So true -- much of the benefit here is in the "side by side"-ness of the interaction. Putting the textbook and the live interactive demos in the same exact space is powerful stuff.
I might have read Diamond Age a long time ago, I can't recall. It's this?
The primer is an interactive book that can answer a learner's questions (spoken in natural language), teach through allegories that incorporate elements of the learner's environment, and presents contextual just-in-time information.
The primer includes sensors that monitor the learner's actions and provide feedback. The learner is in a cognitive apprenticeship with the book: The primer models a certain skill (through allegorical fairy tale characters) which the learner then imitates in real life.
The primer follows a learning progression with increasingly more complex tasks. The educational goals of the primer are humanist: To support the learner to become a strong and independently thinking person.
You sure about that?
The Code Keyboard is still up for grabs. I suggest searching the Beagle Bros disks for the word "books".
Well, look at it this way: take any textbook you like, from the most beginnery of beginner ones, to the most hairy advanced, and make the diagrams / formulas / graphs in them interactive. I think this works at any level.