Friday, June 10, 2011

Library Mobile > 6 > Configuring The 'Future Textbook'

The Sixth >  New Column > Configuring The 'Future Textbook', Searcher v. 19 no. 4 (May 2011) p. 43-47.

In late May 2006, more than 50 educators and publishers, representing a wide range of specialties, gathered at the National Academy of Sciences, in Washington, D.C., to participate in a 3-day National Science Foundation-funded workshop titled "Reconsidering the Textbook."

Through small- and large-group discussions, the attendees "examined the current state of the textbook and its relationship to the growing number of electronic tools that also serve as learning resources for today's students" and sought to envision the textbook of the future.

At the conclusion of the workshop there was general consensus that:

[T]he textbook of the future will be more than a static printed  volume. ... It will function as a guide, interweaving and coordinating a variety of different learning resources including animations, simulations, and interactive exercises. ... [It will] be easily searchable, and thus would be learner accessible with a flexible electronic interface.

The group envisioned the "Future Textbook" - whether printed or electronic - as "the organizing hub of an  integrated learning environment [that would] become increasingly adaptable, customizable, and responsive." They imagined it as a "Web-linked travel guide" that was modular by design, thus allowing an instructor to configure content to suit the goals of a particular course as well as the specific needs of individual students. In this view, access to networked resources would strongly promote higher-level thinking. The group also agreed that the Future Textbook would be integrated with course management systems.


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