Book on web – need for a new paradigm

PUBLISHED: June 22nd, 2009

The current metaphor is book on web, most national and international projects are about on-line content development as an alternative to the text book. On-line content have several advantages compared to the printed book. But still we have not changed the paradigm and there are few if any discussion on how computers could be used to facilitate learning and knowledge building.

There is a lot of focus on content, reusable content, open educational resources etc. And when looking at “modern” on-line content we find animations, videos we find advanced simulations for better understanding – where you could manipulate different parameters to see what happens.

The book on web have been more advanced more sophisticated, the content delivered provides more possibilities than a printed book. But it is still content delivered to a learner – as if the content was still a book. The computer have to some extent replaces the binding of the content, instead of delivering the content in hard cover, the content is delivered within a “web-browser”. The focus is still on content in any form delivered to the learner.

When will we see a change of this paradigm? When will we deliver a set of tools for learners to use in developing learning? When will we see a shift towards delivering learning processes? When will see that computers in schools are used to facilitate learning and not only as a mechanism for delivery of content and simple collaboration?

Another interesting topic related to this is: how will a change of paradigm (if it happens) influence the use of metadata and description of the information used by learners?

With this in mind I personally think the work we are doing related to ISO/IEC 19788 aka. MLR (Metadata for Learning Resources) is important and that this work is more future proof than the existing IEEE/LOM work.

When learners start to collaborate, and when teachers start to collaborate and share; the organisation of metadata need to mirror this practice. Meatadata must facilitate fragmentation, dynamic updated and a distributed environment.

If this is a change we see happen – how should we pave the way to make this transition as easy as possible?

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