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Interactive Textbook Combines Print and Multimedia at U Houston

The University of Houston College of Technology has adopted a printed textbook that includes interactive features. The college's Digital Media program will be using Introduction to Graphic Communication, 2nd Edition, which relies on the "Clickable Paper" app from Ricoh. The app enables the reader to access videos and audio in the printed book through an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet.

The app also can be used to communicate back to the authors, communicate among readers, interface with social media, set up chat rooms and other activities.

clickable paper

The first class at U Houston to use the book will be "Individualized Communications Processes," which covers pre-press activities, according to Professor Jerry Waite, Digital Media program coordinator.

"It revolves around the concept of 'transmedia marketing,' using multiple channels to communicate an idea," he explained. Students learn personalized print and electronic marketing as well as augmented reality. And now, through the use of the new textbook, he added, "we'll be adding clickable paper, too."

Co-author Harvey Levenson insisted that his book isn't an e-book, but rather a printed book that's made interactive with video and voice, to demonstrate the technology that the book is teaching. "It appeals to different learning styles — reading, viewing and hearing," he said in a statement. "The book will be particularly relevant to the [university's] digital media program where digital alternatives to learning is already being taught."

Other schools that adopted the book include both higher ed institutions (Arizona State University and Bowling Green State University, among others) and high schools (Keefe Regional Technical School in Massachusetts and Metamora Township High School in Illinois as well as others).

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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