The Textbook Skeuomorph- Thinking Outside the Book: Part 2
In Part 1 of The Textbook Skeuomorph – Thinking Outside the Book we discussed the concept of Skeuomorphism. All over the world, designers use the concept in attempt to make customers feel more at ease in taking the plunge into using a new technological device. Indeed, it’s one extremely clever concept. Steve Jobs was one of many who utilised the design concept, having always developed his devices with an easy-to-use and traditional feel to cater towards the everyday user. But looking at it more closely, we explore the possibility that skeuomorphism of the textbook has in many ways limited the potentially huge value which could be offered in the education sector. (Read more in Part 1)
As technological breakthroughs become more frequent and impressive, it’s certainly worth taking a step back and asking whether their capabilities are being utilised to their max, or even at all as the case very well may be. Taking a look at the digital textbook, users may enjoy the traditional appearance it presents, but what are the real benefits as compared to their print counterparts? Ease of access? Certainly. But anything else?
An increase in the number of companies who are developing platforms that enhance educators’ opportunities to interact with their classes and content in more original and creative ways is now, thankfully, starting to emerge. The development of such platforms is the much needed fresh approach to digital classroom materials that is required to steer away from the ineffectiveness and limitations that the textbook skeuomorph presents. The opportunity for changes in the way in which students learn are vast and plentiful, but unfortunately the textbook skeuomorph somehow prevents this from occurring at the rate it should.
As we approach 2016, is it not time to start rethinking the ‘book’ and start engaging with the real teaching benefits technology has on offer?
Through the clever collaboration of tech companies with publishers and educators, combined with a much-needed sense of open-mindedness, the education sector can be brought to the next level. At Learnosity, our offering has been developed so that publishers and educators can offer immense learning benefits to everyone from a kindergarten level right up to a professional and corporate level. Advanced assessments which can be embedded into existing sites can be built at ease with over 50 advanced question types. Thinking beyond the skeuomorph textbook has earned Learnosity its place as the leading assessment provider.
Is it time to leave the ‘book’ between its covers and start building education’s next great thing? It’s fascinating to even think of what “could be” if designers weren’t so preoccupied with having new technologies appear as their traditional self. If you were starting from scratch and designing a new learning and teaching medium- something that was flexible around individual learner’s requirements, a medium that was suitable to the various learning styles- would your creation look like or bear any resemblance to a traditional book?