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Ways We Learn

 

It’s that time of year again, time to buy a notebook, pencil, folder, backpack and new clothes. Yes, it’s back to school time. Do some of the things in that list seem outdated? Couldn’t that list now be shortened to a laptop or an iPad and call it done? Ok, so probably Kindergarten through at least 4th grade probably still needs paper & pencil but those of us in higher education have moved on.

As a college professor I’m always impressed by the amount of laptops and iPads (or other tablet type devices) that show up in my classroom. Even smart phones are used for recording or taking notes.

More & more people, of all ages, are getting on-board the technology train. Colleges use programs for students to turn in their papers on-line, check their grades, even take tests using signal remotes in the classroom. Even better news is that the textbooks are catching up with the craze.

More & more people, of all ages, are getting on-board the technology train.

Now you can get a CD/DVD/download code with most textbooks for interactive materials. We are not only teaching our students math, english, and anthropology we are also teaching them to use technology in their every day lives.

Apple has a textbook category now in iBooks and I have to admit, I’ve downloaded a couple just for fun. Yes, I said I paid (a very small fee) to get a textbook in a subject that I am not taking nor teaching. So far I’m loving Astronomy and Earth Sciences.

Brian & I have written books in the past, traditional books, with pages you actually have to turn. When we decided to write How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad we knew we wanted to make it an eBook and we knew we wanted it to be cool. In the traditional books, I always write (in my opinion) fun chapter reviews. This way the book can be used in schools but also by yourself with a way to test or re-enforce what you’ve learned. I, of course, planned to do this with How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad.

Even if I do say so myself, the reviews in the newest book are WAY cool. They give you so many more options and ways to learn. You may not know much about the field of pedagogy (the art & science of teaching) but there is a lot of interesting ideas out there. One of my favorites is the idea that if you read something, then write it down, then try to teach it to someone else you will remember it long term. In How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad we hope you read the chapters, do the projects (our version of writing it down) then try to teach it to someone else or at least post it on FB or a forum and talk about it with others. If you do all these things you are very likely to actually learn something!

Apple has a textbook category now in iBooks and I have to admit, I’ve downloaded a couple just for fun.

There is another famous idea of learning called Multiple Intelligences (by Dr. Howard Gardner.) This states that there are eight primary ways people learn. You might be good at a couple of them but one will absolutely click with you and more than likely, one will not work at all. They are things like Visual-Spatial, Logical, Linguistic, Kinesthetic, Interpersonal… get the idea. It’s actually a really interesting idea but there is some controversy now that we are pushing our students into the visual & kinesthetic areas (you can probably see why.)

I always try to keep Multiple Intelligences in mind, even in my college classes. With How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad we hit on many of these simply by the way it’s written. But we’ve been able to add in extras that will appeal to other learning styles. In each chapter I’ve given a written “assignment” to practice what you’ve learned. Some of these are simply revisiting a technique, others tell you to get out of your chair and actually do something outside. The other thing that each chapter has is a pop-quiz. These are sometimes based on pictures, sometimes based on words, and sometimes a combination of both. Again, the idea is to appeal to a variety of learners so that a variety of people can be successful.

There is another great benefit to using an eBook that we discovered. It allows you to take notes and highlight as you go along. If you are a person who falls into the visual category you might like to highlight important things so they catch your eye later. With a simple tap and drag you can do that in How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad. If you are more of a linguistic type of person, you may choose to make a note in the margin, so to speak. Again, with a simple tap you can write & save a note for later. It will also keep track of your notes for you, so you don’t forget you have them.

Not only do you save a few trees but you get to learn in a new and exciting way.

I really do think this technology is the way of the future. I encourage my students to get the downloadable copy of their textbooks all the time. Not only do you save a few trees but you get to learn in a new, and hopefully, exciting way.

I hope you get a chance to play with How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad regardless of your artistic ability. With the step-by-step tutorials, videos, and reviews you will learn almost without realizing it and have fun doing it.

How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad

Available from the iBookstore

 

 

Learn about Saturation and Brightness while reading the book...

...then answer interactive questions about Saturation and Brightness in the review section.

Check your scores and try again or move to the next chapter.

Learn about Light and Shadow in the chapter that covers rendering...

...interactive questions test your knowledge of Light and Shadow in the review section.

Use what you learn about Light and Shadow to enhance your paintings.

You can highlight important text and even add notes.

Even turn your highlighted text and notes into study cards.