Tuesday, January 24, 2006

mLearning, meet books...

As some readers of this blog know, I've been slowly writing a book using Lulu to self publish. I received my proof copy in the mail the other day, talk about a great feeling! A years worth of blogging, comics, photos, screencasts, all condensed into one highly portable, always on, reusable device! A book.

I've made some minor changes to the TALO book (making pictures larger, font smaller, spelling etc) So I'm waiting for the second proof to arrive before I do a launch. But I wanted to post about my renewed interest in the book for communication and learning, thanks to my experiences self publishing one through Lulu.

For the cost of a week's worth of mobile phone calls, or a month's worth of Internet, or a single CD, you can have a years worth of condensed content in text and pictures. $45 for a full colour book, $25 for black and white - printed on demand, delivered within 10-15 days. I don't have to worry about a network connection, battery life, or mysterious headaches from a screen. My book is light weight, always on, photocopyable, well bound, strong, versatile. For content, not much beats it! For communication, no arguments - the network is the goods.

But, I reckon more of us edubloggers should consider self publishing a book in Lulu. I'd be very happy to have a year's worth of Stephen Downes' blogging (with a CD of audio in the back) to catch up on. The years before I was on the scene especially. Getting it all through screen interactions is one thing (painful as it is at times) having it in a neatly bound, portable book is another. Having it in that format so I can get my grand dad (a retired school principle) up to speed with new ideas, a format that is still more tangible for old school managers needing a nudge ina new direction, a format that will still be respectable for many years to come.

I could still join in the discussion of course! Its not as though what Stephen said last year is not still worth talking about next year. I could read and listen to his older work, and perhaps draw him and others back into fresh perspectives on the stuff. I could read on the bus, in a tent up a mountain, in a boat on a river. And consider my responses on the way back down the mountain and into a network zone. mLearning meet book and outdoor recreation.

So, get ready to buy my book will yas. Test it out. There's a years worth of stuff I've done - much of it I bet you haven't seen due to the difficulty of flicking through the "pages" of a blog and hypertext resources. And I hope others will do the same with their work. I'm ready to buy more books. In the end, when the oil, gas and nuclear wars are over - it may be all we have left as a record to this amazing era in electrified communications.

PS. The picture shows a book with a black and white cover... not so. The black and white version comes in a colour cover - its the inside that is black and white.

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Jo Kay said...

Applauding loudly! Well done on the print edition... I hope you're feeling very proud!

The Lulu service is truly a great one - giving us all the chance to become publishers, both online and in print. I've been thinking alot lately about how teacher/students might use this kind of service - creating resources as part of the learning cycle, and being able to leave both digital and paper records behind for future teachers/students to use/amend/update. And @ 45 bucks still much cheaper than your average secondary or tertiary level textbook.

I'm wondering tho.... when will the TALO t-shirts be released??? I'm also thinking we need to suggest these to Artichoke!! ;P

Wara said...

Hasn’t this technology come a long way? Imagine what it was like to mass produce writing back then and now 'Lulu'.
Changes can now be made with each print run of 1 or more copies. So simple to produce a snap shot at any particular time.

"In the end, when the oil, gas and nuclear wars are over - it may be all we have left as a record to this amazing era in electrified communications."

So true but I'm still banking on cave paintings, stone carvings and papyrus manuscripts when this time comes and, btw, I will not take any electronic gadgets with me when I go canoeing but I will take a book. :-)

PS - Dad always said "Do not buy a car with electric windows - they are too expensive to repair and fail if the battery is flat".

Jude said...

Congratulations Leigh, such quaint technology, like the pencil the original word processor... they play an invaluable role. All this technology is exciting and wonderful in its possibilities for broadening options, views, critical thinking, having a barney - whatever, nothing like a book!!!