Bling it up for education

(This is the fourth post in a series on the publishing industry’s new product categories.) One industry gambit these days is to annotate a literary classic with videos and audio and all sorts of interactive content before foisting a cacophony of celebrity videos on unsuspecting students—who are wholly undeserving of the torture, annoying as they can be. The theory is that these apps are the natural progression from those hefty annotated versions of Shakespeare’s crap and other similar monstrosities that are used in education.

Computers are too difficult and people are computer illiterate

There are quite a few things that prevent people from learning and acquiring new skills. This isn’t a bad thing since what many of these ‘blockers’ have in common is that they tend to help us in unfamiliar environments and new problems. Some of these ingrained heuristics are biological (i.e. infants begin to exhibit them early). Some of them are cultural. We have an internal built in physics model that helps us interact with the world around us.