What's A Book? Is This A Book?

I was excited when I found this TED Talk (see below) where software developer Mike Matas demos Al Gore’s book “Our Choice”. This is the first full-length interactive book for the iPad.   It made me recall numerous discussions Kacey and I have had about the need for publishers to catch up with technology integration in education.  I've taught online classes for the last few years and have felt this need for awhile.  In addition, listening to podcasts such as Seedlings and reading articles in ISTE have opened my eyes to the future possibilities of augmented reality.  So when I saw this TED Talk, I was excited but not too surprised.

What follows next is how this video clip played out in my ESOL class.  (It reflects the dogme 2.0 teaching in collaboration with critical pedagogy that I've been exploring.)  In the larger scope of a unit, I showed it to one of my classes comprising of adult students from around the world.  It sparked an interesting discussion about how technology and learning environments are changing.  As a natural part of this discussion as I was writing new vocabulary words from the TED Talk video on the board, one student asked, "Is that book available to purchase now?"  A second later, another student held up her smart phone and exclaimed, "Yup... It's here on iTunes available for $4.99.  I looked it up while we were watching the TED Talk."

A third student jumped out of his seat and asked for permission to pull up a related video clip for us to discuss.  Within seconds, we viewed this two minute clip. (See below.) It was followed by a related discussion about how books were once viewed as new technology, and I recorded more new vocabulary words from the discussion on the board.

We rounded out the discussion with a review of the new vocabulary words and a short discussion relating back to our previous day's lesson on how online dictionaries and games are shaping our learning.  In addition, students made connections to an earlier discussion about the disparity of technology in the hands of children from different socioeconomic backgrounds.  They then related the video back to a previous lesson in the term on second language acquisition.  With promises from them to continue to think about ways that technology helps them and limits their language learning and promises from me to listen to them-- really try to listen, we concluded class.

What do you see happening with technology and literacy?  Where does all of this fit into the classroom?  What’s a book?  It’s A Book.

“We live in an exciting time of human history and tech integration,” she said as she tucked away a hard covered book and an e-book reader in a bag for a weekend camping trip.  “I’m turning off all electronics with the exception of the books.  Don’t try reaching me!” 

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