James has added a strong plea (to the mix of posts on the idea of a Free Open Source Old Testament Textbook) that any project not be limited to mere textyness. While, naturally, I agree (after all the Amos: Hypertext Bible Commentary was at least in part a partial intro textbook in (early) hypertext form, I would also like to see a core to the project that can produce a texty text book, for such a limited text is convenient for both teachers and students in a class setting.
So I’d see James’ plea as adding weight, and perhaps the possibility of dedicated new material, to Marks addendum to the Textbook idea.1Mark explains this well with an example in another fine post The “Textyness” of the Textbook in a Digital Age:
Let’s say you are talking about the topic of form-criticism and introducing Richard Bauckham’s recent contributions about the involvement of alleged eye-witnesses. You could record your own audio or video about this, in which you attempt to summarize his position, or you could watch and listen to the man himself doing it for you. Examples of this kind could be multiplied. My point is not that we should stop producing new resources — of course not. But rather that we should start thinking seriously about the integration of good existing resources into our new model.
On the other hand, Mark’s latest post The Shortcomings of Traditional Textbooks in the Digital Age, and Our Invitation gives a clear vision of how such an Open Textbook with its associated richer collection might be significantly different from and better then merely another (but free) textbook:
The traditional textbook’s difficulty is that however strong its author, it is still that author’s views that are presented, in all their particularity. What the textbook of the digital age can produce is something that is genuinely multi-authored as well as multi-media, a resource that encourages the university student to think critically from the earliest point by listening to different voices speaking on the same subjects.