The Future Textbook

Faculty Advisor: David Karger
Contact e-mail: karger@mit.edu
Research Area(s): Graphics and Human-Computer Interfaces
Now that we can put textbooks on the web, how can we change them to make them better? How can we make them more dynamic, more adaptable to individual students, more sociable, or more informative? We've tackled some of these questions with Nb (Link ), tool that lets students hold forum-type discussions in the margins of their online reading material. Nb is currently in use in roughly 50 classes at 10 universities. We have a long list of improvements to implement and assess in Nb, including social moderation, key-question highlighting, organization via tagging, chat and wiki functionality, support for sketching diagrams and other non-text annotations, hot-spot mapping for faculty, html and video annotation, and many others that students like you think of. Experience with Javascript and Django is a plus, as is good performance in 6.813/831.