Did any of our readers manage to make it to Frankfurt a couple days ago? No? Ok well, next year, be sure to attend the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s biggest such event. Or you could hop a plane right now and make it to this year’s fair before it comes to a close this Sunday.
This year, attendees learned about the growing world of the digital book and how classrooms are increasingly shifting from paper to screen. But educational experts and interactive content producers say there’s a lot more to the transition than just switching on a new gadget and putting a book on a shelf to collect dust.
The fair is attracting publishers, authors, translators and multimedia companies from more than 100 countries, including Ron Reed, a U.S. consultant on education and digital matters. Reed wisely pointed out that there is “a precious limited number of minutes in a day” when students and teachers have opportunities for meaningful interaction. “So there is a requirement that the content or the tool must contribute, and it must be more than a ‘nice to have’, it must be ‘must have’ and replace something with greater efficiency and power. It’s clearly about methodology, not just tools, and it needs to be not about products, it needs to be about practices.”
Reed is clearly well-versed in the thinking of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who probably serves as the man’s boss. As Duncan calls for a national move to digital reading, it is worth discussing the lengths teachers must continue to go to in order to reach students in the classroom of tomorrow. As we frequently like to conclude articles here on Technapex, it’s about more than just introducing technology into the classroom. It’s about marrying technology with proven, effective teaching strategies and good, old-fashioned teacher-and-student interaction.