If you were handed an iPad, what would you do with it first?
I, personally, would probably visit the App Store, check out my favorite websites in high-definition on Safari or maybe play around with the product’s photo capabilities.
Would I sit down and read an iBook for a term paper due tomorrow? Maybe later…
While text messages and emails remain at the top of the list as far as school-to-student contact goes, recent studies show not everyone supports the ‘technological takeover’ once it crosses the learning environment line.
“Students are reluctant to give up the ability to flip quickly between chapters, write in the margins and highlight passages, although new software applications are beginning to allow students to use e-textbooks that way” (Source: NY Times).
Although the cost and convenience of e-readers may prove to be a positive investment in the long-run, student aren’t afraid to talk about the distractions that come along with digital books: “E-textbooks are good, but it’s tempting to go on Facebook, and it can strain your eyes,” claims a pre-med student at New York University.
New e-textbooks and e-readers are cool gadgets, but are they really more ‘interactive’ than their old-school ancestors? Yes, locking yourself in the library with nothing to sustain you but a ten-pound book seems pretty miserable, but three-quarters of students surveyed prefer flipping through these ‘old-school’ books to their digital counterparts.
The argument here isn’t that digitalization is null and void. Universities should embrace digitalization – especially on the communication front – while providing separate resources that correspond with students’ “learning modality preferences” (be it old-school textbooks or not).
Even though iPads are (predictably) a good bribe for increased enrollment, technology won’t win over everyone’s heart. The key? Find the conduits that students do utilize, and cater your content to their technological environment.