From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2016
It's time to reinvent the textbook to meet the needs of today's students, educators, and self-study readers. Students aren't buying them, and authors and publishers have slowed or stopped revising them keep up with new technology and new pedagogy. We want to demonstrate new possibilities by completely overhauling Understanding Fiber Optics, an introduction to fiber optics originally written by J.H. for self-study and later republished as a textbook for technician training. After five editions that sold over 100,000 copies, its page count nearly doubled and its price soared more than tenfold from its original $16.95. We envision a modular structure to meet the needs of students and instructors. Basic concepts will be covered at an introductory level in a "core book" of some 200-250 pages, suitable for self-study, STEM programs at the high school level, and technician training. Additional separate modules primarily intended for instructors will cover details, such as how to install connectors. All materials will be distributed electronically at low cost, and will include interactive demonstrations, animations, simulations, and audio and video supplements explaining key concepts. Our goal is to keep the best aspects of a well-written and well-illustrated textbook, take advantage of new tools for presenting material to students, and make the whole package readily accessible and affordable to students, instructors, and anyone else wanting a working knowledge of fiber optics. We are developing a proposal to achieve these goals, and looking for partners to help us develop, test and evaluate instructional materials.
Jeff Hecht, Deborah Hecht, Ahsan Chowdary, and Nicholas Massa, "Re-inventing the fiber-optic textbook: a proposal," Proc. SPIE 9946, Optics Education and Outreach IV, 99460M (Presented at SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications: September 01, 2016; Published: 27 September 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2238014.
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