UPDATE 1/22/2012: Now with links and Apple’s iBook video!
Warning: This post is a brain dump of all thoughts and conversations I’ve been having about next generation textbooks since Apple’s iBook textbook announcement. Sorry this isn’t polished.
I keep thinking about what a physics iBook would look like. Not a book for consumption (like a traditional text) but rather a book to enable exploration. More like a text-journal-workbook-lab notebook combo, where students would create content from investigations (also pooling created content/data from classmates, etc) and also have reference text for afterwards in the same vein as the Minds-On-Physics text, the first edition of M&I, and the Physics by Inquiry texts.
Stuck on a problem? An intelligent tutor would be able to re-direct you back to a video or animation or even your own data from an exploration where you initially encountered the concept.
There would be these components:
- PeET sims
- Interactive Learning Demonstrations (ILDs) — real life and virtual
- Etkina’s video labs
- Mastering Physics/Andes/WebAssign type problems and tutors
- Van Heuvelen’s active physics problems and ALPS (Active Learning Problem Sheets — out of print)
- Wolfram alpha widgets / animations / investigations
- Diagnoser / Formative Assessment Probes
- Data/content/photo/video sharing among students and between teacher-student
- Video Analysis for built in cameras
- Collaborative Whiteboard software
- Integrates with Facetime
- Clicker-type Peer Instruction questions for in-class and out-of-class use
- Leveled assessments — get question right, next one is harder, etc. — Better to gauge how well student has mastered a standard.
- SBG grading and reporting built in
- PSSC film clips
- Video demonstration library film clips
- Vernier sensor connections for data collection capability
- When students answer assessment probes or clicker-questions, can automatically sort kids into heterogeneous or homogeneous groups for discussion.
- Ability to connect to projector
- Abiltity to view teachers and classmates screens
- Ability for students to take video/audio of class meetings and file/tag them (along with other materials) by topic/unit/date/etc.
- YouTube video / Win-Fail / anyqs / wcydwt / wqdyh type stuff
- Tools and content from Open Source Physics (Tracker, Easy Java Sims, etc.)
It’d be like an electronic version of the PSSC/Modeling/ISLE /PUM curricula on steroids. And I see this more as the teacher having these tools to deploy to the students, rather than the students following a linear path through text and activities. The class actually builds the text together, and each year the text is different.
The capabilities and content for this iBook already exist. No one has put them together in one package yet. I think it could even be web/cloud-based and platform independent if done with the proper tools.
What am I missing? What’s your vision?