Dr Tony Bates thinks that educational ‘books’ in the future will be nothing like the Gutenberg model. He says
* Imagine a personal learning environment with the instructor and learners selecting multimedia resources, and with internal software tools that allows different ways to combine and analyse content.
* Imagine for instance a physiology text book with basic anatomy linked to videos explaining organ or other ‘area’ functions, the consequence of drug or other ‘invasions’ of the body or organ function, etc.
* Or an economics text, with areas for social discussion in the light of current events, linked to an archived history of applications or failures of an economic theory in the past, that can be added to or removed through interaction with the readers.
* Or a book on the management of e-learning, that allows readers to upload their own scenarios for discussion and content, with the authors responding
What do you think the textbook of the future will look like?
In August 2009, this slide was posted on Scott McLeod's blog, Dangerously Irrelevant. Definitely provocative!
I agree. The challenge is that the definition of "traditional methods" shifts as you cross worldview boundaries. Thirty years ago, my father told me that an "educated person" is someone who "knows where to go to get the information he or she needs." Of course, he was thinking of that prized, 20-kilo atlas supporting a stack of equally thick tomes. As you point out, the more fundamental question is "What information do I need?" There is a proper time and place to teach someone how to navigate an atlas or a smart phone. Knowing what to do with the information they will encounter has always been the educator's fundamental task.
Rob Griffith said:
Technology allows students to find any facts they want. They can research to a depth that we never could twenty years ago. Are we setting them up to miss the "big picture" ? I have an ongoing argument/discussion with a colleague about the use of technology in our school. I believe that students still need to learn a common body of concepts and facts that can best be learned through traditional methods (wall maps etc..). This common body of knowledge is the "jumping off point: for the technology enhanced deeper learning. I will keep my maps...and technology.