“Those presidents, provosts, and deans that are willing to rethink the traditional lecture-recitation mode of instruction to incorporate these new technologies are likely to open up far more possibilities than those that merely try to plug the technology into their existing curricula.” ITHAKA S+R blog
This research group is an academy of change. Prospects for screen transacted learning and instructor/student mediations are at issue and the blog will provide a forum. The blog format is an edifice of a new, mediated academy.
Nicholas Carr offers a good exposition concerning the paradox of an establishment of constant change that lacks innovation.
“One of the consequences is that, as we move to the top level of the innovation hierarchy, the inventions have less visible, less transformative effects. We’re no longer changing the shape of the physical world or even of society, as it manifests itself in the physical world. We’re altering internal states, transforming the invisible self. Not surprisingly, when you step back and take a broad view, it looks like stagnation – it looks like nothing is changing very much. That’s particularly true when you compare what’s happening today with what happened a hundred years ago, when our focus on Technologies of Prosperity was peaking and our focus on Technologies of Leisure was also rapidly increasing, bringing a highly visible transformation of our physical circumstances.” Nicholas Carr
As we read paratext ever wider features appear. This scaffold or apparatus of print is conveyed and reinvented in screen display. One binary feature that has a transacted feature across print and screen is black and white. This is the convention of black words on white paper.
This binary was first violated in the early screen phosphors where the words were green. But the dedicated electrophoric e-ink screen features ever closer approximations of black on white. These dedicated binary displays have little hope of surviving in the color world of phosphor screens. Yet some evocation of print ink has an attraction as the basic nook or Kindle e-ink screens persist.
A larger issue remains. Is the artifice of reading better enabled by black and white differentiation from a colored world? This is almost a question extracting the Hominids from nature. And then we have an even larger question. Is nature really reality and all of cultural transmission really artificial?
Looking between the print book and screen book, what composite could combine the best and not the worst of the two prototypes? The composite would use the economic and material attributes of the physical book and the visual and connective flexibility of the screen book.
To wit; an inexpensive thin screen title. Each ITST book would be sold with its locked, resident content. It would be owned outright and could be collected into physical libraries but would also provide ancillary content and off-line-on-line directory easily up-dated. The ITST would weight only a few grams and be only a few millimeters thin with a screen dimension in three options of phone, tablet or lap-top sizes. These modules, like CDs would shelve compactly. The screen display would be electrophoric with touch navigation. As with an electronic toothbrush, the entire library could be recharged as needed.
What is not to like?