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Interactive Merit Badge Pamphlets

Interactive MB Pamphlets?  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. Good Idea?

    • Yes
      8
    • No
      2
  2. 2. Waste of Resources?

    • Yes
      4
    • No
      6


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 I think they should do these for all Eagle required badges, especially the Citizenship series.  That said,  I need to actually look at one to see if the implementation is adequate. The idea is great, though.  It's the future of education. 

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 I think they should do these for all Eagle required badges, especially the Citizenship series.  That said,  I need to actually look at one to see if the implementation is adequate. The idea is great, though.  It's the future of education. 

 

Well, it is hard to say if THESE are the future of education. Remember the handbook they put out on Apple? Wasn't even a searchable PDF. Total waste of $$$.

 

They don't even give you a sample to see what it is like. Who needs to pay $4.99 for an animated cover page?

 

I'd like to see a scout with the Animation MB (as useless as that is) animate the MB pamphlets. ;)

 

For me they are better off just making the pamphlets available in universal PDF format that is searchable and allows notes and highlighting. That's cheap, easy and could be done for less than the paper copy. Move more volume at a lower price, better product.

 

This is money incorrectly spent IMHO. When units are dying we don't need to see them painting the Titanic.

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I'm not averse to the concept.

 

I can't truly speak to waste of money until I see the production budget (split between paper and digital) and then a year later compare it to sales. But, I voted pessimistically until those are made public.

 

My main concern: transferability.

Once a boy is finished using the pamphlet, how can he turn it in to his troop library?

What tool can a troop librarian have to manage these E-volumes?

Say, he has four licenses for one book. Five guys are working on the badge. Can he determined who gets which volume? Is he able to "call back" licenses if they haven't been excersized?

 

In other words, I know how to make paper pamphlets -- and the sharing of them to contain costs -- part of a youth's responsibility.

I want to know how do the same thing with this new product from the company that's selling this service.

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I'm not averse to the concept.

 

I can't truly speak to waste of money until I see the production budget (split between paper and digital) and then a year later compare it to sales. But, I voted pessimistically until those are made public.

 

My main concern: transferability.

 

 

I would agree @@qwazse. My negativity is that it obviously costs more than just producing the book itself. The book is already in electronic form. Converting that to a PDF file and encrypting it with DRM (digital rights management for those who don't know) and allowing a user-based license is MUCH easier and MUCH less expensive than the bells and whistles in these things.

 

I downloaded one (Cooking) for the heck of it. Meh. Rather than build on the requirements and link in videos or expand the educational capabilities of this medium, it is the "interactive" equivalent of googling stuff and clicking links from those worksheets. Waste of $5. The editor notes says an update is coming. They would have been better off waiting to release this one until the Beta had been cleaned up.

Edited by Bad Wolf

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I downloaded one (Cooking) for the heck of it. Meh. Rather than build on the requirements and link in videos or expand the educational capabilities of this medium, it is the "interactive" equivalent of googling stuff and clicking links from those worksheets. Waste of $5. The editor notes says an update is coming. They would have been better off waiting to release this one until the Beta had been cleaned up.

 

I'm guessing that former Microsoft employees were involved with implementation. :p

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@@qwazse, et. al.

 

My cousin lives near national. He's been in contact with the Interactive Digital folks at BSA. Here's what he sent me:

  • The company doing this is called Inkling. They work with BSA on their print materials.
  • Content will be available via an app from Inkling for Android and Apple.
  • Access is user-based so end users will need an account.
  • Accounts can be spread across platforms, so if you have an iPad and Galaxy phone you can access the content via the apps on those devices.
  • Updates...minor updates...to content will be free. Major updates, such as the recent Cooking MB update, would need to be re-purchased.
  • Sharing user accounts is a violation of the usage policy, just as using illegal online versions of the current content would be.
  • A preview of the Cooking content is here. There is an update to the Beta content coming this week so expect more interactive features.
  • Kindle PDF versions will be discontinued. 
  • Cannot share with the troop library, sorry.

I *do* see some promise if the link above is the final product. But the usage restrictions and the proprietary platform seem a severe limitation!

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Well, it is hard to say if THESE are the future of education. Remember the handbook they put out on Apple? Wasn't even a searchable PDF. Total waste of $$$.

 

They don't even give you a sample to see what it is like. Who needs to pay $4.99 for an animated cover page?

 

I'd like to see a scout with the Animation MB (as useless as that is) animate the MB pamphlets. ;)

 

For me they are better off just making the pamphlets available in universal PDF format that is searchable and allows notes and highlighting. That's cheap, easy and could be done for less than the paper copy. Move more volume at a lower price, better product.

 

This is money incorrectly spent IMHO. When units are dying we don't need to see them painting the Titanic.

 

Well, interactive multimedia is the future of education, maybe not the implementation of the current MB books.  I'd really like to see this for the Citizenship badges rather than for the ones they are actually doing. 

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I think they sound awesome for the rich scouts.  

 

They are the same price as the paper copies. And these days I see "poor" scouts with better phones than I have, so you open a free account online and you can access this book on your phone or any computer.

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They are the same price as the paper copies. And these days I see "poor" scouts with better phones than I have, so you open a free account online and you can access this book on your phone or any computer.

I don't even own a cell phone.  My kids sure don't.  I google for the free pdfs if son actually needs a pamphlet.  

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I don't even own a cell phone.  My kids sure don't.  I google for the free pdfs if son actually needs a pamphlet.  

 

I hear you. I still have a flip phone. In my area we have have several families on state, federal and local assistance...the kids however have Galaxy phones.

 

I agree on the PDFs. They are easier to use, more universal and could support the same links to information that these new epubs do. I think it is an interesting idea from BSA but the wrong implementation.

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As far as I can tell, Inkling's DRM is always-online - so how do you access the electronic MB book if you're out in the brush w/o cell coverage?  Or does it have an offline-cache option?

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