A Gutenberg Experience

In 1979 my wife an I felt we should start a printing business, this we believed, was something we should do to make a difference. Our journey is quite a story.  We began printing for churcohes and Christian organizations. For 18 years the story of  the invention of moveable type and Gutenburg’s printing press and how his first book off the press – the Bible changed the world was a driver in our lives.  It still inspires us to this day.  We had the amazing experience of seeing some original pages from it  in Germany some years later.

Dan Brokke, President of Bethany International and an old friend from our time running Printing Schools in the University of the Nations in Hawaii,  never realized the impact his gift of this cool new Bible would have on me.   It provides the first bridge I have seen between our old world of print on paper and our new world of teaching and learning with technology.  It is awesome that  it is in fact a Bible….. Johannes Gutenburg would be well pleased.

Life Essentials Study BibleLife Essentials Study Bible  with video tutoring by Dr Gene Getz by  uses QR or BeeTags to give the printed page a link to the Internet and digital assets to support the content. I first started using these tags about 2 years ago and have seen them connect advertising posters to websites and other marketing uses. I have also used them to link PowerPoint presentations to social bookmarking, but Dr Getz uses them to add rich media content to expand the principles of Scripture and provide “good fors” as they are called in JiTT. They answer the students important questions of practical application … What is this content good for?

As I thought about this and explored the book at our time at Bethany College, ideas kept bouncing around my head. What if we extended this concept from rich media (video) support to the printed content and added interactive formative assessment i.e. quizzes managed by a LMS like Moodle.  We could design the “printed content” as self contained, yet linked to so much more when connectivity allows.  We could provide this content on local networks and design it so all content is LTA ( Low Threshold Activities i.e. easy to learn, easy to use, easy to download and low cost) and for use on mobile devices. We could design collaborative networks linked to the content, students could add questions and comments to their peers in group discussion…. Hmmm!  Could this be a new and exciting learning design that would work in the majority world?  Brainstorm anyone?

Truly a personal Gutenburg  moment.  Please add your comments.

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