First came the print textbook. Then digital course materials arrived. What’s next?
An interdisciplinary team at Arizona State University hopes to figure that out, with funding from the National Science Foundation’s Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies program.
The team’s work is intended to lead to the development of the “postdigital textbook,” defined in an ASU press release as “a new type of educational technology that combines personalized learning with community-driven features that encourage collaboration and resource sharing, and emphasize learning as a social process.”
The first phase of the project will involve researching teaching and learning behaviors. Ultimately, working prototypes of postdigital textbooks will be tested in classrooms.
“This project is about determining how we need to design textbooks of the future so that they adjust to the strengths and limitations of individuals while also helping students build 21st-century skills like working collaboratively in groups and curating and presenting multimedia resources,” said team member Ed Finn, director of the Center for Science and the Imagination and an assistant professor at ASU.