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Toronto's Symtext aims to build the textbook of tomorrow

Toronto's Symtext Corp. is hoping to change the way students study and teachers teach, through its innovative product, the Liquid Textbook. The Liquid Textbook allows instructors to create customized digital textbooks that can incorporate material from a number of different mediums from articles, to photographs to podcasts. As reported by Toronto Star, the company has sold its "textbook of tomorrow" to nearly 25 professors in Canada and the United States since its launch in July 2008.

"Printed course-packs are so last year. Ian Barker wants you to know about the textbook of tomorrow.Barker, a former CanWest Interactive marketing director, got the idea for the Liquid Textbook from a surprising source."

"The history buff was reading about the Second World War when he came across a paragraph describing a bloody battle between the Russian and German armies outside Berlin. It was this "horrible loss of life and it had major historical importance and [yet] it was only one little paragraph," Barker says."

"He wanted to know more about the battle and wished the author had included related historical documents and analysis. That got him thinking about how digitally weaving together several print and multimedia sources would create an enriched learning experience."

"Unlike a traditional eBook, which digitizes an entire paper book, the Liquid Textbook allows for chunking Ė picking chapters of books written by different authors and bringing those chapters together in a digital anthology, along with other multimedia content, that suits an instructor's course."

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original source the Toronto Star
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