Given that Barak Obama’s presidential success was at least partly due to the power of the social networking campaign it was surprising to read a report that apparently he doesn’t know how to operate an iPhone or an iPad. What’s more worrying though is his lack of understanding of the potential use of mobile technologies in education. In a recent speech at Hampton University he even delivered an ‘e-leaning is bad for you’ message to graduates, claiming that when using such tools:
“information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than a means of emancipation.”
However, despite the negative presentation, probably without realising it, what he is actually prompting is the need for more thought about and research into the nature of education in a digital age. How, as I’ve suggested before, we come to terms with a proliferation of ‘information snacks’ to achieve a balanced diet in which we know when to go online and when to use more traditional methods of learning.
Meanwhile in an age where so many artists have rejected digital media it’s good to see David Hockney embracing it and exploring its impact on the process of creating art:
“What is also unique is that with the iPad you can actually watch a playback of your drawing. I have never watched myself actually drawing before”.