It’s a good thing Mark Goodacre and I are such long-time friends, because whenever certain topics come up, we end up adopting positions at variance with one another. Not finally at variance, not even essentially at variance, but if we were married we would probably be squabbling continuously.
Mark hails the FOSOTT/OAOTT project, except he really wants to remind us that the web is overflowing with lots of pre-existing pedagogical goodness — to which I say, Bravo, and many of us already know about those resources (some indeed even make those resources). Nonetheless, what Brooke and I have in mind (don’t know if I’m speaking fairly for Brooke, here, but we appear to be on the same wavelength) is not contrary to “using all these wonderful resources,” but “developing a more-or-less coherent, coordinated pool of resources on the familiar, pedagogically-conveninet model of a textbook.” Mark thinks textbooks are just too “texty,” and I’m with him on that as well — hence my long-standing interest in comics models for instruction, especially at the introductory “textbook” level. (I haven’t gotten overwhelming support for that one, either.) Mark cites the very impressive Bibledex videos and suggests that someone just sit down and “record your own audio or video” response to a pre-existing resource. Perhaps, but a large part of the point of a textbook is (again) its coherence with itself (thematically, discursively, graphically, physically, and so on); the presentation of materials that are consistent one with the next is part of the teaching and learning, especially at the introductory stage.
So anyway, Mark and I will probably go on squabbling collegially as long as we’re both at work. He convinced me about the Synoptic Problem, and maybe someday he’ll allow me to convince him about hermeneutics (it would befit his vigorous interest in non-verbal instructional media). Cheers, Mark — give my regards to the USA, and if I ever descend to England, I’ll raise a pint for you there.
[Later: Gah! John Ahn points to the promo for Rick Pearlstein’s Nixonland as another take on the future of books.]