When you stop learning you may not die, but you do stop living…or, stated another way thanks to a once-popular song, “Life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone.” Learning is, for many people, the thrill of life. It keeps old people young, and it turns eager young learners into creative, productive, and “lively” adults.
Sadly for young people, the outdated textbook approach to learning is just not cutting it anymore. It’s BOR-ING!
With TV, videos, 3D games, texting, mobile phones, YouTube, and Facebook available, opening up a big old text book with static photos, mountains of words, deadly graphs, and one-way messaging seems like entering an oppressive child labor camp. It’s just not thrilling; in fact, it’s a turnoff.
And what about adults? Magazines are our textbooks. We turn to our favorite magazine to find out what’s new in the world, especially the worlds that most interest us. Are magazines flourishing? Are they as thrilling as they once were? Some are, but for most people they simply aren’t. Magazines haven’t kept pace with the Internet and all the various mediums I listed above that vie for our attention just like they do for our young people.
The fast-forward technology of the iPad is ushering in both a revolutionary approach to magazines and a simple way to breath the life back into learning.
What would a living magazine or a living textbook look like? Wired magazine gives you a firsthand look, using a video demonstration that shows you how its magazine will look once in the new digital format is finished. Wired is working with Adobe to make its print magazine “come alive” with click-on short films, 360° spin-around graphics, and the ability to dig deep or skim the surface of each article—all with the touch screen magic of the iPad. You really should click here to see what Wired is developing. The magazine says it, and I believe it; it will revolutionize the magazine industry.
Welcome to the Living Textbook.
Once you see what can be done to bring a magazine to life, it’s easy to imagine how that same approach will turn textbooks into wonderful, amazing interactive learning devices that have all the “wow factor” of the iPad. Imagine a textbook that comes alive with video, images, and interactivity. Imagine something that keeps up with you as you grow through life, because it is growing too.
It’s a fact; by the time a published textbook hits a student’s desk, many times the information is already dated. With a living textbook, anytime something new happens it can be updated with new material, lectures, and demonstrations from around the world. New information and new links can take you down amazing rabbit holes or lead you directly to the answer you’re looking for.
If that sounds exiting, imagine how much more inviting learning will become when textbooks are alive, constantly grabbing your attention, responding to your touch, and anticipating your learning needs even before you know what they are.
By the way, these textbooks are already becoming available, more all the time. Leading textbook publishers have made arrangements with ScrollMotion to bring interactive, multimedia-friendly textbooks to the iPad. If you click here, you can see another great example of how the future is already upon us. It’s a demonstration of how newer, more interactive learning is being promoted on something called enTourage eDGe. It’s a handy device that turns an e-reader into a total media tool.
In our work here with The Food Channel® and CultureWaves®, we’re combining the ever-changing “living” information we’re gathering daily with a recipe database that can be personalized and added to over the years—and we’re turning the results into a living textbook on food and cooking. It’s new publishing at its best: active, demonstrable with video, and highly social with the ability to take feedback and respond in real time. Yes, even cookbooks are coming alive, and that, hopefully, means our next generation will learn to cook.
That’s it, from the edge of the world,