Thanks for the heads up Joe. Happy to change the name to something else, any suggestions?
That utility has been nice and served us well for the moment but in the process of writing course materials I have uncovered a bigger problem involving redundancy in educational materials, which sent me creating something we call the Skills Package Manager to manage the content for learning a skill in much the same way that software is managed through packages with individual skills and topics being essentially functions and methods that are effectively required together in markdown files to create, what we call, a compiled content build for a given lesson or project. It feels a lot like coding human brains the way you would code a computer. We then changed the name to Skills Builder (
skb) and are still working on that.
As things happen, in the process of building
skb to build educational, consumable, customized content I realized the tool itself could be worked into a web browser of sorts that focuses on pulling in content on demand and including it inline in the document rather than linking out to it. We see this idea a lot already with social media lazy loading and such. A browse content session would then dynamically create a very personalized, consumable artifact with just a
Save function, even
Save as PDF, or
Save as PWA or
Save as GitHub Repo (which is effectively what
ghc does now). These artifacts are the "Textbooks" I was seeking in all of this. Highly fluid, versioned, and updatable in a way other educational media could never keep up with.
The more I looked at how such a tool could work and the fact that the instructor would still be creating the artifacts and distributing them to the student users the more I wondered if we could even remove that step and have students create their own consumable, educational content resources, their own textbooks and workbooks.
Then it REALLY hit me.
Having been around since before there was a world wide web and watching it be born of a desire for scientists to allow peers to both consume AND create content that could be easily linked together I realized the very approach to consumer and creator content sharing has been lost and yet the
skb tool I was building to dynamically create documents of shared content by including and loading rather than linking might just be an entirely new way to approach the world wide web itself.
The Essential Web
The Essential Web is the term my college-age son, wife and I came up for this very exciting concept. I still find myself jumping up and down with exuberance about the potential this could have and have begun capturing the key ideas and thoughts about it in a repo for now that eventually the essentialweb.org will point to. I got the domains and am preparing a site for explaining the concept. The content there is literally being written right now as we work out the details of what could be one of the most important standard specifications the web has seen in years, albeit approachable and doable.
I would really, really love the input about the Essential Web spec from other technical professionals and educators, who have a particular propensity for being both good technical people as well as good writers.