Reading 04.1 – Ted Nelson

I wonder how ol’ Teddy would respond to a Goosebumps Choose Your Own Adventure book. While I believe hypertext is better suited to the web rather than, say, a book, I think the idea of non linear text systems is still relevant across various mediums. Yes, ‘Choose Your Own Adventure Books’ are arguably outdated, but I wonder how a child of the iPad generation would respond to a book in which they are offered different “pathways”. I don’t have childen, nor am I surrounded by many, but I doubt they would be exposed to such open ended reading. Despite the web being an extremely accessible learning tool for children today, I wonder how often ‘hypertext’ is taken advantage of as a learning platform…

Hypertext, in my opinion, is better suited to an online medium as it is so easy for us to click from link to link, gathering information wherever we like and choosing the path we take. This is physically easier than flipping from page to page, back and forth, in a book. While the internet is a viable learning tool, I question whether or not young children (or their teachers) take advantage of the “choose your own adventure” way of learning. Yes, children have access to ebooks, iPads etc, but the answers are still laid out for them in a chronological order.

This Ted Nelson reading made me wonder what would be achieved if teacher’s exposed students to “non linear text systems”, as Nelson puts it. Perhaps they would be able to formulate their own ideas and opinions, and “choose their own adventures” from an earlier age. Perhaps, conversely, chaos would erupt as children try to form ideas and follow pathways unsupervised or without the pre required knowledge.

As an aside, I think we are all surviving well in the “dungheap” that is the 21st Century. Cheers, Teddy.


Journalist at L'Oréal Paris Australia. Fashion Editor at Professional Writing and Editing Graduate. Currently studying Professional Communication.

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