Monday, January 23, 2012

Apple ibooks


Image by Aaron Shmidt Oct. 28. 2006 Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License

For those who follow this blog, you may remember my post about textbooks in the school and how they currently present more problems than they answer. Textbooks Limit.

I have just watched this video about the Apple ibook textbooks and, I must say it is a great start toward making textbooks better. The updating capacity, the annotating capacity, the interaction with the information and multimedia all make the textbook experience so much better. I especially like the 'self publishing' part where anyone can publish their own 'text' book using materials that help to support the curriculum wherever in the world they are.

After watching the video I have thought of some further development which could be made based on the capacity I saw in the video.

1. Increase access to include an option for sound notes for those students who struggle with typing or writing but still would like to make notes quickly.

2. Include the capacity for the student and teacher to add in local material into the text book material to include video of local events or locations to give examples of what the text is talking about, making the information and learning more personal.

3. Be able to add live feeds and links to events, newsfeeds, primary documents etc to make the learning deeper and richer with more connections.

4. Make the learning more social, it is still essentially a consumer product - how about a discussion link on relevant topics from within the text of viewpoints on issues or even new discoveries or links to new thinking? What do other students across the world think about this topic? A collective textbook (I suppose similar to Wikipedia) where students collaboratively write the text based on their research? Make everyone a possible expert. Widen the classroom and shrink the world.

Have you had a look at the video? What suggestions could you make to make this medium a truly interactive experience for learning?

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