2 years ago in Stockholm at the fabulous YBC school–some of my students mixing with the locals, collaborating on a film project, using multiple devices to consume and create content.
Google and Ipsos are reporting that 90% of out media consumption now happens across multiple of digital devices. That is, each of us likely uses a smart phone, a tablet, a PC/laptop and TV in combination.
Just yesterday a colleague was giving me a good-natured ribbing for showing up at a (long) meeting with both my Macbook Air and iPad. But, I told him, I use each for different things: my Air for taking notes in Evernote and my iPad for sketching in my favourite app, Paper. He didn’t see, and I didn’t tell him, that I also had my iPhone in my pocket.
This multi-screeen work strikes me as parallel to the way we use similar but different tools in school work: a pencil for sketching on paper, a marker for drawing on a whiteboard and so on. That doesn’t strike any of us as unusual, I don’t think.
So why, I am wondering, have we come to think of using one machine alone as somehow normal or sufficient or even that we’ve arrived at the top when we set up a 1:1 laptop program in our schools. And why is using multilple device seen as geeky, strange, extravagant, redundant, overkill and so on? I’m not whining. I am genuinely curious. My hunch is that the answer has less to do with ignorance or lack of foresight than with that natural human desire for stasis: educational technology is as still immature and evolving–quickly, too.
I am genuinely curious, too, about why those same people who poke fun at the likes of me for packing three devices at a time overlook or are unaware that they are also multi-screen users, assuming they watch TV. (For the record, I don’t have TV.) I think it is because we are for the most part still using old categories–work, play, in-school, out-of-school–for sorting our tools and that we don’t see that the those traditional divisions are dissolving.
In any case, what does the Google-Ipsos study say about a 1:1 program? It says at best, it’s only a start.