Monday, January 25, 2010

A few strong cases for ditching the paper and letting books grow digital wings

More and more innovative educators see the value of conducting reading and writing digitally. Here are a few cases for those educators who have bought into going on a paper diet so they can Ditch Paper and Get to the Thinking Faster.

Joe's Non Netbook
Watch this video about a student who is frustrated as he encounters the extreme limitations of the outdated paper technology. This video was an impromptu exchange between Joe the student and @MrChase who teaches at Chris Lehmann's Science Leadership Academy. Think about if it is paper or digital that is more suited to meeting various learning styles and needs of students.


What Happens When You Combine A Phone and A Book?

It’s a really simple idea (essentially a cardboard box with an iPhone sized hole!) that combines print and technology beautifully.


What Happens When you Give a 3, 4, 8-Year-Old an iTouch?
I recently happened to come across all these pieces separately. Each of them addresses in a different way how a digital iTouch has become an engaging and preferred tool for student reading and writing. I don't think any of the creators knew about one another when crafting their pieces. They all make strong cases about the power of providing tech to students. The message that comes to mind strongly is the tactile experience that digital technology provides. When I hear folks reminisce about the "feel of the book" I think about how much richer the experience could be digitally. This first video does an amazing job of conveying this.

Why an iPhone could actually be good for your 3-year-old


Should a 4-year-old have an iPhone?

Marc Prensky shares how his four-year-old uses his iTouch for reading, writing, drawing and more.

What happens when you give a class of 8 year old children an iPod touch each?

In this video you see students using iTouches devices like it's second nature just like they do outside the classroom. They use the devices for reading, writing research and more using applications that are either free or much less expensive than the traditional textbook.



Devices to Take Textbooks Beyond Text

I am not a supporter of textbooks, but if educators can't break away from the outdated habit, digital is an improvement that is considered in this NY Times article. From the article: NEWSPAPERS and novels are moving briskly from paper to pixels, but textbooks have yet to find the perfect electronic home. Now there is a new approach that may adapt well to textbook pages: two-screen e-book readers with a traditional e-paper display on one screen and a liquid-crystal display on the other to render graphics like science animations in color.


Where do we go from here
Innovative educators are starting to take the charge to save our students from drowning in paper. They are doing this not by going out and purchasing new gadgets, but rather by embracing the technology which many our students already have access to in their homes whether it's a smartphone, iTouch, iPhone, etc. While we can provide some of this technology in school, the transformation really begins once we begin harnessing the power of the fourth screen to engage in their reading, writing, and thinking 21st century style
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