Although current eBooks are little more than print shown in an eReader, as a mobile, connected platform, eBooks have the unrealized potential to support many highly effective pedagogical approaches, including experiential, problem-based, and social learning. To realize this potential, the Personalized eBooks for Learning (PEBL) project has developed a specification that enables many new capabilities in eBooks while maintaining the advantages of the “book” format. The PEBL project, funded by ADL, has extended the standard EPUB3 format to enable eBooks to communicate with other systems in live, virtual, simulated, and constructive environments; to embed and exchange data with simulations, games, and intelligent tutoring systems; and to serve as competency-based training environments. Each of these capabilities can be separately provided by different learning technologies, but until now have not been consolidated in the convenient, media-rich, portable eBook form factor. A next-generation cybersecurity eBook prototype has been created that incorporates the features and functionality available through PEBL, and a specification has been written for the platform. The PEBL project is collaborating with an IEEE working group to collect requirements for a possible IEEE standard.
Elliot Robson is VP for Research at Eduworks Corporation and Principal Investigator (PI) on the PEBL project. Elliot designed numerous adaptive tablet-based learning materials and educational games while at Amplify Learning, a leading US educational technology provider, and has served as PI or Co-PI on related projects funded by ADL and the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL). He has been author or co- author on papers for many conferences, including I/ITSEC. He has helped develop competency-based tools and curricula for professional development and other training/education organizations. Elliot has a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Michigan and has worked for the United Nations as an education system analyst.