Monday, May 16, 2011

Twitter Transcript: eBooks and Education in the Philippines

Here's a transcript of a twitter conversation I had with Honey de Peralta and Carljoe Javier:

fantaghiro23: @charlesatan But for educ publishing, I think tablets are the way to go.

charlesatan: @fantaghiro23 my problem with tablets and educ publishing is that the former is too expensive

fantaghiro23: @charlesatan The Ipad is, yes. But not so much for the other tablets being distributed now to some private schools.

fantaghiro23: @charlesatan Ereaders can't do much in basic ed. I know they didn't even do much for higher ed.

charlesatan: @fantaghiro23 even the generic tablets are still a bit too expensive; it's not eReaders per se but eBook formats (ePub, Mobi) that's limited

charlesatan: @fantaghiro23 I've written essays on limitations of the format & why they're horrible for anything but (most) fiction

charlesatan: @fantaghiro23 ePub on an iPad is still crap for example for higher ed

fantaghiro23: @charlesatan Yup, but I'm talking not abt. the entire educ market. Only the specific section that is demanding digital textbooks.

fantaghiro23: @charlesatan That's why I go for tablets. Bec. what you need is not a plain ebook but something that will support interactivity. Otherwise,

fantaghiro23: @charlesatan ... go with print book. Considering what happens in a classroom, print is still superior to a flat ebook.

charlesatan: @fantaghiro23 I think print is superior right now mainly because of economic feasibility (cheaper to use/distribute print)

charlesatan: @fantaghiro23 & interactive textbooks still need to be developed; (gov't in question also not paying royalties for textbooks)

fantaghiro23: @charlesatan Not just economics, if you're talking about print vs. flat ebooks. It's how the book is used in education.

fantaghiro23: @charlesatan Print textbooks are more interactive than flat ebooks (mobi, epub, pdf, etc.). W/c is why if you're going to use a device...

fantaghiro23: @charlesatan for educ, interactive textbooks are what you need.

charlesatan: @fantaghiro23 eBooks can be more interactive than print but needs to be developed; good example of limitations/uses

charlesatan: @fantaghiro23 also this kind of eBook

fantaghiro23: @charlesatan Yup. Few people in educ understand what an interactive textbook is.That is actually our problem--getting them to understand.

fantaghiro23: @charlesatan They want an ebook. We tell them it's a waste of the technology or the device. But they don't understand what we mean by apps.

carljavier: @fantaghiro23 i've just been reading your exchange. but haha funny, people not understanding. I remember the FotB conf last year

charlesatan: @fantaghiro23 @carljavier The problem is that people seldom think of "design" (whether it's books or website or something else) as important

charlesatan: @fantaghiro23 it's not just important to think about creating an interactive textbook, it's about designing it to be conducive to learning

carljavier: @charlesatan @fantaghiro23 i agree charles. I think it's not just about designing books though but designing experiences.

carljavier: @fantaghiro23 problem of it all is that they want it but they don't understand the tech, the format, and what it can do

fantaghiro23: @charlesatan @carljavier Exactly, Carl. If you only knew what the schools are asking for now and how it is to make them understand...

fantaghiro23: @charlesatan @carljavier what they're really asking for and its implications.

charlesatan: @fantaghiro23 from the Gov't vid I saw, they don't even understand basic copyright laws, let alone practical requirements of a classroom

charlesatan: @fantaghiro23 the problem is gov't is actually a reflection of the public; public isn't smarter about it either & parrot the West

charlesatan: @carljavier unfortunately the public is just as ignorant as gov't @fantaghiro23

fantaghiro23: @charlesatan @carljavier The govt is only one, and they're not even the aggressive one. It's also the private sector who's also ignorant.

charlesatan: @carljavier & some techies are too focused on the specs rather than design/experience @fantaghiro23

carljavier: @charlesatan yup i think we got the same frustrations. people more interested in specs on one end and not knowing anything on the other

fantaghiro23: @charlesatan @carljavier Agreed. Techies here talk about what it can do, not abt how they can adapt it to fit the educ'l experience.

charlesatan: @fantaghiro23 @carljavier "Simply distributing the device w/o evaluation of how the course might be modified for its use limits the impact.”

charlesatan: @fantaghiro23 @carljavier source:

carljavier: i also believe that people will pay. i prefer to pay for my ebooks. it's a matter of cultivating a culture

carljavier: designing experiences, not shoehorning a gadget into a faulty public school system, but seeing it as a tool towards redesigning the system

fantaghiro23: @carljavier Not just public school system, Carl. Private schools are just as guilty.

charlesatan: @fantaghiro23 as I said, symptom of both gov't and public; big hurdle to overcome; mass ignorance @carljavier

carljavier: @fantaghiro23 agree not just public schools, whole system. was just using it as example :) but we need to design around the tools

fantaghiro23: @charlesatan Tell me about it. Difficult as developer bec. there are many forces influencing you. @carljavier

charlesatan: @fantaghiro23 @carljavier best analogy for public is that it's like a DVD; it can have special features but moot if it doesn't have 'em

fantaghiro23: @charlesatan Actually, come to think abt it, it's not the entire public, but the decision-makers who lack understanding. @carljavier

fantaghiro23: @charlesatan For instance, some rank and file people understand the implications. But administrators have their own agenda. @carljavier

charlesatan: @fantaghiro23 @carljavier depends; I still think majority don't understand implications, although there are a few that do

fantaghiro23: @charlesatan @carljavier Yes, majority don't understand. But the ones who really shld understand are the decision-makers. 'Cept they don't.

charlesatan: @fantaghiro23 @carljavier we're a culture that in general, doesn't appreciate good design until we see/experience it

fantaghiro23: @charlesatan @carljavier That's it. Someone has to take a risk, design a good product, and market it like hell. Then people will see.

carljavier: @fantaghiro23 @charlesatan right running off but thinking there has to be infrastructure, a knowledge base, for innovations to be successful

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