WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

iLearning on an iPad

Opinion

February 2014

Fr Kevin Neal

You are looking at the proud owner of an iPad – me and a zillion others as it turns out. Those who haven’t bought iPads seem to have bought the Android equivalent. I’m told these machines are convenient and incredibly powerful once you get the hang of them.

I bought mine with one purpose – to read library books. Reading books on computer is becoming more common so I’ve taken the plunge and joined the throng. They are known in the trade as eBooks. It won’t be long, I suspect, before the bulk of reading will be eReading.

I find it quite painful reading instruction books nowadays so the folks at the library are helping me through. The first book they really helped me in a big way and the second less so but the librarian looked over my shoulder and guided me a few more times. There will be a few more helps like that before I can master it.

For the person who used to point people in the right direction, to find himself being guided would be a bit of a blow if he stopped and thought about it, but accepting help brings so much practical assistance. The simple solution is to look a bit further up the road without thinking about it too much. The result is that there are many good books to read and I’m going to find them.

The membership of my local library covers the joining fee of the ‘eLibrary’ and I have the same rights and privileges as I’ve always had. The only difference is that the book is on screen – I don’t have to go to the library and take it away. The eBook stays on my computer for two weeks after which I have to renew it.

One advantage of the eBook is that I can increase the font size to make the print more easily read – for someone with failing eyesight, this would be a huge attraction – and it is always easy to carry around.

Apart from reading ebooks from the library, I can catch up on the news. I have several newscasts at my fingertips and of course, I can keep track of footy results.

I announced at the library that I was nearly ready to figure it all out on my own, but the librarian looked up at me and said pleadingly, ‘Don’t do that, your learning has meant that half a dozen of us on the staff have to really take eReading seriously. If you hadn’t come in, it wouldn’t have happened.’

Apart from eReading and the news, there are a great many other things that can be done on my mini computer, but I’m a bit slow on the uptake right now – oiLne small step at a time.