Wow…can I just say that I had NO idea that interactive Bibles like those mentioned in this reading existed. Different options available for analysis and notes? Impressive! I am not ashamed to admit that I had no idea at all, I thought we were just at the E-Book stage and that was it…obviously not.
The most obvious theme or idea up for debate from this reading of Landow and hypertext was the implementation and effectiveness of digital media combined with education. So many texts, of all genres and ages, have been digitised and are now available online. I feel that the potential and general idea for digitising texts and using the Internet and the online world as a teaching tool is great, but we just haven’t quite gotten it right yet.
Yes, I completely agree that the Internet is useful and extremely effective for learning, as I have mentioned in my previous posts. However, I believe that the Internet is not for everyone, just as essays or exams aren’t for everyone. The Internet is extremely constructive for some, while destructive for others. I personally found that in high school when it finally became acceptable for us to have our laptops open during lessons, my attention span just fell. It was the temptation of the Internet and other things on my computer such as games, it was all so easily and readily accessible. All I had to do was click it on my screen, how would the teacher have any idea if I was doing anything other than listening to her and taking notes like a good student should? If I turned the volume off and did not have a massive grin on my face in, for example, an English literature lesson (because who would, right?), I was relatively safe. This compared to my notebook and pen days was extremely different and definitely less brutal. The freedom of the Internet took me on journeys in my lessons that completely stole my attention.
On the other side however, it was easy to catch up. Everything I had to know was either online, or on a CD in an interactive form in my textbooks. I honestly could not believe that CDs were now included with textbooks, it was all a bit weird to me really. Anyway, I powered on through and caught up with everything as soon as I got home. I worked at home, messed around in school…logic? Ha!
What I am getting at is, in my case, although arguably technology negatively affected my attention span in class, it maximised efficiency outside of class. Any document I wanted I could get, any book, journal, article, anything. If I wanted an in-depth analysis of a book for an essay, done in 10 seconds. Libraries are beautiful buildings, but their need is arguably dying out.
This is not to say that we don’t need teachers anymore, a human being explaining it using technology as a “sidekick” or enhancer is the best combination. When you call a company, I want to be put straight through to a human, I don’t want any of this please hold, press 2 for this, press 1 for this, oops error rubbish. This is similar to learning and education, what if I have questions that the machine cannot answer? What if the initial way it is being taught to me is not getting into my head? A good teacher will be able to try something else within minutes, whereas a machine will probably take me to a questionnaire that will take an extra half an hour to fill out.
Thus, a happy medium must be reached. The teaching at RMIT is very similar to this, as we have lecture slides projected onto a screen that are interactive with different videos and images, yet the supplementary tool that is being utilised effectively is the human aspect and explanations.