- Textbook publisher predicts death of “dead tree” books within 3 years.
- Death of the Text Book - and the 50-pound Book Bag
- Facebook Co-founder Chris Hughes: The textbook is dead:
- In the next five to seven years, the textbook is no longer going to be the basic building block of education.
- On a similar note, Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto said he now regards Wikipedia as more accurate than printed textbooks and far less costly for both students and educators. In preparing his GEOSET lectures, Kroto said, he never uses a single textbook.
The traditional printed textbook is cut in stone and defines knowledge by exclusion: What is not in the textbook is not of concern. The world is defined by what is inside the book and that is what defines the exam questions. The student is supposed to go inside the closed world of the textbook and not look out and get distracted. The textbook answers specific questions posed in the book, and other questions should not be asked.
The previous post reported about an education leader at Chalmers University of Technology who complained that today students no longer read textbooks; instead they check out lecture notes based on the book if any, ask a study mates, search the web, look at a web-lecture from MIT or Khan Academy. Since they do not use the text book, they do not need to buy it either and thus can save some money.
The traditional textbook will be replaced by something on the web, some form of WebBook and the question is what that may be?
One thing seems clear and that is that the WebBook will be open to the exterior, in contrast to the traditional text book forming its own closed world without window.
The WebBook will be formed by inclusion through links to the exterior. The traditional textbook is based on exclusion and does not have links to the exterior.
The new web student will take a new active role and independently search and collect material to bring into the course, instead of passively relying on the words of the book transmitted through the teacher.
The web teacher will have to give up the omnipotent role of understanding everything by understanding everything in the book defining the world, but not necessarily much more, and join the student in search and collection of stuff to bring into the course.
These new roles are now forming and it will be very interesting to follow this process.