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September 1999, Week 2


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Peter Warren <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 14 Sep 1999 17:22:08 -0400
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In response to your query on electronics versus paper, I worked in the
banking industry for 50 years and it always surprised me that with the
advent of computers the volume of paper increased significantly. Whatever
happened to the so called paperless office? Maybe your students understand
the many benefits and convenience of paper over computer screens. You can
read it just about anywhere - in bed, in the bath, on the bus, on the
toilet, eating at McDonalds, you name it. Don't overlook the portability of
paper and the ability to write on it. Perhaps there's an atavistic, tactile
need for paper in us all. Also, it's a fairly inexpensive medium.  Why
don't you print out your computer screens and provide your students with
paper copies, if that's what they want?
You may receive faster feedback, too.
Peter Warren.

> From: Gregory Smith <[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Electronic Textbooks:  Yea or Nay?
> Date: Monday, September 13, 1999 9:01 AM
> Like many of you, I have grown increasingly dissatisfied with the print
textbooks which are available for teaching an introductory media analysis
course.  For me the difficulty is trying to find a balance between those
books which emphasize formal strategies (genre, mise-en-scene, authors) and
those which open up broader social questions (ideology, etc.).
> Last year I decided to take the plunge and try to "roll my own" by
creating a web-based text for my intro course.  The experiment was rocky at
times as I was desperately trying to throw content up on the web, staying
just a step ahead of my students' reading (surfing?).
> The reaction that surprised me the most was the frustration my students
expressed with being unable to "highlight" the "book."  This instinct seems
to be deeply ingrained in my students.  They seem to feel that reading
without highlighting just doesn't stick in their minds.  I discovered that
many students were bypassing the web, that someone was printing up copies
of the website and then photocopying them so that the students could then
hold a copy of the "text" in their hands and underline it.  The ability to
cut and paste text into their own personal electronic notebooks didn't seem
to help things for them.  For study (and particularly for review) purposes,
they seemed comforted to have a paper copy.
> I'd be interested to hear if anyone else has had this experience.  Is
this simply a transitional moment when students still are trying to treat
electronic texts more like paper ones, or is there a more lasting need
which is more difficult to achieve with electronic texts?
> Greg Smith
> Georgia State
> [log in to unmask]
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Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite