Used effectively eBooks can help to transform the way universities and school operate, moving away from the traditional knowledge dissemination model to one based on genuine knowledge creation, placing learners in the driving seat and changing the relationship between teachers and learners. Unfortunately most of the current crop of eBooks do not achieve this. They are simply digitised versions of existing print based books. As such they offer an impoverished model of learning which lacks interactivity and is situated in a traditional paradigm of publishing.
This project aims to demonstrate how teacher education can take a lead in breaking this mould by giving lecturers and their students the tools, skills and understanding to create their own interactive textbooks. To be genuine authors with an authentic audience of readers.
As one of the first outputs from the project this will result in the creation of three exemplar iBooks produced by teacher educators with their trainees and tested in situ with school partners and mentors. It will demonstrate how mobile technologies can be used to support a shift in pedagogical practices, especially within Higher Education, by encouraging students to work in 'research mode' whereby they work as genuine authors, producing, rather than simply consuming content. The books, which will focus on the curricular topics of English, Science and History, will exemplify how digital technologies are changing the landscape in Higher Education and in schools by enabling students to author and disseminate their work to a much larger audience of readers than was previously possible. This challenges the dominant paradigm of learning in Higher Education where the focus has traditionally been on dissemination of knowledge from subject experts to novices. Therefore this output is primarily about process and will show how teacher educators can be encouraged to re-conceptualise their thinking about teaching and learning when students are able to work in this mode.
Here is an example of one of the videos which will be embedded in Book 1. It was created by the team at Lentiz Reviuslyceum and illustrates how this innovative school has recognised the value of iBooks for transforming how they organise teaching and learning through the idea of the Flipped Classroom.
This along with widgets and interactive media are currently being produced and included in the iBooks.
It is anticipated this particular output will have considerable impact beyond teacher educators and especially amongst other academics where this kind of approach will encourage new pedagogical approaches. The iBooks produced as exemplars will include:
Book 1: Authorship as a Lever for Pedagogical Change (Lead Editor: Kevin Burden, University of Hull, UK) Monica Amundsen, Stewart Bennett, Janet Gibbs, Ralf Herlan, Anbjørg Igland, Amanda Naylor and Max Stoller
Book 2: The Nature of eBooks (Lead Editors: Thomas Breig, Padaogogische Hochschule Karlsruhe, Germany and Paul Hopkins, University of Hull, UK) Thomas Brieg, Ulf Kerber and Paul Hopkins
Book 3: Training Teachers' Educators (Lead Editor: Frank Thissen and Carolin Nüssle Hochschule der Medien, Germany) Frank Thissen, Carolin Nüssle, Kevin Burden and Seán Ó Grádaigh