The Read/Write Web: Next Gen Textbooks

I am still trying to figure out what it really means to have three blogs going at the same time … so much of what I want to post, I want to have in each spot. Until I figure it out, you’ll have to understand. Sorry … this is cross posted at blogs@si as well.

I just read a good post over at Weblogg-ed … The Case Against Textbooks and thought I’d share it into this space. The Read/Write Web is a powerful thing and even more powerful when put to work for good instead of evil (that sounded a little over the top don’t you think?). I am thinking of the project we are getting set to do with Dr. Mike McNeese — he calls an eBook … I think its a perfect opportunity to try either the book feature of this system or with a straight up wiki. He wants a way to create a student centered book/textbook related to HCI written by his students — both undergraduate and graduate. I think he originally just wanted an interactive text — interactive in that it was online and had animations. It seems to me that it would be mush more powerful if students could use and grow the thing over time; without a bunch of developers and instructional designers getting in the way.

The way I see it, most of the eLearning stuff we’ve done should be built on the Read/Write Web concept that is starting to emerge. I know we used to call the content for Online IST a living textbook … it was really static though. Even though it is all stored and published out of a databse, there is nothing dynamic about it except for the Flash-based interactions. It just sits there on screen so you can read it. If it were all in a Read/Write mode, students could annotate it, discuss it, contextualize it, and really whatever they wanted. Has some downsides, but I think its worth a little research and experimentation. At any rate, it got me thinking. Any thoughts?

2 Replies to “The Read/Write Web: Next Gen Textbooks”

  1. hey cole…noticed your frustration with multiple blogs. i think a solution is to use the email to blog capability. with this, you can type a email and post it directly to your blog. depending upon your blog set up, you may be able to hit all three with a single email posting.

    the above is a capability to Userland radio/manila, but i would assume other major packages have the ability as well.

    anyway, seems like a viable solution for you. enjoyed your slides from the digital campus talk in MO. keep pushing….we will get there.

  2. That’s a good idea … I’ve been thinking about using a blog client aplication, but there is just something nice about browsing to a page and starting to post … sort of like some built in motivation. Hey, that’s the same thing my students have been saying … sometimes this stuff turns out the way you hope! I appreciate the comments and the feedback. As you know, makes all this worth while. Take it easy and I will investigate the blog to email (BTW, it does work with WordPress) … later–>

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