But if the projected audience is to be “everyone,” is it possible to make the Dynabook generally useful, or will it collapse under the weight of trying to be too many different tools for too many people? The total range of possible users is so great that any attempt to specifically anticipate their needs in the design of the Dynabook would end in a disastrous feature-laden hodgepodge which would not be really suitable for anyone. (pp. 12-13)
Ok, this is a little tangential but I had a hard time finding anything explicitly about parenting on Personal Dynamic Media. With a little help and imagination, however, I believe I can connect the nugget above to my Inquiry Project. As I’m sure my thousands of readers know, I have been contrasting different findings about parenting online spaces here on the blog. So far, it seems to me that the Internet (and blogs and social media) are “generally useful” for parents seeking advice, support and information, as I discussed here and here. However, some aspects of the “different tools” (specifically, Facebook and help forums) being used by parents online can lead to false information and even psychological distress.
Does that mean parents should steer clear of the Internet and only look for tips and advice from real people? No. The accumulated knowledge readily available on the web should not be overlooked or dismissed, and I am sure the majority of parents finds good help online – even if the help is a “like” on Facebook. Alas, not “all happy families are alike“, meaning that some kinds of advice found online will be helpful for some, but not all, parents. To paraphrase Goldberg and Kay, it’s impossible for parents to anticipate what they will need and/or find useful on the web, so when navigating online it’s crucial they use critical thinking and don’t believe everything that they read (or watch).