Beyond the e-textbook

Just came back from a conference presentation at the Campus Technology Forum in Long Beach, CA. Lisa Lewis, Aaron Miller, and I argued that current models for mobile learning and e-books are not well-suited to the liberal arts classroom. We previewed work we’ve done that tries to fix some of the problems we see in emerging mobile applications. Here’s our Prezi:

As I mentioned during the conference, large parts of my project are an attempt to do, in mobile form, what paper and pencil always did quite well. The trouble is that my students are not writing in their books as they used to, and in some cases they aren’t bringing the books to class. I think this is a change in reading habits that may get worse as more people move to an e-book format. Another problem is that poetry is typically carefully formatted for things like size and line breaks, all of which carry meaning, while e-books are generally built around an adjustable model. This is more suited to trade publications than to poetry or even to more serious fiction.

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