A couple of years ago, I noted a review of a new Apple authoring tool that promised to make textbooks a whole lot more fun. At the time I said that it was horribly limited, and there was no way of recording results of polls etc, but that it merited further investigation. Then I parked the idea for a while, and forgot about it.
A contact has asked me to look at turning some PDFs into interactive ebooks, with a particular emphasis on ibooks. I’ve been looking at ebooks for a while – having a Kindle app on my iPad -, and it strikes me that the textbooks or non-fiction books that I’ve found are just the offline versions with a few links and bookmarks in them (here’s one example). They could do so much more. I’d like to be able to illustrate examples with videos and podcast interviews, or perhaps build exercises or seminar packs of resources that learners can share with a larger group. For example, package a video, a podcast and some examples together, then ask the learner group to discuss the situation and build a response based on what they’ve learned, enabling them to combine what they know with what they’ve learned and come up with a comprehensive, practical solution that they can apply to their own situation.
I think this would work best with CPD learning – as long as you worked closely with the SMEs to build a situation that reflected real life and that learners could relate to. I think this approach could work really well with CPD qualifications such as APMP, which discusses concepts and ideas around project management rather than delivering a set of templates and processes.
Still…watch this space. I’ve got to relearn some forgotten coding skills so that I can dummy up a prototype but I hope to have something to show you soon.
Speaking of forgotten skills…
In other news
Freelancing: it’s a whole new way of grinning at a laptop.
This blog is probably going to hear a lot more from me. I’ve decided to try and make a go of things as a freelance instructional/content designer. I’ve spent a long and productive time in the world of paid holidays and sick leave, but I’ve been very conscious that the roles I’ve done over the past few years use a particular skillset at the expense of my other skills. For example, while designing instructional situations, I find myself getting frustrated that I don’t have the power to change the website content to match, and vice versa.
I’d like to find a way of keeping all my skills and experience up to date, and learning about new situations, new projects and new ways of working. The best way to do that, I feel, is to work as a contractor, getting as much experience as I can in lots of different situations.
So, from 25 February (eeek!) if you need an instructional designer or content designer/manager type to work on your website or gussy up your technical literature, my portfolio is here, and you can contact me by email.