A colleague and I were visiting about the need for print reference resources, when the subject of print atlases came up. "Do we really need them?" I asked. "We have easy access to GoogleMaps. GPS in our phones and cars. A million maps online. Aren't paper maps and the ability to use them sort of an anachronism?"
"Oh, but I just love print maps!" she lamented.
And so do I. I have always loved maps. I own atlases. I have old maps framed and hung on my walls at home. I stop at the welcome center each time I enter a state to get its latest highway map. But I also recognize that I may be the last generation who so loves print maps.
And print books. And turning off one's cellphone now and then - and prefering talking to texting. And using a keyboard. And having a desktop computer. And getting a newspaper delivered to my door each morning. And enjoying with my grandchildren picture books that don't always sing and dance. And attending F2F conferences and meetings and inservices. And hanging on to a host of analog things that are now digital.
I constantly ask myself if a change - print maps to digital maps and GPS - is truly negative or if it is just uncomfortable to me as someone who grew up analog, now being shoe horned into a digital world.
My sense is that a knee-jerk reaction either approving or rejecting a digital way of doing something is dangerous - and that any new medium will have both its benefits and its weaknesses which may not be known for years. But I am inclined to try the new and especially to accept that the new for me is the de facto experience for our students.
Here there be dragons, indeed.