Most classrooms of today have remained unchanged since they were constructed during the industrial age. These were the classrooms constructed around rigid schedules, inflexible facilities, and fixed boundaries between grades, disciplines, and classrooms. Desks were arranged in neat rows facing a chalkboard at the front of the room, students took notes on paper, and read from printed textbooks. In these traditional classrooms of yester year, teacher-centered practices were embedded in rote learning and memorization which was at the center of task-based approaches to learning. Handouts were created in blue ink ditto masters, with fill in the blank textbook searches that required find the missing word in the sentence approach to learning. Engagement was limited since classroom management was viewed upon as quite places to learn.
The Proclaimed Projector
In the late 1900's classrooms began to get new focal points in delivering content through media devices called LCD projectors. Through these lenses came the long full hour video that reflected a spring day of students daydreaming about summer time. It was much like the 35 millimeter real, as it flickered off the silence of the room that brought the teachers attention back into focus. Teachers in most cases were slow to adopt this new technology as brains were faded into imagination.
The Rise of Mobile Engagement
But is today any different? Video projectors, with interactive whiteboards and computers that sit in the back of the room waiting to be occupied as students text from their cell phones social events that are occurring in real time. It is these events, that of texting and mobile trends that educators must find ways to harness. This is the connect energy of the classrooms of today. A classroom where the latest in mobile devices are harnessed and used for carrying knowledge in collaborative work environments that promote continual access to media rich content.
The e-book Slam
So what will this media rich content look and feel like in tomorrow's classrooms? Will the new trend bring about a casualty in the next technological revolution to replace a functionality in a new format? Already rumors are beginning to surface that teachers will become publishers. Creating a new generation of text materials that is supported by a ePub format. Yet arguments are still abound, "that text on paper will hold its supremacy over the monitor." Now hold that thought. Borders says it's closing about 200 of its remaining 488 superstores while stating, "Your e-book library is perfectly safe. The Borders e-book experience is powered by Kobo, an entirely separate company from Borders. Kobo is financially secure and will continue to maintain an e-book library no matter what happens." So what did happen? Borders wasn't prepared for the newest publishing innovation: e-books for digital readers led by Amazon's Kindle and followed by Barnes & Noble's Nook.
Knock, Knock Who is There?
Now let's again revisit the thought of ePub? What is it and how will this new publishing format effect education in the near future? Wikipedia the fastest growing encyclopedia of our generation defines EPUB as reflowable content. Reflowable content? "This means that the text display can be optimized for the particular display device used by the reader of the EPUB-formatted book. The format is meant to function as a single format that publishers and conversion houses can use in-house, as well as for distribution and sale."
The My Book Publishing Idea
Now if this is true does that mean that anyone can publish text in a digital format that can be read on a mobile device? The answer is yes. It is a simple as a Google on the topic of "How can I create ePub files from My Books?" Notice the emphasize on "MY Books." In a series of future articles I will be addressing this idea. The idea of becoming a self publisher of creating the "New Alexandrian Libraries of the Future." Textbooks and resource material created by teachers for mobile learning in the 21st Century. (For more information on the classrooms of the future checkout my website "The Digital Sandbox")