Reinventing the book for the digital age

“A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic,” -Carl Sagan

The article below outlines some concepts we have discussed, in an up-to-date form.

Reinventing the book for the digital age

Blending text and interactive media 

  • Are “processed books” more like Applications than Books? If yes, then where do we begin to differentiate between gaming and reading. If no, then what distinguishes an app from a book. IS IT ALL JUST ANOTHER FORM OF LEARNING?

Ans. Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems.[1][2][3] Gamification is applied to improve user engagementreturn on investmentdata qualitytimeliness, and learning.[4]  (from Wikipedia)

  • Gamification techniques strive to leverage people’s natural desires for competition, achievement, status, self-expression, altruism, and closure.
  • A core gamification strategy is rewards for players who accomplish desired tasks. Types of rewards include points,[5] achievement badges or levels,[6] the filling of a progress bar,[7] and providing the user with virtual currency.[6]
  • Competition is another element of games that can be used in gamification. Making the rewards for accomplishing tasks visible to other players or providing leader boards are ways of encouraging players to compete.[8]
  • Another approach to gamification is to make existing tasks feel more like games.[9] Some techniques used in this approach include adding meaningful choice, onboarding with a tutorial, increasing challenge,[10] and adding narrative.[9]

Getting back the public domain:

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”; title=”The Twitter Book – A Sneak Preview” target=”_blank”>The Twitter Book – A Sneak Preview</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”; target=”_blank”>O’Reilly Media</a></strong> </div>

Below is Drucker, so it’s dry. But starting at ten minutes, we are presented with very relevant information on the changing book.



  1. There is no essential aspect to a hardcover on a modern primal book. There is no essential aspect to the progress bar when reading a kindle. But damn, I like both an awful lot. They make me want it. If by gimmick you mean “creating appeal in less-than-appealing subjects” then I agree- this is a gimmick. And a potentially very useful gimmick especially in the hands of teachers trying to convince their students that the periodic table of elements is worth getting to know.

    1. I think we actually agree more than you think. When it comes to physical books that have a digital component (like a textbook that prompts online resources), I think it’s a great idea, and both book and computer are essential to that. No doubt. I appreciate that kind of progress, because it would be incredibly helpful. When I talk about a book being non-essential, I mean a situation like the one in the video. The book is just there to act, as you mention, as a progress bar. Now while that is undoubtedly kind of cool, it just doesn’t serve the same purpose as, for example, a book with the periodic table or general chemistry.

  2. I think that the concept is really quite amazing. Especially in an educational environment. Memory can be solidified that much more with auditory and visual stimulation (i.e. videos, pictures, and other forms of multimedia that accompany a text.) However, I would note that the physical TEXT still remains an essential aspect of the learning environment. It seems as though these forms of multimedia still rely on the opening of a physical book (as the child does to prompt animated material on the IPAD). However, this is sort of a paradox. In the video above, the physical book is at most a START button, a gimmick. There is no essential aspect of it.

  3. For me, this is an incredible model of the possibilities we are on the verge of. Imagine that the play book here was a human anatomy text book, synched up with the ipad in order to deliver various video, pictures, and definitions etc. I see this as an opportunity to integrate reading and assignments in the classroom. Even go so far as to recording and/or tracking student process though a link with the Ipad. It’s opening up a series of doors: we can look at the doors or peek in. We can even walk over the threshold and explore behind the door. But any way you look at this, It’s far more personal than any connection we can get simply reading text on a page and therefore self-gratifying in a sense. This emerging technology will encourage learning, if only we put a priority on it.

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