The More Things Change

1/31/2012 By:

Notice anything different? We’ve made some changes to the place. It’s been almost four years since we freshened our design. Think about the differences in your classrooms since that time. Most likely, desktop PCs were still a consideration for purchase back then. Smart phones were few and far between. Twitter was a relatively rare bird.

This month’s issue highlights how different things are since we were explaining the finer points of netbooks back in 2008. James Careless tackles the issue of social media in school and makes a strong case for using it as an instructional tool—as long as it’s the right way. Likewise, Ellen Ullman breaks down strategies for managing the influx of student-owned devices into school.

And then there are the things that seem to never change. Take, for instance, the “death of the textbook.” Along with “the paperless office” and “flying cars,” that phrase is one of those prognostications that just never gets past the concept stage.

Until now. Apple’s announcement of the iBook2, which also caused us to redesign our redesigned cover, very well might be a watershed moment for education. Not because the technology itself is that radical, mind you, but because the big three curriculum publishers have officially conceded that dead trees aren’t the best medium for delivering content to students in 2012. Apple’s announcement came just as we were headed to the printer for our own dead tree production, but check techlearning.com for the full up-to-date online debate that is sure to be raging. As always, I welcome your thoughts.

— Kevin Hogan
Editorial Director
khogan@nbmedia.com

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