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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Tomorrow's Digital University

August 19, 2011, 10:30 AM

What's the Latest Development?

University students will soon be buying or renting digital textbooks, says Dan Rosensweig, revolutionizing one of the lamentable rites of a university education: lugging heavy and expensive textbooks all over campus. Rosensweig is a Silicon Valley insider who, a year and a half ago, stepped down as C.E.O. of Guitar Hero to pioneer tomorrow's digital university. According to Rosensweig, over 90 percent of students still buy or rent traditional paper textbooks and the digital information they do receive is often non-required reading material. 

What's the Big Idea?

The future of university education is digital. As digital devices continue to improve, the book as we know it will all but disappear from university students' classroom experience. But this is only one feature of the coming digital campus. Student-to-student applications will allow classes to connect socially, discuss lessons, rate professors, exchange and even sell class notes. Rosensweig is helping to develop an online student-to-student business where the truant can purchase class notes written by those who attend classes. 


Tomorrow's Digital University

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