Textbooks and Publishing.

O’Reilly Network: The Real Problem with Textbooks: A SafariU Editorial
Some typical tech enthusiasm coupled with a certain dose of self-praise from O’Reilly. As O’Reilly is often perceived quite positively (as a “non-evil” in the tech publishing world), the implied marketing is relatively benign.
Interesting notion about what changes in publishing imply:

A key design principle of this new publishing is remixing–putting together digital content in creative new ways. Remixing is powering new services that are shaking up traditional publishing and distribution.

Of course, other publishers are trying to adopt similar strategies by which iinstructors are able to “build” textbooks by picking and choosing textbook sections (chapters, modules, units) from a publisher’s database. There’s an issue of granularity but it does represent a bit more freedom than being forced to use a monolithic textbook. If the publisher’s collection contains a broad range of material, this can be a solution to some people’s problems with textbooks.
But mix-and-match textbooks address issues of openness only obliquely. The editorial uses iTunes and Google News as examples of remixing. The world is ready for forms of remixing which are more open-ended, like blogs and wikis.

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Author: enkerli

French-speaking ethnographer, homeroaster, anthropologist, musician, coffee enthusiast.

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