive & connected to other sources of information rather than just a digital copy of a static document. As you know I am one of those people who read online on my laptop, my iPhone and on my iPad. Basically when using digital technologies in education, it is like any other tool/resource. It must be pedagogically sound in purpose and it must be engaging to both the learning leader and the learner themselves. If this is not the case then it is all just bling - smoke and mirrors stuff to sell to an already disillusioned community trying to understand why Education has not improved in over 50 years.