Sometimes I get too wordy. Sometimes other people are way to wordy. I am beginning to believe that the future of writing, reading, and processing information will be granular, and it will be something like ships of fragmented information floating in a sea of data, searching for islands of context.
In any case, I think that this post, “Harry Potter and the Future of the Textbook” gets one thing absolutely right. We are destined to learn in an era without books. Just read these paragraphs and go on to the main post if you like:
In my scenario I wouldn’t envisage readers really ever downloading a complete book; how iTunes broke up the album, I expect Publishers to break down their written content to smaller and smaller grains.
If the platform were to be social at the same time, then we’d generate a situation where users could curate learning content for their own use and publish these collections as guides for their follower’s to use. Over the life of a subscription a user would build up a very rich resource of content which they found useful; a guide to how they learnt everything they needed for a 3 year course at university for example.
It goes without saying that this platform would need to be delivered via mobile and, right now, the best candidate to make that happen is the iPad. This is the only device I have seen that is both portable and rich enough to deliver this experience so far. I’m sure many more will follow suit as the advantages of the device make themselves clearer and it defines its place in the hardware marketplace. But as it stands, this is the only way I would deliver written, visual, audio and cloud-based content to a handheld device.