“A Magazine is an iPad that does not work”…

While looking at Twitter today, I stumbled upon this adorable video:

Now, this is one freaking cute video, for sure. But also raises several important points, especially for those interested in technology, and those who teach technology in schools

  1. That E*Trade commercial with the baby in timeout *er* “solitary”… Not too far off!
  2. Apple has developed a very user-friendly OS (How long until we hear “It’s so easy, a baby can use it!”?)
  3. Our next generation is going to be more immersed in technology than any previous generation, and we need to be prepared for that.
  4. That statement at the end, really?

Let me delve into the closing thought on the video (starting at 1:10). This is something that needs discussion, especially for future educators. The video states “A Magazine is an iPad that does not work… It will remain so for her whole life”. . There were two things I immediately thought this could be implying: 1) technology is clearly replacing print, and 2) people don’t need to read anymore.

It’s no surprise that eBooks are outselling hardcover books. But print books are far from dead. A recent survey by the Association of American Publishers  shows a recent trend of higher publishing and revenue for books. Not what you expected? Me either. It makes sense if you sit and think about it though, there are so many ways to get a book/magazine/publication now, that there is almost no reason not to grab a book at any moment. This is because of technology like the Nook, Kindle, and (gasp) iPad. So maybe the child in the video will never again read a print magazine, but I would put money that there are some stored somewhere on that iPad.

As for people not caring to read anymore, well, this is a real problem. Aliteracy rates are so high in the US, that “80% of students leaving high school today say they will never voluntarily pick up a book again” (Kylene Beers, IRC 2005). Beliefs like those shared at the end of the video can only contribute to aliteracy, and are something that parents and teachers need to steer clear from. The one year old will understand how a magazine works (remember, the kiddo is only one year old!).

Now what is really happening? The child has most likely developed a schema for turning pages and using the iPad, and is attempting to accommodate the print magazine into this schema.

People too often jump to technology as an “end-all, be-all” for things that can be tedious or unlikable, but there is a fine line for this in education. Videos like this can easily sway viewers who have not researched the topic, and teachers need to be wary of parents who make statements like the final statement of the video. Still… Isn’t that video cute? I dare you to watch again and not smile or giggle as the kiddo tries to pinch to zoom and select images on the magazine! What are your thoughts on this matter?

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