Would you Prefer a Book Book or Technology?
Ikea released a parody video in 2014 on why it is useful to use a ‘book book’ rather than rely on the latest and greatest 2014 iPhone technology (now outdated in 2015). From Ikea advert parody mocks Apple as it announces ‘book’ technology:
Ikea announced it will use “book” technology for its new catalogue, which promises no cables, eternal battery life and “no lag … no matter how fast you scroll”.
“Once in a while, something comes along that changes the way we live, a device so simple and intuitive, using it feels almost familiar,” promises Jörgen Eghammer, Ikea’s chief design guru in the video mimicking Apple’s promotional style.
“Introducing the 2015 Ikea catalogue. It’s not a digital book or an e-book. It’s a book book,” he announces as the catalogue is filmed from all angles, highlighting how thin it is and how the pictures expand as you turn a page.
“The first thing to note is no cables, not even a power cable. The battery life is eternal,” Eghammer enthuses.
Here are some insightful comments from viewers:
Just look at the information you can find out without a computer. Who’d have thought? Current ed reform policies, pushed by the venture capitalists to create a market for technology in the classroom, want to eliminate the ‘book book’. Technology (we are told) is the way to make American students competitive in the global economy, even as the data they are providing governmental agencies and third parties for cradle to grave data sets can be hacked and used for reasons not disclosed to these students and their families.
Combine that with the issue that these unfunded mandates can decimate a school budget, the use of a ‘book book’ vs a computer is sounding more and more appealing. Read this WSJ article on stopping this madness of data retrieval and emphasis on technology in our daily lives, The Cutting-Edge Genius of Old Gadgets:
I am dying of thirst because the hapless man in front of me in line is having trouble with his debit card. The way the hapless man in front of me in line is always having trouble with his debit card.
“Where do I punch in my password?” he asks the cashier. I stand behind him, bottled water in hand, dying of thirst, clutching a $5 bill.
“How do I erase it if I made a mistake?” he asks the cashier. I stand behind him, clutching my bottled water and a $5 bill, dying of thirst.
“Oh, I think I do want cash back,” he says. “Should I start all over?”
I stand there behind him, clutching my bottled water and my $5 bill. And a thought occurs to me. What if debit cards had been invented first and cash was invented later? Wouldn’t the person who brought the long green to market be treated with the same reverence as Marconi or Edison or Gutenberg?
“Wait a minute! There’s no password required?” a shocked debit-card user might say, disbelievingly, using cash for the first time.
“No. You just hand them a piece of paper, and they give you change.”
And there’s no way you can swipe the bill the wrong way? And there’s no way your request can be denied because you don’t have enough cash in your bank account? And there are no overdraft fees?”
“No, no and no.”
“And there’s no way some perfidious cabal of depraved Eastern European gangsters can steal your password and empty your bank account, reducing you to abject penury?”
“Gee. Why didn’t somebody think of that sooner? “
This is the very crux of the enigma. If cash had been invented after debit cards, the public would welcome it as one of the great timesaving innovations of all time.
The technology created and now mandated for schools to create a more rigorous education has backfired for many school districts when computers crashed (if they had enough computers) or there was not enough bandwith to take assessments. Combine that with young children not having the dexterity and knowledge to use a computer and you can see the joy of using a ‘book book’ and paper and pencil when taking assessments. The article concludes:
What if department stores where you can actually try on the shoes had been invented after online shopping? What if Mustangs followed Priuses, and ice cream arrived after frozen yogurt? What if real beer that packs a wallop and actually has a detectable taste had been invented after lite beer? Wouldn’t everyone stand up and pay attention?
Let’s not even talk about lovingly crafted, beautifully illustrated, limited editions of “Romeo and Juliet” being invented after e-books. Let’s just leave that topic alone.
What if schools actually had paper and pencil tests created by teachers (who went to school to learn how to teach) to determine if the students knew what the teacher taught instead of computer adapted NGO prepared tests on shared computers (that may or may not work with bandwith that might not be enough for all student testing)? What if students, parents and teachers could actually review what a child missed on a test so they could know what the student didn’t understand instead of receiving a score with no information on what he/she missed on the test? What if the personally identifiable data accessed by federal agencies and third parties that could be in danger of being hacked was never provided at all?
As the subtitle in WSJ article stated:
Superseded objects often do stuff better than their replacements
That sentence could be rewritten to read Superseded educational policy/delivery often did stuff better than their replacements: NGOs directing/developing educational policy.
Today’s graphic comes from a description of a book from Walker Books Australia and New Zealand:
No matter how many electronic devices are available these days, you can’t deny the simple appeal of a good book. Monkey is reading a book, but his friend wants to know what the book can do. Does it have a mouse like his computer? Can you make the characters fight? And does it make loud noises? No, it’s a book. Monkey’s friend discovers that a good book doesn’t need fancy electronic accessories.
- A humourous picture book which pokes fun at society’s fascination with electronic devices
- A simple text which is great for reading aloud
- From best-selling author Lane Smith, whose previous titles have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list numerous times