Thursday, March 4, 2021

Old People's Tech

I'm covering an English class long-term for a teacher who is out on maternity leave. The eleventh graders are reading The Great Gatsby

On Tuesday/Wednesday, it was time to start chapter 1. But, I did not have a copy of the book. I asked the other teachers, and they did not have a PDF for the book to use for the classes. 

(The students can check out a physical copy of the book from the campus library, but that means they have to go to the campus, and as we're doing the distance learning thing, most aren't getting down to campus to do that. Mostly, the teachers are putting copies of the materials needed online.) 

This was when it occurred to me I had heard that The Great Gatsby had entered the public domain in January. I wondered if it was up on Project Gutenberg

If you have not heard of Project Gutenberg, it's...

...a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, as well as to "encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks." It was founded in 1971 by American writer Michael S. Hart and is the oldest digital library.

(That's via Wikipedia.)

It was. So, I downloaded a copy and uploaded that and the links to the students' Google Classroom.

On Thursday/Friday I explained where the copy of the book came from. Just so they'd know. 

I uploaded three things: the PDF, the html version, and a link to Gatsby's page. The reason for the third is because from that page, one can download an EPUB or Kindle version of the text that can be sideloaded to any ereader.

As I explained the third link, I asked the class if any of them had an ereader. Crickets. I explained what an ereader was. 

I got a few nos. Then one student chimed in with, "My grandma has one of those." 

Gee. Thanks for sharing. 

And here, I thought the kiddos liked ereaders. Consider me educated. 

16 comments:

  1. Technology moves at a frightening pace these days. I just keep trying to hang on for the ride. That project is amazing. It reminds me of the movie "Book of Eli". Denzel Washington is awesome as usual. :) Take care!

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    1. You can get all sorts of books that are in the public domain there. FYI.

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  2. Oh, come on ... I like my Kindle. Better battery life than my iPad, and I can actually read a book outside in the sunshine.

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    1. Surprisingly, I find the kiddos prefer physical books. Weird, I know.

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  3. Well, they have all that on their phones now. No need for ereaders.

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  4. I guess they all use a Kindle app, or something similar, for their phone. I never thought of Kindles as ancient technology. Wow.

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    Replies
    1. They can, but they don't. Most actually prefer physical books.

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  5. "My grandma has one of those." hahahahahahhaha

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  6. My grandma has one too! ;)

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  7. I think because picture books and early readers don't really translate to e-readers, kids are used to physical books. It's only as they move to adult books they seem to move more to e-readers. Although I think it is still not as big an uptake as those of us on the flipside of life ;)

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  8. Well, it's even better if they prefer paper books!

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