Ed Sullivan is justifiably cautious about the great new ebook world — we’ve all been hyped before. I was a real CD-ROM enthusiast, until I wasn’t. But there are new things out there coming, or even in place already, that we do need to be aware of — if only to question whether and how they apply to our worlds of non-fiction and books for young readers. Here’s the latest rumbling about the Ipad and how it will change ebooks tinyurl.com/yehcuo9 Notice that you can turn pages by hand. Now there are big, big issues about images, design, permissions — many questions (not to speak of the access question of who will have the device and how that relates to schools and classes). But we do need to pay attention.
And even as we gaze ahead to see what is about to come, there are cool new things already in place. My friend Bill Tally, who is a real expert on education and technology, showed me this: tinyurl.com/yaz8tmj (flashback.paragoogle.com) a site where students can meet, compete, using gaming to learn. Is this "the answer" — no. But, like Google Lit Trips www.googlelittrips.org/ which we’ve previously discussed here, it shows the potential power of linking books, print, kids, and the capacities of the net.
I am excited about this moment — and I suspect many of you are. The problem is that, right now, out of the gate, the people who are doing the creating are tech types or, surely, giant media corporations. There is no venue where the solo author who knows how to write for young readers can get into the game, can experiment, can work with tech types to marry one skill set with another. So that leaves us feeling both anxious (are we going to be left out?) and thwarted (boy I’d love to create something in this new world, but how? where do I start?) I’m looking for that smart businessperson who creates little think tanks were teachers, librarians, authors, and tech types can play together and build the future — are you out there?