Tablets, babies and reading — Oh my!: Does video signal end of printed material?

The one-year-old reader in the video embedded below appears to show a baby who can’t understand why a print magazine doesn’t have all the digital functionality of an iPad app. (Via How a Modern Baby Thinks About Reading — GalleyCat)


While I am an advocate for the importance of understanding how new technologies, such as the iPad, may affect or enhance learning among “digital natives” like this baby, I’m not as convinced this video signals the end of printed material as the video’s creator seems to be:

“Technology codes our minds, changes our OS. Apple products have done this extensively. The video shows how magazines are now useless and impossible to understand, for digital natives. It shows real life clip of a 1-year old, growing among touch screens and print. And how the latter becomes irrelevant. Medium is message. Humble tribute to Steve Jobs, by the most important person : a baby.” (From the video’s YouTube description.)

I do believe touch-screen technology is instinctive for babies, and I do believe a baby is going to think a device with things moving on a bright screen is a lot more fun to play with than looking at static images on a page. I’m not convinced this baby has yet drawn any lasting conclusions about reading. She’s making the same touching, grasping motions on the magazine pages that babies everywhere have made for generations when exploring the world around them — those very motions are what make touch screen devices so instinctive and rewarding for babies.

I don’t think magazines or books are impossible to understand for young children as the video’s author claims … but they may become so if parents don’t take the time to teach their children about the differences in mediums and the importance of reading.



DIY: Pink and brown polka-dot wedding shower card

pink and brown wedding shower card

This handmade card in pink and brown was made for a couples' wedding shower.


When I’m making a card for someone, I like to let the theme of the event help guide my selection of papers. This particular card was for a couple’s wedding shower. I knew the wedding colors to be pink and brown, so I used the textured chocolate-colored paper as the base. I also had a textured pink-and-cream damask print paper I knew I wanted to use — the damask pattern is fuzzy to the touch! I thought it was very elegant, but I didn’t want the card to feel super formal. I’ll save that for the actual wedding card. So, I decided to take my cue from the polka-dot texture on my base card stock paper, and pulled in two other polka dot papers in shades of pink and brown, as well as a sheer brown ribbon with white polka dots to keep things on the playful side. The paper doily is another easy way to bring another intricate pattern to the design.

To make this card yourself:

1. Cut your card stock into your desired size. Round the edges.

2. Cut and layer your patterned papers. Here, the pink-and-cream polka dot paper is in a thin rectangle along the bottom, the brown-and-pink polka dot paper is in a smaller square, with the damask paper overlapping the other two to take up the most visual space. Glue the patterned papers to each other, but do not affix to the base card stock yet.

3. Measure ribbon to wrap around the layered patterned papers. Cut the ribbon and affix to the papers. You can use a clear-drying glue stick or glue dots. Adhere the papers with the affixed ribbon to the base card stock.

4. Layer a rectangular piece of the same base card stock paper and a paper doily and adhere to the card.

5. Stamp sentiment and affix decorative plate with brads. Embellish with stick-on pearls and dimensional flower die-cut.

Fun Friday: Senior citizens go online

A recent viral video has been causing a bit of commotion around the Internet for its simplicity: Two senior citizens are trying to figure out how to use their new laptop’s webcam. Little do they know, they’ve already figured it out!

I personally like this video for two reasons:

1) It shows people interacting with technology!


2) It shows that even though people of “advanced age” might have some trouble with new technology, they still know how to have some fun!

Debate: Social media and 9/11

I’m certainly not the only one who has mulled over the idea of social media and 9/11. Chicago Magazine blogger Whet Moser has taken on Washington Post publisher Katherine Weymouth, who wrote of being grateful that we did not have social media technology on that day 10 years ago. She is quoted: “Can you imagine how horrifying it would have been if we had tweets from the victims on the planes or in the offices, or if they had posted to their Facebook pages?” Moser disagrees, saying such technology may have aided in communication amid the chaos, and/or contributed to the historical record. You can read his entire post here.

Granted, all this debate is neither here nor there, because the fact remains that social media as we know it today did not exist 10 years ago. There’s probably no concrete way to prove this hypothesis, but still I wonder if in some subconscious way that feeling of helplessness on that September day led to developments in social media, as a way to stay connected. What do you think? Would social media have developed anyway/at the same time? Or did times of crisis such as 9/11 spur it on?

More takes on issues surrounding social media, news coverage and 9/11:

9/11 on 24/7: Youth, social media and the modern news cycle, Annie Hammock for the Journal & Courier (Lafayette, Ind.)

“The dilemma for news organizations is where to find the fine line between the graphic and the gratuitous, the essential and the egregious. And they must ask if it matters when social media and citizen journalism are constantly shifting that line. The pictures so carefully filtered on 9/11 can now easily be found on the Internet. Images of the experience are so ubiquitous, it is perhaps understandable that young adults lack any perception of the attacks as something remarkable in the history of terrorism or the practice of journalism.”

9/11 in a social media world: How the times have changed, Peter Stringer for (Boston)

“Social media’s real-time sharing is a different story altogether. Messages are much shorter and carry far less detail, but they circulate with blinding speed. Still, as soon as you can share something on Facebook, your missive is bumped down the News Feed by something else. So what would your News Feed have looked like on 9/11? Presumably, it would be overwhelmed with posts of mourning, sadness, horror and anger. People who rarely post would likely feel compelled to suddenly weigh in, caught up in the heat of the moment. But how much phone or in-person contact would you actually have with your friends and family in the aftermath?”

How 9/11 changed social media, Rabbi Jason Miller shares a letter from Meetup founder Scott Heiferman for The Jewish Week (New York)

“A lot of people were thinking that maybe 9/11 could bring people together in a lasting way. So the idea for Meetup was born: Could we use the internet to get off the internet — and grow local communities?”

September 12: The 9/12 Project, Barbara Bresnahan and Tim Jensen for the Enfield (Conn.) Patch

“Few things remind us to stop and think so profoundly as the anniversary of 9/11. … It has been said that on the day after, 9/12, Americans stood together as one, like never before, putting aside their political ideas, skin colors and religious views. In an effort to keep that feeling of togetherness alive, The 9/12 Project was formed. … Promoted as a volunteer-based, non-partisan movement, the group’s aim is focused on building and uniting communities back to the place we were on 9/12/2001.”