The Future of Textbooks
The Textbook, one of the great "social innovations" which changed the entire educatioin field. As Drucker says it made possible for ordinary teachers to teach high quality courses to many students which was previously only possible for great teachers.
This is what Clayton Christenson would call a disruptive innovation.
However the rapid change we are experiencing in the world has made the "old textbooks" obselete. That is one of the reasons for the CMP course I have one textbook, one study guide with a set of readings from journals and chapters from various books, 2 major references and 20 other references and 5-8 videos! That's a lot of stuff to read and even borrow from the library.
In a way there is not much a good Prof can do if he wants to provide the required study material to his students. How can he create his own textbook? Or Can he?
Welcome to the future of textbook : SafariU
The O'Rielly newsletter brings to me this great new innovation.
Technology's impact on education shouldn't be limited to state-of-the-artlabs, wireless networks, and dare I say, iPods. Innovations can improveteaching tools as mundane as the college textbook. This is an area thatO'Reilly's been exploring for some time now.
A project called SafariU enables college instructors to assemble textbookschoosing sections and chapters from thousands of books and articles. Thebooks are created online via an easy-to-use web interface, then printedand shipped directly to the instructor or the university's bookstore.
Check out the interview with Jon Preston is Interim Chair of the Department of Information Technology at Clayton College and State University who is using SafariU successfully in his course. Unfortunately this service is only limited to O'Rielly publications which are mostly concentrated on IT and Computer Science.