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Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Update on The Technology of Schools-No Books, No Paper


In India, entire curricula are being put on an Android based tablets and used instead of books. There is a shortage of paper and books. Here is the press release from a few years ago from the Indian Government--http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=63417

Aakash is first in a series of Android-based tablet computers produced by British company DataWind

which is a direct quotation from Wiki.

The reason why I mentioned this is that Eire is heading the same way. Some gentlemen today were discussing that their twelve year olds in schools here have no books. There was a meeting with parents to explain that books and paper would not be used. I would like feedback from you all on this point. Twelve year olds are very good at technology. The students naturally take to this.

UPDATE on Tuesday morning: I am against this, as it is against the idea of Catholic curriculum. I worked as a Catholic curriculum adviser for five years, and I have a Master's Teaching Certificate from NAPCIS. A curriculum should be Catholic in every subject-a discussion we can have, but the point here is that most of those books are not electronically available Very few of the spiritual books which are out of print or rare are in electronic form, although Garrigou-Lagrange is. Not St. Bernard, for example.

And, if one is doing a Master's or Doctorate, one cannot do all the research on line. One must learn to go to libraries and archives.

I feel that a book also helps discussions more in the Socratic Method and better for thinking skills, which need time to develop. Reading is not merely for information, that is the utilitarian code, but for learning thinking skills and for reflection. More on this later...


7 comments:

Matthew Roth said...

Depends. My school is still heavily paper-based but they like to integrate tech into the classroom. I have found that having books is useful for mathematics, and I need an actual book for annotations in English. I like doing the annotations by hand in the margins; Kindle 3G does not use a stylus, and hides them. If iBook allowed for a stylus with 'ink' and for them to be in the margins, I might go electronic. But hey, nothing replaces a new book...and I love the FSG paperback smell.

Anonymous said...

I'm a 18 years old student, math. faculty. I realy loathe electronic books, because for me it is very difficult to concentrate on the meaning of text. Perhaps, it's because of too frequent computer usage. I prefer only books, and I think in my entire life, I'l never read electronic ones, for me they're unbearable.

Editor: Jay Boyd, Ph.D. said...

I don't think it's entirely a bad idea. I have really enjoyed my Kindle Fire. I took it to a class taught by a priest in the neighboring parish; he had said everyone should bring the Catechism and a Bible. I have a Bible on my Kindle, so took it along; saves on the bulk of books, and you can have several books handy (I guess the CCC is not available in a Kindle edition). And you can even highlight on a kindle - I didn't know that at first!

We have a set of encyclopedias - something I used all the time as a kid. We seldom open a volume now; it's so much easier to google! (Besides, the encyclopedia set is now 20 years old...antique, practically!)

I do, however, see the value of actual books! I love them!

Anita Moore said...

Well, I like e-books. They are searchable, inexpensive and can be acquired immediately. I got a Kindle Fire not too long ago, and I already have a ton of books on it. I can carry an entire library around in my purse! Not a few are reference works (Cornelius a Lapide's Gospel commentaries -- would that somebody would translate all of his Scriptural commentaries into English -- Haydock's commentaries, the Baltimore Catechism and Catechism of the Council of Trent, etc.), so the Kindle and similar devices are a handy research tool.

On the other hand, simple technologies like paper and pencils are proof against the mishaps to which electronic devices are susceptible. If the big solar flare that Fr. Z is always talking about hits us and wipes out all our electronics, then there go all those Android tablets. But a solar flare will not erase books.

I think it's good that kids can use electronic devices in school, but I also want to see them exposed to books. I also don't want to see the art of penmanship die out.

Supertradmum said...

Commentators, see my update on the post

Dr. Jay, some of the information in the old encyclopaedias is better. The newer versions of Britannica, for example, have either elminated or heavily edited articles on Catholicism and Christianity to the point of irrelevance. The older versions are much better. Editing is a huge problem in new encyclopaedias as there are more ideologies. Even the new versions of some Catholic ones are full of modernist footnotes, etc. Of course, the original two editions of the Catholic Encyclopaedia have modernist errors implanted in articles.

New Sister said...

I worry about e-books and liberal PC editing. e.g., on-line dictionaries have already re-definied marriage as "two people" and don't even list "archaic" references to "one man and one woman." hate to imagine what they'll do to history texts...

Anita Moore said...

New Sister said...
I worry about e-books and liberal PC editing. e.g., on-line dictionaries have already re-definied marriage as "two people" and don't even list "archaic" references to "one man and one woman." hate to imagine what they'll do to history texts...

Yeah, but history shows they can do that to paper books as well.