See News

The Living Textbook: Learning concepts as the brain wants to see them

On Thursday 28 January the Living Textbook (LTB) software and content will be launched in an interactive seminar. The LTB is a concept-based environment for knowledge sharing that can be used for education, projects and research. Ellen-Wien Augustijn and Rob Lemmens (both members of the Living Textbook expert group within the ITC Faculty) talk about the LTB initiative and the launch that is coming up.

“For me, the Living Textbook is an ongoing project in which teachers and educational specialists think what the digital textbook of the future should look like. We go beyond just thinking: we also design, implement and experiment with this textbook”, explains Augustijn. “The unique characteristic of the Living Textbook is that it combines a wiki-style hypertext editor with a concept map that together facilitate the creation of course materials and representations of any knowledge domain, based on concept definitions. This is all done in a collaborative web environment”, Lemmens completes.

Distance learning

ITC has a long tradition in both international and distance learning. “This is a tool that offers great potential for distance learning. We teach within the Geo domain, maps are part of ITC’s DNA so to say. Although concept maps are not regular maps, there are similarities. We are a technical faculty, and implementing new software is part of our business”, explains Augustijn. ITC is well-known for its distance education in Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation programmes and its diversity of courses. Lemmens: “The Living Textbook was especially designed to support exactly that, by creating an educational platform with reusable concepts, all in a web environment.”

The launch

During the launch, the employees involved, who worked on the textbook in recent years, will show examples of different types of use, and talk about the future development. The Living Textbook will ‘open-up’ in several ways. “First, we will make publicly available one of ITC’s main education content areas, the so-called ‘core of Geo-Information Science’, which is used as a reference for all new ITC Master students”, according to Lemmens. “Secondly, we will start sharing the software code with interested parties in order to co-develop the functionality of the Living Textbook further and thus create new opportunities to use the tool in projects, research and education.”

Join the launch

The Living Textbook will be launched on 28 January 2021. The seminar will take place between 10.00 and 12.00 hrs (CET). Check the programme on our website for more information.

R. Kwakman (Robin)
Communication Advisor (Faculty ITC)