Books can be boring. So many words!
A new cure for this purported disease comes in the form of zyBooks. You might want to have a look. The site allows viewers to take a test drive.
zyBooks was started in 2012 by Smita Bakshi and Frank Vahid, who are either presently or formerly engineering professors in California. "We started zyBooks to help college STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) students graduate," they report. They believe the format is suitable for other subjects, too.
Using "less text, more action," zyBooks have "minimal text, and instead consist of question sets, animations, interactive tools, and embedded homework, so students can learn by doing," according to the company's website. The cost is reportedly $48 per subject (not bad, but open source material is free, with interactive offerings expanding rapidly).
This particular product may dial the conversation up a notch from other digital texts and formats. When you first inspect the site, it will seem Really Cool or Another Sign of Impending Doom, depending upon what you bring to the first impression.
Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, and Herman Melville, just to name a few, thought illustrations within their work were a good idea, commercially speaking. Recent developments are an extension of this trend, but it's a big jump nonetheless.
Some commentators argue that students' ability to concentrate is affected negatively by such developments, and worry that "deep learning" and reflection are dissipating. Certainly our intellects adapt to new stimuli. Colonial Americans thought Pilgrim's Progress was gripping. Give it a try.
According to most reports, there are no dinosaurs, vampires, zombies, or Shades of Grey in the new platform.