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BioBook, A Gates-Funded iPad Textbook, Would Create A Free Database For Customized Learning

BioBook, A Gates-Funded iPad Textbook, Would Create A Free Database For Customized Learning

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Published by: Crowdsourcing.org on Nov 03, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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BioBook, A Gates-Funded iPad Textbook, WouldCreate A Free Database For Customized Learning
,Oct 30, 2011
The BioBook is an interactive iPad biology college textbook that allows studentsand professors to create their own customized learning experience.
Since the launch of the iPad, colledge educators have been seeking an inexpensivealternative to paper textbooks that could leverage the collective knowledge of teachers and students. With a $249,000 grant from the Gates Foundation's NextGeneration Learning Challenge,Dr. Daniel Johnson of Wake Forest Universityand education technology firm Odigia might have found it. Their BioBook, an iPad and web-enabled interactive biology textbook, creates a fully customizableexperience for both students and educators.For educators, the BioBook allows professors to track individual student progressand develop their own textbooks from a national database of professor-generated,mix-and-match chapters. On the student side, linear chapters are remixed into"branches and leaves," where students explore concepts as interlinked ideas,moving from fundamental facts to an array of detailed chapters, which students canexplore in their own way.
Threaded Learning
 "Every learner brings unique prior knowledge, misconceptions, and pre-existingmental models to the process of learning a new concept," Dr. Johnson tells
Fast Company
. "These pre-existing elements mean that two learners may need to followvery different pathways to achieve deep, functional understanding of a concept."Instead of reading like storybook, chapters are reformed into a branch/leaf relationship; all students start with the same fundamentals and explore details astheir curiosity guides them."Each newly acquired piece of knowledge in turn raises additional questions thatencourage exploration of other previously unknown concepts, theories, or facts."writes Dr. Johnson.Put another way, expert learners construct their understanding by following whatseems to be a logical path to them, not a pre-defined path." In other words,

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