I am thinking about creating a small digital text resource for a course next year. Digital text is an idea I’ve been thinking about over the last few years as I’ve grown disenchanted with traditional textbooks, partly because they are expensive, partly because they include too much trying to be all things to all instructors, and partly because I think the digital environment offers some opportunities for enriching the texts in ways that print cannot. The discrete nature of such texts also appeals to me and I think it will appeal to Net Gen students.
What I want to do is write what is essentially a book chapter, explaining the theories of demand and supply and explaining how economists use them to analyze markets. This small project seems like a good opportunity to make a start at a digital text.
I’m looking for suggestions on what tools to use to do this and what form the product should take. The digital things I’ve worked with in the past: blogs and wikis, for example, have been more process than product-oriented. Even the static web pages I’ve created have been utilitarian; I didn’t take the time to learn how to give them a more finished look.
The digital texts I envision are essentially finished products. They will embody the presentation of established facts and findings. I plan to include text, graphs (ideally, animations) and perhaps some images in the text. What should I know about to complete this project? Any suggestions?