That’s No Blog…It’s A Textbook!

Mark Goodacre and Tim Bulkeley are among those who are continuing the conversation about non-traditional, less “texty” textbooks. As this conversation takes place on and between blogs, it is worth noting that the blog format offers many of the features I mentioned in my earlier post on this subject. A blog can integrate text, links to other sources, embedded video, embedded comments and discussion, and communication. And so even though I think it would be great if devices and platforms were developed tailored specifically to the needs of educators and students, in a sense we already have a “platform” that does what we need it to. And the blog, unlike more specific and sophisticated programs and devices we might envisage, already offers a high degree of cross-platform compatibility.

In other news, David Miller has a post about the use of Hebrew as a spoken language in the time of Jesus, and Jeffrey Garcia offers links on the topic of Dura Europos, including video at the Center for Online Judaic Studies. In a sense, posts like these also usefully illustrate how linkage of text, video, other sources, discussion and so forth is already feasible. All that needs to be done is for the potential of blogs to be hijacked put to good use by professors as a format in which to deliver something almost but not entirely unlike tea a textbook.

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  • BSM

    If you wrote each post as a chapter it could work. The hard part would be any kind of nifty and interactive pop-up, rollover-type text annotation.

  • James F. McGrath

    Actually, I think that would be fairly straightforward. There are lost of little scripts and 'gadgets' one can add to a blog nowadays that will allow pop-up information when you put a mouse over links to, as well as "Snap" (I think that is what it is called) which shows a preview of any link you hover your mouse over. So creating selective pop-ups should be possible, and perhaps even straightforward to do!