The New Era of Customized Textbooks

June 27, 2016 | By: Dr. Dovi Weiss, Ph.D.

For as long as humans could write, textbooks have also been present. Textbooks were used in ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, China, India and other early societies.

A significant revolution for textbooks came with Gutenberg’s 15th century invention of the printing press. Before this invention, textbooks were rare and, in general, only available to wealthy individuals who could afford handmade books. However, the ability to mass produce books opened up education to the masses.

The next game-changing milestone in the evolution of textbooks occurred at the beginning of the 21st century, when textbooks were converted to digital formats, such as PDF and ePub. The digital era of textbooks created three dramatic transformations:

  • Accessibility (which became much greater)
  • Updateability (publishers can update the books quickly and easily)
  • Data representation (the nature of multimedia enable publishers to represent data in a richer way)

In the last five years, we have begun to witness a new and innovative stage in the digital book evolution. Instead of textbooks being a static body of knowledge from publishers, advanced digital textbooks can be enriched and customized by teachers and school administrators to support the specific needs of their students.

Just think about the pedagogical advantages of a teacher who can re-order content, hide and show content, add URLs and add files (games, videos, images, text and more) to a generic ebook. Additionally, think about how data-driven learning process can be enhanced by the ability of a teacher to add interactive and adaptive questions to their lessons. In this exciting new stage of the textbook evolution, textbooks can be more than a generic mass production object; textbooks can now be a mass customized tool for more effective learning.

If you are interested in learning more about innovative customization tools for textbooks, contact the experts at Time To Know to schedule a consultation.

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