Looking to leverage the interest in newer formats of media and alternative forums, a professor of media studies from Pitzer College in Los Angeles County has worked on a video text book where the instruction is imparted through a series of Youtube videos.
Aptly titled Learning on Youtube the exclusively online book was published by MIT Press and is actually a spin-off from an earlier class on the popular Internet video-uploading site offered by 'author' Alexandra Juhasz.
As the very first page of the book will tell you, Youtube is the subject, form, method, problem and solution of this book. In the words of the publisher, the book seeks to investigate what actually happens within new media settings that proclaim to be radically democratized.
Students in Juhasz's offline course were encouraged to perform their coursework on Youtube - by creating videos and exchanging comments - and many of these were compiled to create the unique web-book. Thus, the book is essentially a collection of more than 200 Texteos - pages comprising a combination of guiding text and video - which readers can access on its dedicated website.
Colour coded links on each of the pages guide the user through navigation, while linear grouping of the texteos are available in a series of Youtours corresponding to traditional text book chapters.
The book has been created using new software, Scalar, developed at the University of Southern California, which also provides templates to create similar publications.
While the format is unique and groundbreaking, the enduring power of the book has met with some skepticism, especially over its compatibility with ever-evolving technology platforms.