Rethinking Reading | “Do you read me?”

Before we begin this post, an urgent note for those of you who are into comics – Halftone 2 is the App Store’s App of the Week. If you haven’t gotten this app yet, now is a good time to get into it!

Which brings us to today’s topic – Reading! Following on the theme of Divergent Thinking in a Convergent World, today we tackle ‘reading’. I mean, we read books, read comics, read a chart, but do we read a painting? As media converges, what will reading look like in the future? How can we prepare today’s learners to cope with its evolution?

“Do you read me?” – funnily enough this is radio talk… You can read about its history and significance here. Reading applies to more than just words and books. It can mean many things. So, why when we mention reading we automatically revert to the idea of reading a book and little else?

As the world of reading converges because of multimedia, innovative ways to communicate and sub-culturalism, a lateral approach to reading is required. Are our learners being educated to embrace and wrestle with this?

Reading will become more interactive and lateral

Instead of just reading words and sentences, the future of reading will become more lateral. iBooks and interactive books for example now present information in new ways. Learners will now need to ‘read’ not just literal words but also graphics, colors and ‘actions’. Pictograms and other graphical elements become the new universal language. Information can be presented multi-dimensional and layered – meaning, like an onion, information can be layered and you can take a different perspective as you digest and analyze information and go in different directions. And (scary thought for some), reading becomes non-linear. Like websites, pages don’t have to flow in a straight fashion anymore. You can have multiple sources of information AND choose to multi-read at the same time! Have you heard of De Bono’s 6 Thinking Hats?

Some examples that stretch the idea of reading include

Reading will become more nuanced

Apart from media and new delivery methods, reading will also become more nuanced and personalised. One of the biggest trends in education today is personalized learning. Educators are beginning to see the inadequacy of ‘batched learning and teaching.’ Learners do not conform by age, demographics or psychographics. Because every individual is unique, his/her personal combination of nature and nurture will present a huge challenge for any system that reduces learning into a fixed, rigid and narrowed curriculum. Learning will become more outcome based, with building blocks that can be mixed and matched into countless combinations to suit the personal learning preference of each individual learner so he/she can each learn more effectively. Hence, reading becomes nuanced – while some learners ‘read’ books, others ‘read’ by listening to audiobooks, and others ‘read’ by playing a game. What is important is that learners understand there is no right or wrong way to read, just ways that are more effective than others depending on the goals and the media involved as they comprehend and engage with their world.

Some ideas to think about include

Writing and reading are obviously intricately related to one another. We sometimes take reading for granted because when the writing is done well, it just flows. That’s one of the reasons why I like movie scripts so much. They are writing that need to read well enough to be translated into a visual narrative that engages the audience and make them see, hear and feel the story. Wow, that’s one sentence that helps us see how many things converge when we talk about writing and reading!

Now, all we have to do is bottle that thought and take reading to the next level. Do you read me?

PS : Here’s a link to an article about how challenging it is to create something that reads well… Enjoy!

Habit #2 : Meditate | Contemplate

Moving onto habit #2 – Meditate | Contemplate...

Now that we’ve tackled the habit to make more time, let’s put the time to productive use – praying!

There are many apps and resources out there to help you in your prayer / meditation / contemplation pursuits. You can find them easily by searching with keywords in the iTunes App Store, iTunes U and Podcasts apps on your iPhone or iPad. Once you download or subscribed to these apps or channels, you’ve got a steady stream of resources of apps and media to keep you going.

For example, do an app search in the iTunes app store and you get a whole catalog of apps you can try out and see if they might help you to keep that new habit (see below).

Screenshot_prayerapps

As you meditate and contemplate, you might need some tools. Journals, diaries and notebooks are available for almost any kind of preferences – if you like typing, writing, scribbling, sketching, even audio recording, or all types at the same time!

Just to make it easier, if you’re into writing and scribbling, try these apps

1. Paper
2. Penultimate
3. Noteshelf
4. Bamboo Paper
5. My Bic Notes

If you’re into diaries and typed entries, try

1. Day One
2. Awesome Note
3. Evernote
4. Daily Notes
5. Notestab

For those of you who are more ‘creative’ and long for combinations of writing, scribbling and even videos, consider

1. Noteledge
2. Mental Note
3. Moleskine
4. Online services and app such as WordPress
5. Magical Pad

Lastly, when praying and meditating, we sometimes need the right ambience. These apps and resources can help you get into the mood…

Screenshot_gregorian

1. In your iTunes music on your laptop, you’ve got access to internet radio (Gregorian Chants in Classics is one of my fave channels – see pic above)
2. If you want access to internet radio on your iOS device, try Tunein Radio
3. Apps like Bloom, Naturespace and Relax Melodies can help with natural, ambient sounds
4. If you need to do something to do with your fingers while you meditate, try Bloom in ‘creative mode’ and Koi Pond
5. If you’re the intellectual kind that needs something to reflect on while you pray, try Rhema, Gratitude Diary or Gratitude Journal.

Hope this exhaustive list of apps will keep the momentum going for you. As a sign off, here’s a video to set the tone (while we’re on the subject of ‘Gratitude’ – awesome video)