After the self-satisfied dust settled, I got to thinking about the usefulness of these apps with elementary-age children.
For instance, how would making a magazine cover digitally be an improvement over the spatial and compositional learning that goes on when one uses a pencil, a ruler, markers or colored pencils, scissors, and one’s eyes? Not to mention the application of perseverance.
The end product on the computer is, of course, hecka slicker, but also more anonymous; lost is the individual touch inherent in a hand-made item. Sad to say, but more children are not getting the opportunities for hands-on creativity (thank you, Prop 13). They are barraged with slick visuals, feel the pressure to make something that “looks cool”, and thus start to prefer a computer’s creation to their own. I also object to the time they would be planted in front of a screen, instead of moving around while working on an actual piece of paper. You know, the classroom workout: getting the supplies, standing up, sitting down, squirming, picking up the dropped pencil, going to the sharpener, etc.
One more thing: once you make the cover, does it actually function as a cover to real work? Can it be “opened” to reveal student-written articles? How does this work?