My students and I make fairly heavy use of digital tools: we use Google Apps, Google Sites, Twitter (follow us at #tokafe11 and #tokafe12) and Storify especially. But increasingly, we find ourselves sharing analog content.
Because it’s easy. Easy to draw and doodle and scribe even complex ideas. Easy to photograph. Easy to share. Easy to archive.
Digital and paper make a killer combo. (As an aside, I think 53’s brilliant Paper app is tapping into this notion.) The barrier to entry is very low. Anyone can write or draw–we don’t need to train on a particular platform–which means everyone can engage. And we don’t need a lot of tech–just one smartphone (or even something like an iPod Touch) in the classroom and you’re good to go–which means we can get down to business cheaply and quickly and with little disruption.
To be sure, the total volume of analog work in my classes is not large, but I do see a growing trend to go pen-and-paper. Actually, it feels more like an awakened sense of possibility. One of my students has even taken to seizing a whiteboard and sketch-noting class discussions.
Until very recently, we have had to adapt to our technologies–think of the QWERTY keyboard which was designed to slow down typists so the keys wouldn’t jam. I think we’re now in the very early days when tech is sufficiently powerful to be able to adapt to us! Watch for this to grow this year.