"Life can only be understood backwards,
but it must be lived forwards."
--Kierkegaard

Thursday, March 26, 2015

1996

1996. When I step into the classroom next week, ready to use my hypertext tutorial as text/resource, I'll be doing what I wanted to do 20 years ago - and couldn't.

My first class. Evening. A student rushes up: "I couldn't find the textbook in the bookstore!" Panic. "How do I get the textbook?"

Relax. Everything is cool.

Or is it?

A class filled with older students, rushing here from their jobs. I feel a foreboding.

I ask, How many here went on the World Wide Web recently? From the front row, What's the World Wide Web?

My turn to panic. Another question. How many here have email accounts? Less than half the class.

My class can't access the tutorial! I have to print out web pages and make a course pack.

Then print on demand publishing hits the scene. I turn the course pack into a book. A real book! But I keep adding to the tutorial, the dynamic beauty of hypertext. I use the book with handouts. Finally an expanded edition to incorporate them.

A commercial publisher sees it, wants a commercial version. Great! A doubly real book.

But it's all linear, not hypertext, copy and pasted from the tutorial. The tutorial is superior - and I can prove it. I make it a commercial product, to rave reviews and testimonials. A good income - until it becomes incompatible with new versions of windows. I don't find the time to update it.

It gathers cyberdust on my computer. When I retire, I return it online with free access, my gift to future students.

And next week it's deja vu all over again. But now my students can access the tutorial.

1 comment:

  1. And a great free resource it is.

    ReplyDelete