Originally Posted by acorn.alert
I am sorry that you found it so tedious and artificial -- but it is all true.
... Just this moment, I got a text from my granddaughter: "The Hell I Will"
First the story: "The Ballad of the Ice-Worm Cocktail" - I mean really? I was a kid not so long ago and I would have found it impossible to give a crap about that rhyme. There's nothing wrong with it - it's got some lovely bits it in it - but when I was 15 I hated being given things to read: I much preferred reading something that I'd bought with my own money.
The kids seemed to enjoy it. And the bit about my granddaughter wanting to read again is true -- She wanted to get "Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe". She actually was put off because her mother had rented Romeo And Juliet Musical for her -- and made her watch that instead of reading.
BTW, the kids get to decide, within reason, what apps and iBooks the family buys. If one wants an app or book that no one else wants -- he pays for it himself.
My daughter believes that in her home -- books should be as ubiquitous as fresh fruit,
Second is the amount of time you spent making the thing: first result on Bing, copy into some Word clone - time taken: 30 seconds. Exporting as ePub and importing into iTunes: I'll give that 2 minutes. Then, you've got to sync it to five iPads. Conservatively estimating that it takes you about 4 minutes to plug in, wait, wade through warnings, sync, wait and unplug each iPad, you're looking at around 20 mins of mindless tedium. But did you think that maybe - at that 30 second mark - you could have hit the 'Print' button? Time saved: about 19 minutes. That's time that you could have spent with your childen. And what's more: the print-out is theirs - forever. They can doodle in the margins, pin it on their bedroom door, crumple it up and throw it in the bin...
I had already done the conversion to ePub -- but it was faulty. Then I discovered that Apple's Pages will save in ePub format.
As for syncing.
All the iPads are synced, once a day, to a single Mac/iTunes -- mine. That way all get to share apps and iBooks. It's pretty economical when you amortize the cost of apps and iBooks across 6 iPads and 5 iPhones (3 iPhones are hand-me-down older, SIMless models used as iPod Touches)
Everyone hands in their iPad and iPhone at bedtime -- and they are not available again until after school.
In the morning, I update all the apps on iTunes -- then during the day, while I am at my Mac, I sync all the iPads and iPhones, usually 2 or 3 connected at a time. There are no warnings to wade through and the whole process is quite easy -- as it runs while I am monitoring the stock market, surfing, etc. (I am syncing iPads and iPhones as I write this).
BTW, with iBooks each person can highlight, annotate with postit notes, copy/paste then email and AirPrint (Non-DRM ePub content)... so no disadvantage there.
It appears that you've never experienced group-reading aloud -- that is sad because it is an uplifting experience, if done properly.
Before we even used iPads -- back in the pass-the-book-around era, we still did group-reading aloud,
The youngest son was getting very low grades in reading. Over several sessions we taught him the pause, take your time, read ahead to yourself, think about it, then say what you read as if telling a story -- your story.
It was a little hurky-jerky at first, but with practice he became very good at it -- now, when he reads aloud, he tells a story -- as opposed to a monotone get-through-it-as-fast-as-I-can. He is now among the best in 5th grade reading. We attribute that to the group-reading-aloud/story-telling.
He is the best reader
among the kids in the family
Third is the whole iPad thing. Steve must had been smiling wryly when he and Apple's marketing dept came up with the word "Magic" to describe the iPad. No-one I know attempts to justify the purchase, they all understand they could read email and play games on what they had - without paying ~450 monetary units for it.
When "Grampa Wonderful" "reaps dividends", I'm sure he's really regretting spending 2000 monetary units to save you about 32 sheets of paper. Let's also not forget that spending money on an iPad is essentially converting money into a less useful form (think about it: if you lost your job tomorrow do you think the supermarket would accept tablet computers as payment?) and I think deep down he knows that's $2000 less for someone's education.
The "someone's education" I care most about are my own!
I am long AAPL and have done quite well -- still hold shares purchased at $17. BTW, AAPL is up about $3.66 1.09% to $339.73.
My investments pay for the iPads.
Actually, all the iPads are 64 GB models -- 3 with 3G. The decision to spend the extra money was easy -- more apps and content on the iPads. And, I don't plan on buying PSPs, TVs or computers for each. All can share the family computer if necessary. We have a minimum NetFlix and StreamToMe for our iTunes library of 800 videos and 10,000 songs.
When we go on long trips, or they go with their Dad for the weekend, we preload the iPads with movies for each -- each syncs to a different personal movie folder, as well as common movie folders.
It is all quite easy to setup and maintain.
Fourth is dependence: Looking everything up is not a substitute for analysing the context. In fact, the whole monocle thing you looked it up just because you could. Benefit gained: zero. That's not the way you encourage to people to think critically. If you don't encourage them to think about what they read and look stuff up, then really that's really nothing more than training them to consume content.
We discuss it first to see if we can figure it out -- then look it up if we can't -- or for reinforcement.
The alternative is to skip-over the word or phrase -- possibly making the author's words or plot meaningless.
We are training them to understand and communicate. The 12-year-old had an undetected hearing deficiency as an infant -- and continuously struggles to overcome a speech impairment.
Now let's finish up: I'm not surpised the 15-year-old didn't understand it in her English lesson. She was likely texting, looking out the window, communicating with a colleague, listening the noises which came out of the teacher's mouth or scanning her eyes over some letters. I don't blame her, it's a hard text: it's full of grammatically confusing statements like "According to his story was a hunter of renown". It's not, however, surprising that she managed to understand it at a subsequent read-through if she was supposed to be studying it! The 12-year-old's mental structure's are improving everyday - it's not surprising that his reading's getting better. You probably hadn't heard him read for a while. And the 11-year-old is merely recalling something you showed him how to do 20 minutes previously - it's not surprising that he can remember how it's done. Finally: Mom feels proud because parents do tend to - as an example: whenever my Mum comes to visit me at Uni she's proud of me for cooking my own food! I mean, it's not like operating a cooker is an arduous task.
So in conclusion, I'm not convinced. But I'm glad you had a nice reading session.
So, as a test, try reading it aloud.
I believe you would have difficulty taking the logical leap from "a pane of glass was in his eye" to a monocle -- what does a kid know about a monocle? In a group read we stop and discuss things -- we were able to describe what a monocle was, what it was for! Then show them how to reinforce that newly-gained knowledge by looking it up. Mr. Peanut was just a contrived shortcut to save a little time -- the kids mom planned this in advance.
Then when you run across "Who in the Murrumbidgee wilds had stalked the kangaroo." and don't know what Murrumbidgee is (desert, jungle, mountain?) you are comfortable looking it up, finding the meaning and pronunciation and understanding
what the author means.
The same goes for "plus-fours" -- how is anyone unfamiliar with the term going to figure it out, logically?
BTW, we did discuss the leather patch -- and why it was there. Also why, in those days, they often had leather patches on their elbows -- to save wear and tear and make the garment last longer.
We didn't get into why there are buttons on the cuffs of suit coats/jackets -- but we will, when the opportunity arises
Anyway, as I said in a later post -- the iPad is just a tool... but a very useful one in teaching people how to read, understand and communicate.