The idea of someone still reading from a textbook to their classes has never seemed more distant, especially with all the exciting options now before us. I'm wondering if any student has actually said how much they prefer answering the questions at the end of a chapter -- to working on a project (embedded with content) that involves some form of technology. I recently came upon Dr. Bob Houghton's (of Western Carolina University) site. There, you can find all kinds of information about the educational possibilities of podcasting and "wiki" sites.
During Global Challenge (tm), I discovered that if information is "embedded" in the larger context of something fun or interesting, it will likely be more deeply absorbed. This does not mean that we shouldn't try to make content interesting in and of itself. Educators should. The idea of surrounding content in a larger framework suggests that one cannot always download or spoon feed tons of information down a student's throat. There tends to be a natural gag reflex. Podcasting, blogging, websites and wiki sites would add an interesting dimension to this game. A couple of ideas come to mind: Students possessing the nation of Djibouti could deliver a weekly radio address on the state of their nation. For a final project, students could summarize what they learned on a blog, and on that blog could be an interview or debriefing with fellow teammates or between opossing teams.
For more information on this "emergent" style of learning, please visit The Space Between Classes, workshops and tutoring are available to interested parties.