From: Jeffrey L. Jones <***@fayette.kyschools.us>
I really agree with much of what you're saying. When my workplace
purchased my iPad, I am reminded of being resentful of the fact
that I couldn't even turn the thing on without connecting to
Apple's corporate presence. There's no question that we're seeing a
shift from hardware being a stand-alone purchase providing access
to a free Internet, to hardware being a pay-to-play portal. An
amazing number of non-free apps for that world simply carve up the
free Internet into small doses, creating a revenue stream from air.
An amazing number of personal device users are just fine with that
shift. It's quite remarkable.
Of course, the fly in the ointment of your thinking is this idea
that your grandkids, and the concept of a book, will stay fixed.
The digital book is potentially more than just a static display of
ordinary text -- it can be an entirely new way to consume
information, with media, hyperlinks, instant dictionary/thesaurus,
even the ability to allow our input in a flexible way. (Those books
you bequeath your grandkids most certainly will have writing in the
Now I'm not saying such a transition is all up-side. Besides the
"buy the portal AND the book" corporate stuff (the eBook being,
arguably, a nicely-packaged media-rich website), it's hard to say
what happens to dozens of arenas related to ontology, epistemology,
even attention span and reading skills. I really am not sure the
trade-offs are worth it, or even equal. But I'm fairly certain that
my grandkids won't be having that discussion any longer -- they'll
be consuming their media-rich and interactive ebooks, and writers
will be writing for that medium. And both will think my collection
of paper books just a little quaint, but otherwise uninteresting.
I really wish that technology change marched to the beat of a
rational, ethical, and research-based drum. It doesn't. It's mostly
driven by commerce, herd mentality, and change for change's sake.
Good things do come out of that process, but often, our only avenue
of influence over a new medium is to encourage intelligent and
appropriate use, make sure there are non-commercial options and
content, and demand that the quality of the commercial content to
Hopefully, those books you have some affection for will at least be
free downloads for your grandkids, just as the ones our great
grandparents read are for us.
Jeffrey L. Jones, District Technology Resource Teacher
Coordinator, Virtual Classrooms and Communications, Fayette County Schools
Fayette's iSchool - http://ischool.fcps.net/
701 East Main Street
Lexington, KY 40502
“I am rarely happier than when spending an entire day programming my
computer to perform automatically a task that it would otherwise take me a
good ten seconds to do by hand."
— Douglas Adams (Last Chance to See)
Post by EDTECH Editor-Jones Post by EDTECH Editor-Hogan
The procedure I describe removes only the authorized computers, not the
iPads/iPods. Devices such as iPhones/iPods/iPads are removed in the iTunes
preferences: File -> Preferences -> Devices to remove devices.
Now I remember why I never bought an iPod and instead buy generic MP3
players that do not restrict me and use Digital Restriction Management to
dictate how I listen to the music I already paid for.
I purchase CDs, pay for the plastic CD, rip the CDs, and store the CDs in
my basement. I can then listen to the music how I want, rather than being
controlled by some corporation who has an interest in having me buy the music
over and over again.
I see the same dynamic occurring with e-books. If I buy a paper book, my
great grandkids will be able to read it as long as I don't get it wet.
With a Kindle or other proprietary/restrictive e-book file format, the
corporation selling me the e-books controls how/where I use the book I paid
for -- a tyrannical arrangement.
In addition, I know that e-book will be useless in a short number of years
because of file-format changes. I can't read word processing documents I
in college because they were saved in proprietary file formats; can I really
expect my great grandkids to read my e-books?
While technology is in general a good thing, many implementations of
technology are not, and technology where the user becomes a puppet for some
corporation controlling the user definitely falls into that latter category.
"Dissent is what rescues democracy from a quiet death behind closed
Lewis H. Lapham.
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