EAGER: Towards Knowledge Curation and Community Building within a Postdigital Textbook

PIs: Erin Walker, Edward Finn, Ruth Wylie
Arizona State University
Award Details

In this Cyberlearning EAGER project, the team is exploring the idea of the post-digital textbook. They envision the post-digital textbook being used in many of the same ways textbooks are used now and, in addition, providing a platform for collaboration, curation, and personalization.

The imagined post-digital textbook will go beyond digitizing print books and adding animations and simulations where there were once pictures and may be radically different than today’s textbooks. The term “textbook” is used, however, to connote that this new genre of technology will assume the persistent, powerful role textbooks currently play. Several theoretical perspectives (cognitive, constructivist, and socio-cultural) are being leveraged to develop foundations for what the post-digital textbook might be. The team is combining such theory with a study of existing educational technologies and pedagogical practices to develop an understanding of the possibilities and then refining those ideas using design charrettes. The investigation centers on two core behaviors that they want the post-digital textbook to address: facilitating knowledge curation and serving as a collaborative resource. The team is iterating on an initial set of goals, affordances, and behaviors to create an initial design spec for this new genre using four activities: synthesis of the literature, user-centered design, participatory design, and expert consultation. This work will serve as the foundation for a follow-up project to explore the design space of the post-digital textbook within the formal learning environments for which it is being designed.

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