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Ebooks, Textbooks and Digital Storytelling


Ebooks, Textbooks and Digital Storytelling By Robert Nagle www.teleread.org/blog May 11, 2007 Preface Presentation will be put up on my idiotprogrammer weblog and ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Ebooks, Textbooks and Digital Storytelling

Ebooks, Textbooks and Digital Storytelling
  • By
  • Robert Nagle
  • www.teleread.org/blog
  • May 11, 2007

  • Presentation will be put up on my idiotprogrammer
    weblog and probably teleread as well
  • If you want to make comments, add them to the
    teleread blog post about it.
  • I have delicious links for everything
  • http//del.icio.us/rjnagle/uhlecture

  • Preface Who am I?
  • How do you read a book?
  • How do you make a book?
  • How do you anticipate a Story?

How do you read a book?
  • An Idiographic Analysis

Geography Does Make a Difference!
  • Houston bus
  • Lunch hour
  • Peace Corps Albania Ukraine
  • Back to US
  • Lunch hours in Austin
  • Books on tape
  • Boston/DC mass transit
  • Waiting in line

Where do you read a book?
  • Bed
  • Lazy Boy chair
  • Bathtub
  • At work/on way to work
  • Dinner table
  • Web surfing
  • Reading to sleep
  • Reading in total darkness (backlighting)
  • Print Books and dim lamp
  • Reading on the Run
  • RSS Reader on my pda

  • How do you read a book?
  • Check the reviews afterwards, check the reviews
  • Read the first chapter. After end, I always
    reread the first chapter
  • Critical Essays
  • Highlighting. High School/College
  • Word definitions
  • Bookmarks-- Always lose my place.
  • technical manuals--often in medias res

How do you read a book?
  • One novel vs. several.
  • Pile by my bed
  • Having complete works on my ebook reader
  • Arnold Bennett, Henry James, Shakespeare
  • Then you discover hidden gems (and realize there
    are hundreds, if not thousands of others)
  • Alternate versions/editions
  • Whitmans Song of Myself (Deathbed Edition vs.
    All the Rest).

Beasts of Burden Collecting
  • 1993 New Braunfels Factory Outlet Store Buyers
  • Moving
  • Why People buy a house (and move)
  • Amazon Wishlists vs. bookstores
  • Eventually everything becomes 99 cents!

Ebook Revolution, 2004
2007 The Year Flash Memory Became Dirt Cheap!
  • 8 gigs CF card 80
  • 4 gig Project Gutenberg DVD has 17,000 titles!
  • Bruce Sterling envisioned LOC in his pocket

Horn of Plenty
Bestsellers for Today
E-Books vs. Web Pages vs. Print Pages
  • Ebooks Better navigation, TOC, indices, keeps
    you trapped (must concentrate) Sustained
    reading is more possible.
  • Web Book Reader in Browser Always Up-to-Date,
    comments better design possibilities. but
    requires online access,
  • RSS Feed Reader Organization is mainly
    chronological (thats limiting!). Can serve as
    offline reader.
  • Print Smell of the Book, Ability to look at
    two pages at once Better Font Layout Variety.

Is Reading Just Old-Fashioned?
  • Youtube, Secondlife, HBO, PS2
  • Publishing Industry in decline?
  • A crisis in literacy?

The Bane of Publishers
My childhood books
Text as Illustrations for the Art
  • Kingdom Hearts

When will Dylan want to read/write?
  • James Paul Gees semiotic domains or situated

Text vs. Audio vs. Video vs. Games
  • Read 300-350 words per minute (vs. 140 wpm for
  • Easier to scan/browse/search (can find within
  • Less intrusive/noisy
  • Easier to cite/refer to (that might be changing)
  • Lower production costs

Think about 9/11
  • How did you find information about WTC?
  • Did you keep on the TV news that day? Was this an
    efficient way to track the event?
  • Years later, how would you locate information
    about 1)a victims, 2)the terrorist plot, 3)the
    presidents response, 4)the timeline, 5)peoples
    opinions about why it happened

Devices, Devices, Devices
Why buy an ebook device?
  • Space Saving
  • Can modify font size
  • Quick jumping between books
  • Access to all that Public Domain stuff!
  • Laptops are hot! Expensive! Heavy! Suck up
  • Wont help you download John Updike or Saul
    Bellow, but it will help you download web-only
    content and young writers
  • BUT Da Vinci Code is cheaper as a used print book
    than an ebook.

Ebooks and DIY books
  • Project Gutenberg produced books
  • Best Site for ebooks is www.manybooks.net (all
  • What you dont anticipate is how often you will
    end up creating your own ebook (usually out of
    your own material or out or material from the
  • Scanning your own books? 1863 Houston Sci fi
    short story

Ebook Frustrations, Disappointment
  • Expensive
  • Single Purpose Device vs. Convergent Device
  • Cant Transfer Ebooks
  • Tied into Ecommerce Store
  • Manufacturers Mistake assuming that people buy
    these things so they can buy more content (aka
    the Itunes Fallacy)

What People Will Pay And Expect
  • 1500 Extreme Portability, Great Battery Life,
    Great Display, Touchscreen, Multipurpose, DRM
  • 600-750 Multimedia, Great Battery, color
  • 300-400
  • PDA (Multipurpose, Small Screen) or E-ink Device
    (Great Display, Battery Life), wifi
  • E-ink Reader Grayscale, Outstanding Battery Life
    and Limited Formats, mp3 player, no wifi
  • 200-250 Magic Price Point? (Nothing here?!)
  • 100-150 Bought on Ebay Old Devices that still
    work wonderfully when used solely for reading
    (battery life sucks?!)
  • 50 Keychains, mp3 memory sticks,

2007 Fierce Competition in the 300-400 space
  • Sony Reader
  • Not Another E-Book (NAEB-Bookeen)
  • Jinke Hanlin V3
  • Amazon.com Kindle Reader
  • But will it drive prices down?

Ebook Beauty Contestant 1
Jinke V3 (Released Fall, 2007?) Wacom Pen
Touchscreen Mp3 player Wifi. Proprietary
Formats SD Card holds up to 4 gigs.
Ebook Beauty Contestant 2
  • Sony Reader (Nov 2006)
  • No Touchscreen, Sort of Complicated
  • Buy from Sony Connect Store
  • Can read Encrypted Books from Sony Connect Store
    , but inventory is limited
  • Can Read PDF, DOC, but not HTML!

Ebook Beauty Contestant 3
  • Not Another Ebook Reader (NAEB)
  • (June-July 2007?)
  • No ability to read encrypted content (no buying
    from Amazon!)
  • Popular backing from Baen Sci Fi Publishing
  • Can read both Mobi, HTML, Doc, PDF

Dark Horse Contestants Educational Devices
  • One Laptop per Child 150
  • Plans to sell it in US?
  • Viewed as a learning tool, not an ebook reader
  • Digital Textbook (Korea)100
  • Touchpad
  • Provided for all Schools and Students between

Scorecard for Judging Devices
  • Does it Read/Import HTML?
  • Can it automatically create/read RSS feeds?
  • Is it easy to use?
  • How much flash memory does it support?

Criteria for Evaluating Book Solutions
  • Can students/teachers create their own ebooks?
    Can you import html files?
  • Do they have permanent licenses to the books they
  • What notetaking capability is possible? group
  • Built in Dictionaries? Foreign Language
  • Cut/Paste, Printing from Desktop?

Uses of an educational reader
  • Critiques of Laptops for Kids. But access to
    greater variety of material
  • Teacher-created anthologies
  • Reduce backsprain

High Costs of School Textbooks
  • Reduce costs of print textbooks (700/yr)
  • Newer editions 60 more expensive than older
  • Teachers are often not aware of actual prices of
    textbook even when they ask

Ebook Readers/Books dont solve the Pedagogical
problems of teaching material. Instead, they
increase the amount of material available to
students and make it easy for them to access this
material away from the laptop.
Making Textbooks Affordable
  • Why Cant Teachers Collaborate on their own
    textbooks/course material? Norton Anthology of
    Literature, Package A and B (100)
  • Key questions are ensuring quality, packaging in
    an ebook friendly format and providing course
    outlines/objectives/study material
  • Makes it easier to introduce already free
    material into the classroom and make it available
    at home.

DIY Textbooks
  • www.stingyscholar.com

Sophie Reader (www.sophieproject.org)
  • Open Source produced by Future of the Book
  • Can embed graphics, audio and video
  • Networked Book, saved on net, with ability of
    readers to embed comments on pages
  • Authors can pull resources from web repositories
  • Based on Voyager/Voyager Japan/T3 authoring
  • Funded partly by Mellon Foundation
  • Beta version of Reader out by Sept 2007 1.0 out
    by December.
  • Tie-ins with One laptop per child project.
  • Decentralized Servers?
  • Ambitious, buggy, mindshare? Adobe? Standards?

Dot Reader http//www.dotreader.com/)
  • Software for Laptop.
  • Allows annotation by readers/students with web
    servers letting you store comments
  • Theyve solved the chicken or egg problem! (USB
    Keychains/Flash Media)
  • Both Sophie and Dotreader have some commitment
    to open standards

Mobipocket Creatorfree Ebook Creator
Mobipocket Adding Content
Building the Ebook (With Password Protection?)
Adobe Reader
  • Its a print standard, not a reflowable standard
  • Works horribly on devices
  • Creation Tools are expensive
  • Advantages Excellent Accessibility and
    Multimedia Capabilities ( Flash)
  • Adobe Digital Editionsnew reader suited for
    reflowable content (but what about devices?)

Producing a PDF Book
  • Not simple for individuals
  • MS Office doesnt have a plugin for PDF
    conversion, and yet Openoffice does
  • Online Zamzar file conversion site does it for
    free. http//www.zamzar.com/
  • Google Docs
  • Save as HTML, PDF, doc, txt
  • Revert to previous versions
  • Collaborative editing
  • Can use as Text Editor for most blogging software

Other Tools DIY Books
  • Web Scrapers/ Sunrise Desktop
  • Photo Albums with Stories attached to them. Text
    is illustration for the photo
  • RSS Readers

3. How to Anticipate a Story
Designing for Creativity
  • Web Developers interest in understanding group
  • If you create a versatile-enough platform that is
    open to all kinds of input, massive creativity
    will ensue
  • Yochai Benklers Wealth of Networks Peer
    Production produces great results (i.e,
    Wikipedia). But what about creativity?

Constraints on Creativity
  • Public domain has been cancelled until 2018. We
    are stuck at the year 1922.
  • Ex. All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Pre-1972 American Music Wont go into the public
    domain until 2067
  • (Many American musicians are already in public
    domain in Europe, but not in USA Elvis, Frank
    Sinatra, Louie Armstrong, all early Jazz)
  • When Andrew Sisters 1936 hit song Bei Mir Bist
    Du Schon enters Public Domain, all of us will be

Media companies thank you!
  • Using Trademark to Suppress Creativity
  • Harry Potter, Star Wars , Simpsons
  • Fair Use Lessig fair use is having the freedom
    to pay a legal team to defend you in court
  • Educational Exemptions Teach Act

  • Modernism
  • Postmodernism
  • Anti-postmodernism

How to Be Creative without Being Sued
  • Creative Commons Search for text/multimedia
  • http//search.creativecommons.org

Jamendo for Creative Commons Music
  • Group Memepools
  • Someone suggests a topic/question and your
    assignment is to write on it.
  • http//www.iampariah.com/memeslist/
  • Also Poets like to do this

FRIDAY Memes Answer these Questions
What are the Top 5 "Mom" songs What is the
toughest decision you've ever had to make? Who
have you been most disappointed by in your
life? What is the nastiest thing you've ever done
to someone? Do you own a car? What make and
model? Do you consider cars a boring point A to B
appliance or does talk of V8's and turbo-charging
make your eyes light up? SUVs practical and
roomy or gas-guzzling monstrosities? Your dream
car is...? Do you gamble? Have you ever rode a
horse? What is the most fantabulous thing that
has happened this week? Houston Memepool Weekly
100 Word Podcast Theme Baseball
Shared Universes
  • Popular in Sci Fi Novels, comics
  • Star Trek, Star Wars
  • One Author creates the universe, and individual
    people add to it.
  • Media companies want control
  • Challenge how can students find out about shared
    universes where it is legal/encouraged to create

Geographically-based Stories
  • Sex map in Manhattan
  • The Unknown

Hyperlinks over words and names
Hyperlinks over place names
Lots of paths for reading this story
Fan Fiction Branding
  • Sequels to Star Wars, TV shows,
  • Noncommercial fan fiction is tolerated unless it
    becomes too famous.
  • Quicksand Company encourages user-submissions
    on its own site, but users have to agree with
    terms of service.
  • Remix Factories on company sites BMW,

Which creative writing projects tend to work
and why?
  • Are individual contributions recognized and
    browsable by name?
  • No more digital maoism
  • Minimize intersections between peoples stories
    that reduces need to maintain consistency between
  • Sitcom writing vs. storywriting. (Continuity is
    in the actors, not the style).
  • Contributors have the ability to play one persona

Interactive vs. Linear Storytelling
  • Reading linear stories is less strenuous
  • Interactivity is overrated
  • Scarcity of good players/actors
  • When the reader/player makes choices, then he is
    limited by his own meager imagination
  • Andrew Glassman How is a story improved by our
    making decisions in ignorance of their
  • Glassman compares it to calling an automated
    phone system.

Novel as Porous Form
  • Jane Smiley unevenness can become an aesthetic
  • Moby Dick

Fictional Blogs
  • Celebrity blogs (Batman Blog, George W. blog)
  • You can impersonate somebody youre not. But is
    anybody reading it? (Ethics?)
  • Fictional bloggers can respond to other fictional
    bloggers (Lonelygirl15)

Unexplored Possibilities
  • Alternate Reality Games Text as Clues to a Game
    in Virtual Space or Meatspace
  • Remediations Texts turned into multimedia
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