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  • Alice 9:13 am on October 14, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: e-books   

    …as MP3’s (digital music files) are to CD and … vinyl? I pose this question because I’m noticing that some of our reflections about e-books v hard copy books mirror some of the dialogue one hears about the relative advantages and disadvantages of digital music files (and other kinds of digital files, like photo files) […]

    Continue reading Are e-books to paper books… Posted in: Uncategorized
    • bcourey 9:17 am on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Let’s go all the way back to horses and “horseless carriages”. Same nostalgia for the good old days..

      • kstooshnov 10:57 am on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        On that sense of nostalgia for technological innovations, I like to refer to a set of rules coined by Douglas Adams (2003):

        “1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.

        2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.

        3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.” (p. 95)

        “We notice things that don’t work. We don’t notice things that do. We notice computers, we don’t notice pennies. We notice e-book readers, we don’t notice books.” (p. 110)

        Adams, Douglas (2003). The Salmon of Doubt. London: Pan Books.

    • David William Price 10:21 am on October 14, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I suspect a good deal of this issue has a lot to do with context. If you associate a computer or gadgets with a certain context (work, anxiety, certain kinds of thoughts or feelings) you may find that context uncomfortable when you wish to engage in other activities (reading, relaxing).

      Perhaps people hold on to certain contexts (such as browsing bookstores, picking up paper books, browsing music stores, picking up vinyl) because they have romantic attachments to that context (touch, smell, etc.)

      Consider the difference in context between listening to a perfect rendition of music as an MP3 on your computer vs. standing in a crowded concert hall listening to anxious and fatigued musicians throwing themselves into a set amid the sounds and smells of food, beer, and murmured appreciate of fans.

      How much do we associate “experience” with a context? How important is that association based on our ability to manage our various anxieties? Anxiety can drive us to print something out before we revise it, wander out of our office to work in a kitchen or living room or conference room instead, etc. We may misinterpret our anxiety coping habits as part of the experience of media (going to a bookstore context, wandering the aisles, browsing instead of searching, having a coffee, bumping into someone we know, the sights, smells, textures, etc.)

  • Alice 12:27 pm on September 14, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: e-books, , predictions, , thin computing,   

    Christopher Dawson and Adam Garry each offer 5 predictions to make up the ZDNet Top 10 EdTech predictions for 2011. Dawson is the ZDNet education blogger and vice-president of marketing for WizIQ, an online learning platform, while Garry is manager of global professional learning for Dell. While Dawson interviewed Garry for his predictions, Dawson remains […]

    Continue reading ZDnet’s uneven 2011 predictions Posted in: Uncategorized, Week 02: The Edtech Marketplace
    • David William Price 9:25 am on September 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Nice work. It seems a common problem that some people are gadget focused. I suppose in the Ed Tech realm this is similar to people who are “solution focused” meaning they don’t do a proper needs analysis to determine what the problems are and what root causes should be addressed.

      I suspect the issue that “solutions-focused” people miss is the prerequisites of the community. Until a community has the required foundations in place (comfort level, supports, awareness of the problems that can be solved, willingness to take the risks required by the solution, etc.), a technology is not going to have much effect. With the proper foundations, a very basic technology can have huge effects. Without the proper foundations, an advanced technology can be a huge waste of resources.

      The disconnect between futurists and users is the failure to develop the necessary community.

      • Everton Walker 2:44 pm on September 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        You are so right about persons being gadget focused. It is just frightening sometimes at the way we focus on the end product and ignore the process. Persons of that nature ignore the natural power of the brain and think that a piece of gadget must be involved in every task. There must always be a balance in the learning situation where we go beyond the gadget and even try and get more from it than its prescribed use.

    • Jay 1:06 pm on September 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Might this ‘community’ be better developed with more inclusion of learner’s in the needs assessment process? While this likely less possible in child education it is a key principle in adult education. I think in the case of some of the new technologies, the learners are left out of the needs assessment and developing process which can lead to missing root causes of the problems. As David mentions if a community of learners does not feel safe, supported or willing to take required risk, new technology is unlikely to solve the problem that stems from these deeper foundations.

    • Allie 3:23 pm on September 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi David and Jay,

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments on my post! I’m in full agreement with you that the absence of a needs-assessment – or in this case the notion that needs assessment is paramount – is a real issue with the gadget or solutions-focused crowd. Thanks for hitting that one on the head :). I do find that Garry, whose predictions focus on shifts in education, is quite different from Dawson in this regard.

      I wonder if somehow doing needs assessment *for* the gadget crowd could be a venture in and of itself?

      Something that I like in both of your honing in on the idea of the community is that learning communities are diverse (amongst themselves, never mind within a given community), and no single technology will fit all. I suppose that’s why I feel a little uncomfortable with some of the overwhelming tablet enthusiasm.

    • Jay 4:50 pm on September 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Good observation. The diversity of learners in a given learning community presents a problem with the one-size fits all approach and requires educators to consider multi-faceted technologies that attempt to encompass different styles of learning…and teaching!

    • Jim 6:06 pm on September 15, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Wow! You said it all when you wrote “I’ll have to do a lot of legwork to see their applicability to educational practice.” Exactly and well put. I think this is the challenge for all teachers who wish to effectively use the avalanche of technology currently being purchased for schools. I wish a larger portion of the budgets would go towards paying for ongoing, long term support and professional development so teachers can wield these tools in precise and purposeful ways in their classrooms.

    • Can a "gadget guy" also be an "education guy"? | ZDNet 8:03 pm on September 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      […] read a very interesting critique of one of my articles the other day. A student at the University of British Columbia reviewed my “Top 10 Ed Tech predictions for 2011″ and concluded that the piece, a […]

    • Christopher Dawson 8:09 pm on September 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Just wanted to share my roundabout response to your post:

      Your points are well-taken and I especially like the idea you noted in the comments above about a business model around educational technology needs assessments. I often go back to the good old SDLC (and mention it in the presentation I embedded in my response) – but how many technical project managers make it into education? Not many, meaning there is a large, unmet need for people to handle at least the early parts of the lifecycle around defining problems and requirements.

      Thanks again for your great post. While the blog format (and time constraints) don’t often allow for as much background or on-the-ground perspectives as I’d like, I’ll try to keep your critique in mind and include more “how does this impact student achievement and educational practice?” sorts of information in my posts.


    • Can a "gadget guy" also be an "education guy"? 8:49 pm on September 18, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      […] read a very interesting critique of one of my articles the other day. A student at the University of British Columbia reviewed my “Top 10 Ed Tech predictions for 2011″ and concluded that the piece, a combination […]

    • Can a “gadget guy” also be an “education guy”? – ZDNet (blog) | News In world 5:55 am on September 19, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      […] read a very interesting critique of one of my articles the other day. A student at the University of British Columbia reviewed my “Top 10 Ed Tech predictions for 2011″ and concluded that the piece, a combination […]

    • Adam Garry 4:08 am on September 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I agree with Chris about the blog format because we talked for a while about my predictions and he showed a deep understanding for how the learning conversation must come first. In regards to a needs assessment, I believe it is critical in the process of determining what problem the technologies can help to solve. We actually engage in visioning days with school districts to help them determine what they want learning to look like and then begin to figure out if technology is a good fit to help them achieve their vision. The best part about this process is that we involve students in the conversation and their voice is very powerful. Thanks for keeping the conversation alive.


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