Avi Warshavsky builds online textbooks for Center for Educational Technology in Israel. He talks about whether textbooks have a future.


7 Responses to “Avi Warshavsky on the future of textbooks”

  1. Enkerli

    Not sure I really got what was specific about his textbooks, but it’s interesting to hear at least something about new initiatives with textbooks. They may not need to die. But their function can change.
    At some point, publishers are less about access to content and more about delivering a service. For instance, something textbook publishers could do is help out in establishing personal learning networks. In the case of a common textbook, it could mean, in part, helping people connect based on the content. As a teacher, I’d share some of the material I build on the basis of that textbook and get access to other people who have been using it. My students would be able to setup study groups outside of course or even institutional boundaries. Safe spaces could be established for diverse groups of students, moderation could be applied at different level in different contexts, some decisions could be made collectively about moving the field further…
    “Open sourcing” the textbook content itself is an interesting step to take, but it does relatively little by itself, I’ve found. Been dreaming about “open source textbooks” for over ten years and have been using one for two years. But there’s a lot more to do to establish a new basis for scholarship. Unfortunately, academia isn’t paying much attention to this so there are few incentives for it. In fact, discussions about these issues tend to be limited to groups of interested people and rarely reach the ears of most instructors.

  2. Caroline Sound

    I get that perhaps textbooks have had their day but I still would rather look theough a book if I’m making notes than do it from a computer screen, the only thing is the web is such a wonderful personal library of information for everything and anything in your home and at a touch of a button!

  3. Peter Jones

    Think you will find that Google will be winning this battle I am afraid… But you do bring on some good point especially about:

    “open sourcing” text books… however where would the money come from?

  4. Technology Web Log

    I totally agree with Avi Warshavsky,But textbook will surely be there and it has a future because for examination and for people at school level text book continues to play a major role.You can’t use ipads or other stuff to teach them and doing so causes distraction and spoils concentration.

  5. Nic Coventry

    I personally don’t think that TextBooks have much of a future at all, and I highly doubt that they will be around for very long. This is just my opinion, I’d rather pay a much less amount and have an eBook and save my money and paper. Great video though, very good.

  6. sniper

    academia isn’t paying much attention to this so there are few incentives for it. In fact, discussions about these issues tend to be limited to groups of interested people and rarely reach the ears of most instructors?