Launched in 2010, Flipboard steadily has increased in popularity due to the appealing use of multimedia learning principles combined with a personalized “social news network” (Greenlee, 2020). Flipboard is a unique way for a learner to read news stories generated from a direct learner’s input. The polished, magazine-style layout adapts physical interaction with a traditional printed magazine to modern digital communication tools (Greenlee, 2020). Touch-screen technology has exposed learners with a generalized knowledge of digital interaction, using gestures to generate a common visual effect as a non-digitized magazine. Graphic and layout design is a primary focus of printed material; Flipboard includes the same visually appealing content structure.
I have used various news outlet applications as well as newsfeed applications before Flipboard. Flipboard’s approach to personalizing headlines allows content to be automatically categorized into “magazines” based on the user’s interest discovery questionnaire. What makes this approach stand out from other news or social outlets is how simple it is to categorize knowledge priorities. Individualizing the content to the learner’s preferences keeps users engaged and motivated to take an additional tap of the screen to further knowledge exploration. The non-linear navigation gives the learner control over their learning. Flipboard also incorporates social learning environmental elements, such as hashtags and user feeds, to custom tailor the learning experience (Wilson, 2014). Information is provided by credible anchor news outlets, validating the source of the presented knowledge (Wilson, 2014). The only contrary conclusions I have experienced with the application is rooted in the knowledge source. News outlets such as The New York Times, and The Washington Post, require premium subscriptions to read the article. This could quickly be addressed in the learner’s magazine preferences offering a hide “subscription needed” articles. The second conclusion is there are not enough local news articles displayed in the magazines due to the companies’ current news feed GPS algorithms and low connections with localized media outlets.
The coherence principle, from Mayers principles to reduce cognitive load, is applied throughout the entire application. All of the articles are directly related to the learner’s preference and control. I think a more basic example of the coherence principle is the “magazine” feature image. Unlike most news, RSS feeds, Flipboard highlights their commitment to making digitized news interactions similar to if it is in print. There are no share icons on the feature image, eliminating out any other visuals not needed. Learners who are not social networking savvy may not need the icons at all, and ones that do wouldn’t likely share the article without further exploration of the content where share options are available.
Flipboard has integrated into education as a learning tool since its conception. The foundation, an RSS aggregation, learning can be custom-tailored to fit many different educational environments. Flipboard has magazines set up from excellent sources to engage young learners. Magazines such as National Geographic Kids, The Kid Should See This, Parents Magazine, and Simple Kids Craft, use videos and pictures to highlight knowledge (Flipboard, 2015). The startup preference settings allow user control, which can promote self-awareness (LearningWorks, 2015). Self-awareness in young learners inside Flipboard can collaborate learning through social learning networks. This will help young learners develop an identity and opinion while acknowledging other people’s varied perspectives (LearningWorks, 2015). The integrated social connection aid in learners with disabilities such as autism and ADHD (LearningWorks, 2015; Simpson, 2016). The feature most educators use in what is known as “Flipboard Classroom”. Learners are encouraged to build their magazine as an archival method for learning resources and or course work (Flipboard, 2015; LearningWorks, 2015). Teachers can add articles to their magazine and share it with the students where ever they are through mobile learning.
A similar application to Flipboard that addresses the local news stories is called News Break. Founded in Silicon Valley in 2015, News Break possesses twenty-three million monthly users with a growing network of over ten thousand local and global content providers (Liao, 2020). News Break is an aggregation service, pulling content from more credible news sources, including CBS News, the AP, CNN, ABC, and NBC (Jansen, 2020). The interaction in the application is not as polished, like in Flipboard. The familiarity of interaction with a printed article is not as prevalent. The experience “feels” digital to the learner. Learners with a high level of prior knowledge, and motivation towards a self-directed learning experience do not require an abundance of multimedia interaction. The knowledge presented, in this case, the local news offerings, can out way the visual interaction.
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Greenlee, M. (2020, May 29). ‘What is Flipboard?’: How the social news app and its digital features keep you informed. Business Insider. https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-flipboard-app
Jansen, M. (2020, August 3). The best news apps for Android and Ios. Digital Trends. https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/best-news-apps/
LearningWorks. (2015, June 9). Flipboard. LearningWorks for Kids. https://learningworksforkids.com/apps/flipboard/
Liao, R. (2020, May 27). Meet news break, the news app trending in America founded by a Chinese media veteran – TechCrunch. TechCrunch. https://techcrunch.com/2020/05/27/meet-news-break-the-news-app-trending-in-america-founded-by-a-chinese-media-veteran/
Simpson, M. C. (2016, May 24). Flipboard for the Homeschooler. Medium. https://medium.com/@msimpson63/flipboard-for-the-homeschooler-24bd842be90a
Wilson, J. L. (2014, November 6). Flipboard (for Android) review. PCMAG. https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/flipboard-for-android