Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Production Trumps Consumption

One conundrum in the digital education world is consumption vs. production, according to Inside Higher Ed’s tech blogger Joshua Kim. Consuming content is more convenient on mobile devices, while producing that content is easier on a laptop or desktop computer.

“What this means for education, I think, is that we need to design our content primarily for mobile,” Kim wrote. “Anything that has to do with consumption will occur on a small touchscreen. Our text, presentations, and videos all need to be designed mobile first.”

However, don’t toss the laptop just yet. The keyboard makes the device much more important in the digital world because keyboards on mobile devices are simply too small to be useful. And, to Kim, writing remains at the heart of education.

“After having spent a few weeks with the new $169 iPad Pro Smart Keyboard (the combined case and keyboard), I can tell you that it is not something that you will want to use for any serious writing,” he wrote. “We should be suspicious of any education program that is mobile-only. Mobile-first, sure, but not mobile-only. Any good postsecondary program should stress production over consumption.”

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