One of the Sticky Idea brothers has developed an approach to textbooks called Thinkwell.

This is from the Thinkwell FAQ entitled “Tell me in 58 words how it works”:
Students buy the Thinkwell package at the bookstore and register into your personalized Thinkwell website. Instead of reading a textbook, students watch 10-minute video lectures on CD-ROMs and then complete online exercises at your website. Armed with the feedback of how well students have comprehended the topics, you are able to conduct your class time accordingly

Unfortunately, they don’t have any music books and I don’t think it’s set-up so you can design the whole thing yourself.

Not sure how I feel about not having students read.

It’s like lectures. I sometimes have difficulty inspiring class participation (especially without a gimmick or activity). Then I just talk. It crosses my mind that this kind of delivery could be put on a DVD or an online video.

But still I resist. I think it has something to do with being in the room with people even if they are not saying words. They still communicate with you. There is an energy (or lack thereof) in the room.

And I guess I feel pretty strongly that people need to keep their reading skills. Reading enables pondering and integrating subtle understanding that is not engendered by good videos and visual presentations. At least that’s my opinion. Of course, I could be just the victim of my own limitations regarding words and ideas.

Last night, I sat at a table and listened to a family reminisce
about their memories of themselves as family. As I listened, I thought a lot about Proust. He has some strong ideas about how we experience life stronger in memory than in the actual experience. By processing an event, we can actually come more in contact with it and understand it and even feel it more clearly. In the quick moment of experiencing it we are too busy to get it all. As I listened to the conversation last night, it was so interesting to hear what people proposed as a memory and then worked back and forth in terms of what each of them remembered. In some little ways this conversation seemed to help them shape their own understandings.

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