Since the launch of the iPad, colledge educators have been seeking an inexpensive alternative to paper textbooks that could leverage the collective knowledge of teachers and students. With a $249,000 grant from the Gates Foundation's Next Generation Learning Challenge, Dr. Daniel Johnson of Wake Forest University and education technology firm Odigia might have found it. Their BioBook, an iPad and web-enabled interactive biology textbook, creates a fully customizable experience for both students and educators.
For educators, the BioBook allows professors to track individual student progress and develop their own textbooks from a national database of professor-generated, mix-and-match chapters. On the student side, linear chapters are remixed into "branches and leaves," where students explore concepts as interlinked ideas, moving from fundamental facts to an array of detailed chapters, which students can explore in their own way.
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