According to the online map service, the auto trip from Grand Forks to San Diego takes 30 hours (each way). I am guessing this depends on who is driving. My wife was doing 80 somewhere in Utah and this was legal. I was targeting a higher MPG and we might still be on the road if I drove a higher proportion of the time.
Anyway 60 hours gives you lots of time. We have a mifi and electrical plugins. The passenger has quite a few options. It gets more complicated when attention has to be shared between driving and anything else.
We pretty much exhausted our podcasts by somewhere in Nebraska. TWIT Live worked, but that was just stealing content we could have listened to on the drive back. I enjoy audio books – my wife not so much. However as the hours go on your tolerance changes and we spent half a dozen hours or so listening to Bauerlein’s “The Digital Divide”. This would not be a choice for most couples, but we have some unique common interests.
Listening to this book in large chunks (I tend to listen to books while at the gym or before sleeping under normal circumstances) gave me two ideas for posts. I decide to offer both here.
Observation 1 – a compendium on tech will be significantly dated
The concept of this book is very cool and in keeping with one core idea from the book. (BTW – the title of the book is misleading from my perspective. Digital divide implies an equity issue to me and the book has multiple foci with what I consider equity issues a minor focus). What I like about the book is the effort to offer diverse perspectives on a topic avoiding the problem of reading what we want to hear. You should find things that support and argue against your personal believes. Piaget understood these competing processes as the basis for learning. The problem of thinking we are educating ourselves by reading more of what we already believe is a Bauerlein theme.
However, attempting to provide a broad perspective by reprinting 5 year old articles in the tech area makes the authors look disconnected from reality. Much of what experts thought 5 years ago turned out to be wrong and if you are not tuned into the date issue your impressions of the content often work against applying the expert label to the author. Kind of amusing in a way.
I think the book was assembled “on the cheap” probably because getting authorities to author new content would have been a difficult sell to the authors. I had probably read 1/3 of the material already – years ago. It was stimulating stuff – then.
I do like the concept of being open to different perspectives and attempting to offer this opportunity to learners.
Observation 2 – learning vs. exploring by listening and reading
I process some professional books in digital format. Some of this content I purchase from Audible and some from Amazon. I have approximately 114 audio books and probably 40 ebooks at present. I have been an Audible member far longer. Reading/listening has resulted in some personal impressions on the advantages and disadvantages of each experience. I offer these impressions because I think they are relevant to others who advocate the use of audio/video over print ebooks and have not invested hundreds/thousands of hours in either.
I have decided the print experience is more useful for learning. I find audio to be too slow and too passive for real work. I use the format as a convenience or a way to pass time. If I were to attempt to really learn from this format it would be too slow. I am not certain what the actual WPM of audio vs. reading is, but it must be a multiple of 2-3 at least. If I really had to learn from the audio, I would have to sit and listen carefully. Far too slow. There is also the issue of control. When I read and become distracted, the words do not keep moving such that I miss things. With audio, the disconnected narrator just keeps going.
There is an overlap between my audio and “print” collection of books because when I listen to a book I think is really useful I have to purchase the print version to consider more carefully (but quickly). I see no way to address the issues of personal control and speed in a streaming format.