Apple’s vision for ebooks is to make them like webpages, complete with embedded music, videos, lectures, 3D models, etc; the more distracting, the better.
One of the most irritating experiences that I can think of is being interrupted as I’m trying to concentrate. When I sit down to read a book, I don’t want my focus shattered every few seconds or minutes by dazzling whizbangery. Apple, though, wants to turn reading into an experience akin to watching an episode of The Three Stooges. BONK! BANG! Slap! Nuck. Nuck. Nuck.
This is how we need to engage kids today, Apple tells us.
I’m only able to use the web because I’ve learned how to employ browser extensions to make webpages quiet and still by default. As I read about Apple’s iBooks technologies, I mainly thought about how I’d block elements to prevent them from distracting me as I tried to read! Of course, that’s not possible.
Since this nonsense is being mandated in schools, what will be the long term consequences of children spending even more time looking at screens? Apple doesn’t have any options for reading its locked-down content on anything other than conventional computer screens. At least with E-ink and other electronic paper displays, one gets an experience that’s more similar to reading text on regular paper.
What will be the long term consequences of children reading ebooks with stuff spinning and blinking right next to the text that they are supposed to be comprehending:
Mayer and Moreno have studied the phenomenon of cognitive load in multimedia learning extensively and have concluded that it is difficult, and possibly impossible to learn new information while engaging in multitasking. Junco and Cotten examined how multitasking affects academic success and found that students who engaged in more multitasking reported more problems with their academic work. (Wikipedia: Human multitasking)
But that dazzling, distracting iCrackPad vending machine is the future of learning? It’s the answer to decades of disastrous, lobotomizing sKo0l?
Like the author of the piece below, I also think that ebooks are inevitable. This shift to video game style learning is well underway. But if something like the Kindle is disturbing, this iBooks thing is an order of magnitude more so. It’s not some sci-fi dystopic concern that’s always 20 years out.
They’re gunning for your children’s minds with this right now.
Via: The Verge:
In the wake of Apple’s announcement of iBooks 2, iBooks Author, and the latest version of iTunes U, I’d like to take a moment to step back and look at the technology they all look to replace: paper.
So while much of the coverage of yesterday’s announcement focuses on the exciting new ways that e-readers enable students to interact with texts, we should also be sure to give paper books their due. This isn’t a Luddite rant about how gadgets are destroying our inherent humanity and it’s not an ode to the wonderful smell and feel of an old book: it’s a clear-eyed look at how well paper technology has served us for millennia and how we need to be careful in our headlong rush to replace it.
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