Going Digital – Tablets To Replace Books: Functionality x Tradition

I’ve been thinking about this A LOT before writing this blog post. So much, I’m writing about this subject in both English and Portuguese, that’s how passionate I feel. So, to read this post in Portuguese, just scroll down.


Pensei MUITO antes de escrever esse blog. Tanto, que vou escrever em inglês e português sobre esse assunto, de tanto que me importo com ele. (Ai, que ódio, fico tentando traduizir e não dá certo!). Então, para ler em português, basta ir mais pra baixo.

TABLET TO REPLACE BOOKS: FUNCTIONALITY X TRADITIONALISM (ENGLISH VERSION)

It’s all everyone’s been talking about in my city since one of the biggest schools here came up with the propaganda saying: “Tablets to Replace Textbooks.” It’s everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, and, for me, a student from a licensing Languages & Literature University course, which basically forms teachers, there’s been, well, quite a lot of passionate replies to theme around. I’m yet to see a single person actually agree with the initiative of the schools to go digital — because it’s not only one of the major schools — most of the big ones are starting to go through this process as of this year.

Most people have strong opinions on how books are IRREPLACEABLE (they use capital letters, too). How by dropping books and giving the kids machines instead of papers the schools would, somehow, be making the kids dumber, as if that was an automatic process. As if touching paper made kids smarter somehow. As if by learning through computers, they’d be less stimulated to think. People say they’re afraid that books will get lost in the way, that technology will take over, and kids won’t want to read (books) anymore. These are the most used arguments. Still, I haven’t found a single, compelling argument that made me stop and think going digital might not be a wise idea after all. Because, believe me, dear reader, I’m all, 100% for going digital. And let me tell you why.

In one word: FUNCTIONALITY. The multiple functionality of a tablet is something that a book can never give you. And I believe that often people get so caught up on tradition that they end up forgetting the true benefits that a tablet could bring over a book. And I’m not talking about the common place examples people are giving out there (e.g. it’s much lighter in weight or is more environmentally friendly). I’m talking about it in the very basis of subject: the learning. First of all, the tablet can give the students something a book never will, which is movement. And that is freakin’ amazing.

I think of myself suffering through all those endless Physics lessons “Train A leaves point X at 4:30 at a speed of 120mph, and Train B leaves point Y at a 4:45 at a speed of 135mph, blah blah blah.” I mean… can you imagine studying that in a way that it actually shows the trains moving? If the lesson is cool enough, the trains colliding? How’s that for dynamics?!? How about Biology? Studying the human body. Imagine the trips through the human body that we could do with a nice Tablet application. PEOPLE, a piece of paper cannot give you that.

Tablets can stimulate someone’s auditory, tactile, and visual system, with sounds, videos and mobile graphics, and vibrations in a way that a book could not, which would not only trigger more sensations to be linked to those contents they are learning (making the leaning process maybe a little easier), but most likely making them more interested. And why would Tablets make someone dumber or less likely to think for themselves, when they’re actually stimulating more brain areas and physical sensations? Nuh uh.

Of course, this is a medium, long term idea, not something that will happen overnight. Even because, these digital lessons won’t make themselves like that. But I truly believe that with the given time and the support of schools, there could be amazing digital textbooks for students out there to learn in the most awesome way. Mind you, I’m not saying paper books are useless, let’s burn’em all. But I don’t think “replacing” them with Tablets is such a tragedy, either. I do agree the school’s propaganda was unfortunate: “Tablets to replace textbooks.” (they could have focused on a new digital way of learning instead), but the idea of it, I think it’s awesome. It’s been done in many countries already. In other states in Brazil, too. It’s just something that is arriving here now.

You see, I don’t get the attachment with the paper some people have. I’ve had endless people come to me and say, “Oh, but the smell of a book, or the feel of a book in my hands.” You know, I’ve gone digital for almost two years now with my Kindle, and I like it much better than paper books. I don’t miss touching paper. I don’t feel it’s too impersonal. It’s actually much easier to hold, as you don’t have to twist and struggle to keep it open. I’ve read much more since I’ve had the Kindle than I used to with paper books. It has stimulated me to read MORE. And people think going digital is bad?

I’ve often encountered in the author blogs I read the same question: Are digital books going to take over the market eventually? Most people don’t think it will. But I disagree. I think it’s only a matter of time until it does. Maybe not for a while, as the great reader audience is still adult, people who came from a non digital generation. I’m from a semi-digital generation, and I already embrace technology in a very natural way, but I realize many people of my generation don’t. But the tendency is, as the technology boom children grow, is for digital to become more and more the trend, the normal. So, YES, I do believe that at some point, digital books WILL take over the book market. And, NO, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. AT all.

Because, in the end, I don’t think it’s the vehicle that matters. It’s the content, the essence, whichever way it is delivered.

So, I ask you, readers, what do YOU think about this matter? Let me know in the comments!!!


Kids with Tablets at School Instead of Textbooks 🙂


TABLET SUBSTITUI LIVROS: TRADIÇÃO X FUNCIONALIDADE

Aqui só se fala nisso esses dias, desde que uma das grandes escolas anunciou a propaganda, “Tablet Substitui Livros.”, tá em todo canto. Facebook, Twitter, e, eu, uma estudante de licenciatura em Letras, tenho visto, bem, respostas bastante calorosas sobre o assunto. Mas ainda não vi uma única pessoa a concordar com a iniciativa das escolas – porque não é só uma, a maioria das grandes escolas já está começando esse processo – de se tornar digital.

A maioria das pessoas fala e fala sobre como livros são INSUBSTITUÍVEIS (usam caps lock também!), como deixando os livros de lado e dando às crianças máquinas, de alguma forma, as deixariam mais estúpidas, como se fosse um processo automático. Como se por aprender por computadores, fossem menos estimuladas a pensarem. As pessoas dizem que tem medo que os livros se perderão de alguma forma, e a tecnologia dominará, e as crianças não vão mais querer ler (livros). Esse são os argumentos mais usados. Mesmo assim, ainda não achei um argumento forte o suficiente para me fazer parar e pensar que essa história de tornar as coisas digitais não seja uma boa ideia afinal de contas. Por que, acredite, querido leitor, sou 100% a favor de ser digital. E deixe-me dizer porque.

Em uma palavra: FUNCIONALIDADE. A funcionalidade múltipla de um tablet é algo que um livro nunca vai poder te dar. Eu acho que as pessoas acabam se apegando tanto à tradição, que acabam esquecendo dos benefícios que um tablet poderia trazer em relação a um livro. Não tou falando dos exemplos mais comuns que as pessoas tão dando por aí, tipo, “Ah, é bem mais leve que todos aqueles livros, ou é melhor para o meio ambiente.” (sério, dá pra ficar mais clichê?). Tou falando da base do assunto mesmo: a educação. Primeiro, o tablet pode dar uma coisa que o livro NUNCA poderia dar: movimento. E isso é muito massa, cara!
Lembro de todo o meu sofrimento eterno nas aulas de Física: “Trem A parte do ponto X às 16:30 a 120 km/h e trem B parte do ponto Y às 16:45 a 135 km/h, e blah, blah, blah.” Agora… imagina estudar isso de uma forma que mostrasse realmente os trens se movendo? E, se quem criou fosse muito massa mesmo uma colisão? Dá pra falar “DINÂMICA?” E Biologia, estudar o corpo humano. Imagina as viagens pelo corpo humano que poderíamos fazer com um aplicativo legal para um tablet. Gente, papel não pode dar isso pra vocês.

Tablets podem estimular o sistema auditivo, táctil e visual de uma pessoa, com sons, vídeos e gráficos móveis, e vibrações, de uma forma que livros não poderiam fazer, o que não só estimularia mais sensações físicas que estariam de alguma formas conectadas aquele conteúdo (tornando assim, talvez, o aprendizado mais fácil), como também provavelmente deixaria os alunos mais interessados em aprenderem. E por que os tablets deixariam alguém mais estúpido ou menos inclinado a pensar por si mesmo quando na verdade estimulam mais áreas cerebrais e sensações físicas? Não, não.

Claro, isso é uma ideia a médio e longo prazo, não algo que vai acontecer da noite pro dia. Até porque, essas aulas digitais não vão se fazer sozinhas. Mas realmente acredito que com o tempo e o apoio das escolas, podem ser feitos livros didáticos digitais fantásticos para alunos aprenderem de uma forma espetacular. Calma, não estou dizendo que livros de papel são inúteis, que devemos queimá-los todos, mas não acho que “substituí-los por tablets seja uma tragédia tão grande. Concordo que a propaganda da escola for infeliz, eles poderiam ter focado nas vantagens de uma nova educação digital, mas a ideia em si, acho incrível. Já foi feito em muitos países. Em outros estados do Brasil, também. É só algo que está chegando aqui agora.

Sabe, não entendo o apego que algumas pessoas tem com o papel. Muitas, muitas pessoas já chegaram pra mim e falaram: “Ah, o cheiro de um livro, ou como é bom sentir um livro nas minhas mãos.” E, faz dois anos que eu tenho meu Kindle agora, e gosto bem mais dele que livros impressos. Não sinto falta de tocar papel. Não é que é muito impessoal. Na verdade, acho bem mais prático de segurar, já que você não tem que se contorcer toda pra deixar ele aberto. Eu tenho lido muito mais desde que comprei o Kindle que lia com livros impressos. Me estimulou a ler mais. E as pessoas acham que o digital é RUIM?

Muitas vezes vi em blogs de autores a mesma pergunta: Os livros digitais vão dominar o mercado eventualmente? A maioria das pessoas acha que não. Mas eu discordo. Acho que é apenas uma questão de tempo até isso acontecer. Talvez não por enquanto, porque o grande público leitor é adulto, pessoas que vieram de uma geração não tecnológica. Eu sou de uma geração semi-tecnológia, e já embarco a tecnologia com naturalidade, mas sei que muitas pessoas da minha geração ainda não fazer isso. Mas a tendência é que quando as crianças dessa geração do “boom da tecnologia” crescerem, o digital se torne o normal. Então, SIM, acredito que em alguma hora, livros digitais dominarão o mercado. E NÃO, não acho que isso seja ruim, de forma alguma.
Porque, na verdade, não acho que é o veículo que importa, é o conteúdo, é a essência.


Então, eu pergunto, leitores, o que VOCÊ pensa sobre o assunto? Me fala nos comentários!!!

Advertisements

14 Comments

Filed under Life in General

14 responses to “Going Digital – Tablets To Replace Books: Functionality x Tradition

  1. I agree with you, but exactly for the arguments you said were not your major ones. 😉 Lighter weight and limited use of paper are HUGE pros in my opinion. I can still remember what a chore it was to carry all these heavy books around, and some teachers would punish us if we decided to leave them at home… And well, yes, all the paper. When I finally got rid of my high school textbooks, I sold those that were still used, but the obsolete ones I had to chuck, and it made me a little sick in terms of all the waste.

    As for the functionality you speak of, that might convince my boyfriend, LOL. I personally think we live in a world of constant over/hyper-stimulation, and while it does not make us “dumber”, it certainly affects our ability to stay focused, to apply ourselves, etc. You say yourself that kids get bored with traditional lessons… How come? I mean, we have to ask ourselves whether this is the teaching method’s fault or the children’s education’s fault.

    I wasn’t bored when I was at school (except with a few exceptionally boring teacher). And I very much doubt that any tablet’s functionality in the world could have interested the kids who didn’t enjoy school. All it would do is turn tablets into a new instrument of torture, like books used to be. I mean, school is school, after all. It’s not a hobby, it’s not a party, and it’s never going to be, with or without technology.

    • Asia, I totally disagree with you that “school is school”, as in school can’t be fun? I think digital elements would have had *me* interested in subjects I wouldn’t have been interested otherwise, such as physics, for example, because I always found it was completely boring to read it off the pages of a textbook. But give me movement and I might find it otherwise. I’ve always been a very dynamic person. I’m always moving, I like dynamism. I don’t say all kids get bored with traditional lessons, I’m just saying it could make it awesome!

      And I don’t see why can’t we focus or apply ourselves to learn digital just the same. The principle of studying is the same. We’d still have to go through exercises, to study, to go through the theories. It’d be just the vehicle through which we get the theory that would be changing.

      And I think school could be fun, if done right.

  2. Archer

    Good riddance to heavy textbooks! I wish I could’ve carried a small tablet instead of a bunch of books that felt like rock by third period. Although I’m guessing backpack makers won’t be too happy with the idea 🙂

  3. Carol

    Muito orgulhosa de ti viu! O Edu adorou! te amo

  4. let

    Meu orgulho 🙂 fez ate eu parar para pensar, te amo!

  5. lclandfield

    Hi Barbie
    Nice looking blog! You make some good points about digital books. I think for textbooks this could be definitely the future. ESPECIALLY for those big heavy ones. I also have a Kindle and have not looked back. I still love paper books it’s true, but I have nothing against digital books and think they could be great.

    As long as the content is good. We are probably going to see a period of lots of (excuse my language) crap digital books as the digital players move quicker than the older quality content providers. Which is why it’s important for writers of materials and teachers who care about this to look into making sure there is quality content.

    • Hi, Mr. Clandfield! Such an honor to have you here! I thoroughly enjoyed your lecture! It’s truly great to see people like you in support of technology into education while so many people still seem to condemn it, even in such a digital world like today’s!

      I totally agree with you, though, I’ll say that it’ll always be important for writers of materials and teachers to care about this and to look into making sure there’s quality content. I think the digital book into education CAN work very well, but it’ll be the work of a team — the book makers, the teachers, the schools, the students, the society in general, by accepting it — to make the most of it. Sigh. Writing about it seems like we still have such a long way to go. Still, it’s good to see the process has begun and people have started it 🙂

  6. Pingback: Programação para Smartphones e Tablets « Julio Della Flora

  7. Pingback: O jornalismo continua o mesmo, mas diferente | moxphere.com

Let's Chat!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s