Digital textbook “The Senses”
Imaxina book cover
Reading is a pleasure and it’s one of the first ways human being has invented for being able to teach other of its own specie, for remembering and for shaping creativity. It’s not the only way of doing it and, in many cases, it’s not the best one even.
Since Gütemberg invented the press, mankind found in press reproduction an affordable way to keep the knowledge, literacy and creations in time, although the catholic church’s contrary thoughts which clearly wanted to keep its domain on the word, and thus on the ideas. It’s been more than 500 years ago and since then books has changed very little, some variable cost, ink and technology introduction which lets accelerate the process of creation, but the letters are the same and, at most, photography came to add images to the information
With the arrival of the digital revolution when we have been able experimenting with other book models, going beyond the original idea of reading and exploring other ways of communication. Digital book was born and it quickly became in something more than text.
And we arrive to schools where, perhaps, we have demanded to digital textbooks more from the beginning, where the transformation from paper to bit hasn’t been appreciated as enough. And, furthermore it hasn’t evolved quickly enough an in the optimal direction, and curiously it’s been with the coming of iPad when transformation of books has allowed to evolve in a meaningful way.
Perfecto ejemplo de infografía interactiva que permite a cualquiera entender como funciona la luz y la adición de colores básicos.
“The Senses” “Senses” is a interactive digital book which offers a different approaching to a textbook, not because its own way of showing is revolutionary. Neither because there are extremely complex animations nor because it includes great quality videos filmed in the deepest pats of human body as BBC does.
This book is created with iBooks Author, the free app Apple offers for free to everyone for creations of ibooks, it only needs a Macintosh computer for being installed. It allows the creation of books for iPad -and since last september they can be read in any mac with Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks-.
You won’t find sections of exercises or reviews in this book as typical school textbooks. it doesn’t pretend that and I personally appreciate it, that kind of work should be kept in teacher’s hand. Neither you’ll find any external links section for reaching deeper information (maybe its weakest point).
What this book does offer is a compendium of precise information, achievable, aimed at a novice audience who finds to access to the knowledge in a simple way, visually, with the necessary text, reaching to it by the curiosity hand -its great allied- it’s a very -visually- nice book, as I always say in my mantra: “continent is part of the content”. Those ones are its greatest points.
Maybe its greatest value of this book, which lots of people can’t see it as a textbook, is its simplicity, its proximity, its target to curiosity about human being, of comparisons with other life forms, of the relation between what we can send and our brain, and our brain with other life forms’ brain. And it shows in a very visually, graphically and very reachable with very neat infographics and animations.
Texts related to the animals senses are concrete and easy to understand at the same time they connect with our own senses. In the same way imagery used in the book are very powerful, we can see the animals in their own ecosystem with a single click.
Its neat style, which in addition to maintaining throughout the book, shows us the different information in a very similar way, provides extremely easy-to-understand interactive infographics, created with a neat style. And, why not, because its price (less than 9$) which allows to be acquired without thinking that with those bucks we can buy a better one (a personal sensation I have nearly every time I try to buy other books from digital bookstores or from textbook firms).
It would be kind this book included some 3D animations for being watched as brain neuron cells responsible for any of the senses, some human eye 3D model, the relationship between ear and balance or even some high resolution video of, for instance, skin pores where the body expels excess temperature.
Also it’s true that I prefer lower prices for this kind of books, near of psychologic boundary of 5$ which would make it still more attractive for schools and people.
“The Senses” is created in Spain, by Imaxina a small firm from Galicia showing us that with a bit of initiative, training and intention it’s possible to create different textbooks, not those huge volumes which try to encompass all the curriculum of a course and which requires us to spend and enormous amount of money.
A very interesting interactive and designed infographic, which allows us to visualize how the human eye works.
Definitely, a very interesting option as an interactive digital ibook, a interesting sample based in the knowledge from curiosity, a book pupils can access about the senses in human body and how we use them in our environment.
Maybe we teachers should change our mentality for being able to use this kind of material which serves as source of information, promotion of curiosity, digital literacy, and multiple languages.
Beyond common, classic and possibly archaic model of textbook, digital textbooks should be one of points os information access when we play with to create those learning projects. And from that point of view, “The Senses” fulfills that function.
Aesthetics look of the book is very neat with high-res imagery.