An Interesting Leap in the Right Direction

In a comment on yesterday’s blog posting about the Long Tail and the future of the textbook, David Edwards linked me over to a post by

Here’san interesting twist to the idea of a personal learning environmetn (PLE) – a product called NoteMesh, descibed as…

free service that allows college students in the same classes to share
notes with each other. It works by creating a wiki for individual
classes that users can edit. Users are free to post their own lecture
notes or contribute to existing lecture notes. The idea is that users
in the same class can collaboratively create a definitive source for
lecture notes.”

I know a numberof teachers who
currently use public wiki spaces like Jotspot or SeedWiki to create
wikis for their students to work on documents collaboratively, but this
takes that a step further by providing a little more in the environment
– features akin to a learning management system – where the class as a
whole can manage the notes they make in relation to a particular course.

Derek’s Blog: NoteMesh – Collaborate to Graduate

I think that this is headed in the right direction. It’s a lot like the claim I made yesterday in my Web 2.0 Workshop, that, “if I were still teaching history, I would never make another study guide for my students. Part of their job, as my students, is to make their own study guide using the classroom wiki. Basically, their job is to take notes, share them, and format their notes so that they would become an effective study guide.”

But I think it has to go further before the “digital textbook” (or what ever we call it), makes the traditional pulp-based textbook completely obsolete. I think that the teacher who assigns reading (or viewing or listening) to the class needs to be able to empower conversation within the context of the assignment and to attach the conversation to the assigned reading. Basically, the teacher could attach a message board to any or all paragraphs in the assigned reading, so that students could collaboratively and conversationally annotate the work.

I think that it all has to be connected and it all has to be conversation.

But that’s just me.

2¢ worth

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Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.