Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Prospero's Books

Scholars through the ages have dreamed of bringing books to a higher state of aliveness. Thanks to modern electronics, we're able to make this dream real, to a degree. By embedding applets, Flash animations, movies within the text, we're in a position to offer new vehicles for content delivery within the classroom or home school.

Another dream is to make interaction with these books remunerative, in the sense that passing tests in safe, controlled conditions will advance your credentials along various tracks, making you eligible for new services. Remuneration needn't be in the form of cash. If you're a marine biology major, you might net an invitation to join some field expedition, ala Darwin's journey to the Galapagos. Or you might get some new gear.

The point is to make education rewarding, as well as demanding, both by enhancing the content delivery mechanisms, and by embedding new opportunities within that content. Resource allocation occurs intelligibly, in response to students' needs, abilities and commitments.

Of course this already describes the current system fairly closely. The difference is more in terms of bandwidth -- these fatter pipe books will move you along more quickly, waste less of your limited time with us here on Spaceship Earth.

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