Magazines are iPads That Don’t Work

Watch the video below and let me know how you feel after watching it, but for the purposes of discussion, remember two things first. One, to avoid any pro- or anti-Apple bias, ignore the fact that it’s an Apple iPad and assume that it’s just a generic tablet. Two, take what the video shows at face value as one could easily make a case that some of the actions with the magazines are normal behaviour and don’t show anything special.

Add your comments below. I’ll chip in later.

5 thoughts on “Magazines are iPads That Don’t Work

  1. Wait. The child knows how the tablet works? They know that if you touch it, something happens. The same would be true of a Spin and Say or a rattle or one of those toy cell phones that makes music when you press the buttons. The child knows the same amount about how the magazine works. You can see them shuffle through the pages. The baby can’t read the text on either the tablet or in the magazine. Again, shiny object making motion. They would have as much fun with a aluminum pan full of water. (Just a lot messier). I don’t want to take anything away from the tablet, but I don’t think we should read thing in there that aren’t there. Now, if you only give the child a tablet between now and first grade, that’s another issue, as the child will slowly begin to understand what the implications are of the device. And yes, I agree that the tablet will slowly fade while print survives. No batteries ever required. No DRM.

  2. The problem that I have is that the child appears (and I emphasise “appears”) to know more about how a tablet works than how paper works, and I was really quite saddened at that. One might reasonably argue that the tablet represents the pinnacle of human achievement and combined with the Internet provides unparalleled access to information However, if I was to bet on what will still be around in 50 years time, handwriting and paper would be pretty high on the list. The tablet wouldn’t feature because the technology will have changed it into something else.
    Now, I’m not saying that it’s bad for the child to learn about tablets but I’d expect to give the child the fundamentals, i.e. paper, and move on to advanced topics i.e. the tablet, later.
    Just my 2p…

  3. Andrew, I think the tablet. Not sure the kid needs to be thumbing through Vogue. ;-) But seriously, responsive items are always good. I mean, you’d give a child a squeeze toy with a bell before you’d give them a wooden plank, right? At the same time, both the magazine and the tablet do give feedback, just different types. The child can even crunch up the pages of the magazine. Different experience.

  4. Clinton, I don’t disagree with you that the child is merely responding to a stimulus. However, which stimulus do you think is most appropriate for a child of that age? Tablet or paper?

  5. All this is showing me is that a child reacts to stimuli unaware of any other factors. Perhaps the baby is making the connection that an ipad does this, so he/she assumes something else wil do that, too. Nope. Just like a real bear won’t give you a gentle hug if you try to cuddle it (but a stuffed one will). Or an actual train will not go if you just push it. A goldfish snack tastes good, but you should not try to eat a real goldfish. A tablet does what a tablet does and a print piece does what a print piece does.

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