This textbook is broken!

Our school is just about to provide Netbook computers (Lenovo S10s in case you’re interested) to all of our Year 6 students.  This is part of a project to provide an immersive technology-rich year at an age where we think it will do the most good.  Lots of Web 2.0 and open Source software tools, use of Open Office and Google Docs as their main productivity environments, access to school hosted blogs and wikis, etc.  We are trying to make use of these tools to promote creativity, productivity and higher order thinking. We want to expose them to the many great digital resources out there, while teaching them the information literacy skills needed to navigate through the massive amounts of information available.  The kids and their teachers are SO excited and, to be honest, so am I.

So when I stumbled across this video this morning I really had a giggle.  The students who made this clip did a great job of pointing out the limitations of non-digital media in a very funny way.  It’s so true, and although I don’t really agree with the whole “digital natives” idea in terms of their deeper understanding of technology, I certainly agree that our kids do just expect things to work in a certain way.  And they are right… Why shouldn’t a picture be clickable?  Or a word be linkable?  Or a page be zoomable?  And what exactly is the point of text if it’s not hypertext?

Enjoy the video.  I did.

CC BY-SA 4.0 This textbook is broken! by Chris Betcher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

19 Replies to “This textbook is broken!”

  1. These students understand technology and usability better than leading application development companies

  2. Teacher wife bought netbook for Christmas. Loves it. Took it to school every day since start of school. I noticed she stopped taking it last week. Might as well put a small brick in her Crumpler.

    Her rooms has no wifi or lan socket near desk. No IWB. No projector. Ceiling falling down. A/C doesn’t cope with heat. Not sure why some Australian schools can buy students and staff computers while others fall further behind. Hopefully when the school buys their first laptop trolley (remember them) they might install some access points. Then they just need to upgrade their Internet so pages load in under a minute and train the staff.

    The digital divide is alive and well in this country.

    1. Needless to say, if her room is as bad as you say (and I’m not doubting you), it’s a bloody disgrace.

      Why does she tolerate it? Sounds dangerous.

  3. Congratulations on convincing the powers to go 1 to 1.

    i am curious though, which local apps are you using on the lenovo

    assuming win VISTA
    …when you are out of range of wi-fi…or dealing with a 2GB movie

    comic life?

    the equivalent of iLife for winXP/VISTA is mediaworks…well worth the $100 per machine to install
    then there is the DVD creator software..most people have access to TV screens not computers at home for general viewing

    a small screen is great for two(maybe 3) but not for a family gathering
    backup strategy to reinstall the entire computer…mac have time machine..no equivalent for WinXP/VISTA

    you can see where i would be heading…use a mac! no viruses and ability to publish to the web is built in

    several schools in Melbourne are taking the step from 1 to 1 with windows…to 1to1 with mac the creative opportunities mulitply enormously

    if you are ‘just’ doing web2.0 the netbooks are half the price c.f. the Lenovo

  4. Great video – thanks for sharing it. I love the idea of the textbook being broken – what a novel way to view the dilemma! We’re moving to 1-to-1 for next year and e-texts are a big issue. Publishers are way behind and it is hard to find reasonably-priced, well-thought-out models for delivering organized content/resources. I’ll have fun sharing this with our teachers.

  5. Great video Betch!

    Makes me ill to think of the $2500-$3000 spent on texts for each class back at HT. That’s enough for an IWB, laptop and projector for each room. I can only dream of going 1 to 1.

  6. The video is great. We recently began hosting our own blogs, podcasts, videos, and wiki. We have had some difficulty finding a good open source wiki that has a built in WYSIWIG. If you do not mind sharing, what wiki are you using?

  7. Loved the video (trying to find the original source – cannot – can you help on this one?) –

    I am in a Macbook school 1 to 1 from year 6 up with extremely fast connections. We do not have textbooks – it is all resource based learning BUT when involved in collaborative planning just 2 days ago I suggested we do a multi choice pre test using the IWB remotes, or even using an online survey tool – the looks I got along with “I am a paper girl, I would prefer paper pretests”, “it will take longer to create” I tried to sell it – the survey application does all the collating of the results, immediate feedback, individual responses, I even offered to do the work of creating it etc etc – but to no avail. The next hurdle was that they did not want to students accessing online resources for information – at all, I managed to come up with a plan where we would explore directories and databases.. so even though the techology is there and available it is not always embraced by teachers.

    Throw away textbooks all together is my suggestion – it is an outdated tool of learning based on finite information harvesting…

  8. Chris
    Without sounding a complete “bookhead” not everything is digital, texts do provide us with a means to find out information, they can be accessed when the power if off and if he really wanted the picture or map to access later then he could either do a search or scan it.
    I still liked the clip and wondered how the netbooks and use-ability via battery life is going?

  9. Hi Chris

    Do you have a direct link to your “this textbook is broken” video, would like to show it at my institutions Learning and Teaching Conference next week but cannot get a full screen option from the embedded video 🙁

    Many Thanks

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