Toward More Ubiquitous Digital Textbooks Functions

Toward More Ubiquitous Digital Textbooks Functions

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8300-6.ch005
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In Digital Age the teachers' functions are completed with new attributes and roles. The focus is on adaptation and accommodation of learners in a more sustainable and durable environment and in formation of a new behavior. Some of the responsibilities are delegated to digital textbooks. Digital textbooks go beyond printed textbooks. In addition to traditional teaching and assessment through page and book graphics, it became important to diagnose the learning analytics of didactical process, the quantum state of the learning and that potential. In addition, it is important to plan activities according to meta (social) patterns; to create and co-create relevant activities; to facilitate and manage learning etc. This chapter aims to synthesize digital textbooks' functions. It promotes self-regulated learning in the open learning environment in order to open the way of Open Source Textbooks to satisfy the needs of all, including persons with learning disabilities.
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In less than five years to teachers’ duties was added extra attributes and roles. Thus, modern teachers should know how to design an instructional program, to plan learning activities, identify the appropriate digital resources and learning tools, review the learning activities for competence development, establish work plan priorities etc. Some of responsibilities are delegated to textbooks. Thus, new textbooks have innovative or/and interaction functions.

  • 1.

    The innovative functions allow up-dating information, engaging students in activities and networks, providing immediate feedback, and dual-processing of data from multimodal text, highlighting, instant delivery of knowledge, open access to knowledge (Open Source Textbooks), flick photo galleries, rotation of 3D learning objects, tap to pop up sidebars, play video and audio, translating the content etc.

  • 2.

    The interactive functionalities allow combining textbooks with reference books, workbooks, dictionaries and multimedia contents without the constraints of time and space. Learners can create their textbooks, underlining the important parts, taking notes, and combining the contents with high-quality, reliable knowledge that is their own.

The most recent innovation is the ubiquitous learning environment; i.e. that learning environment can be accessed in various contexts and situations. Moreover, as was noted by Jones and Jo (2014, p. 469), a ubiquitous learning environment is any setting in which students can become totally immersed in the learning process. To define:

  • Ubiquitous: Pervasive, omnipresent, ever present, everywhere.

  • Learning: Educational, instructive, didactic, pedagogical.

  • Environment: Surroundings, setting, situation, atmosphere.

So, a ubiquitous learning environment (ULE) is a situation or setting of pervasive (or omnipresent) education (or learning). Education is happening all around the student but the student may not even be conscious of the learning process. Source data is present in the embedded objects and students do not have to DO anything in order to learn.

Ubiquitous learning with digital textbooks has been defined in many ways. The most frequently quoted definition is: “The key is not the logic or technical specifications of the machines. Rather it is the new ways in which meaning is created, stored, delivered and accessed. This, we believe, will change the educational world in some fundamental ways – and also allow some older but good and disappointingly neglected educational ideas to work at last and work widely. The journey of ubiquitous learning is only just beginning. Along that journey we need to develop breakthrough practices and technologies that allow us to reconceive and rebuild the content, procedures and human relationships of teaching and learning” (Cope & Kalantzis, 2008, p. 582).Ubiquitous learning contains within it two innovative concepts:

  • The concept of settings in which student is omnipresent in the didactic process;

  • The concept of networking imposed by ICT that meet the needs in developing of self-regulated learning abilities.

Such an innovative view requires to see the world as a metasystem, which is a system of systems that connect personality, time and own learning environment with the reality. The main feature of the Ubiquitous Learning Environment are:

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