Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Textbook Graveyard

If you did not catch this ABC broadcast ipods, Laptops Replace Textbooks, check it out now. It is a continuation of at least two other blogs I have posted about the inevitable fate of textbooks as we know them today. The article got me thinking: when was the last time I used a textbook for teaching Computers in the Classroom? I can’t recall every using one, but maybe I did in the age before the Internet was pervasive. What’s to be gained by forsaking textbooks? Do we need them? Some schools have already gone textbook-free and at least one school outside of Boston is dismantling its conventional library, giving away its book collection. For those who argue that placing the technology in the hands of school children will be too costly, what about the costs of textbooks themselves that need to be furnished for the full school population and go out of date? Check the article Schools Dump Textbooks for iPods and Laptops. Is it time to dump the textbooks.

In fact, here is another article that I just came across today, Books Face Extinction as High Schools Go High Tech. It seems every day I am finding another press release on the demise of the printed page. We can't escape the fact. As teachers, how can we prepare ourselves for the inevitable? Historically, people clamoured and resisted the invention of the printing press. Are we facing another revolution in the way we communicate?

Take the time to read and study both the articles mentioned, and note that you are doing your reading online, not in print. Are you spending more time nowadays reading online or in print? Even if our students are ready for the conversion, are we as teachers willing and ready to shift our teaching strategies?


Caitlin said...

I think that this is an interesting topic. As a social studies teacher, we have been told to use the textbook only as a guide and really to rely on ourselves to create meaningful lessons and activities for our studetns. The thought that tech is replacing text is not something that worries me, but I do that that if we get too much aways from the use of real textbooks as at least a basis of knowledge for our classroom activities, we will be doing a diservice to our students. As in all things, moderation is best, keep some of the old, but weave in the new as well.

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Jessica said...

I thought this was an interesting topic because everything these days is becoming digital. I personally would rather read something on paper than on a screen. Even though textbooks are expensive and some think they are outdated, I think they are more effective than textbooks online. When I am doing research or reading online, I find myself distracted by other websites and often find articles or reading material totally not related to the topic I need to study. While technology is advancing and becoming more innovative, I feel as though paper texts should still be used in the classroom.

Shannan said...

I have found as a new teacher that I am creating most of the learning materials and lesson plans on my own and through various uses of technology; however, I cannot do EVERYTHING through the computer or through other technology. I find myself always using a text with the students (especially to model a topic). I utilize the curriculum as a framework for what I am going to teach my classroom. I am not worried about technology replacing text either Caitlin.
I also agree with Jessica that I would much rather read something from a textbook rather than on the computer. When I foudn out that I had to take the Praxis on the computer I was excited at first but by the end of the test, I found myself having difficulty tracking the words on the screen because it was becoming harder for my eyes to focus on the words on the screen.
Even though there is a massive increase in technology in the classroom and throughout the world, I still believe it will be a WHILE until it completely replaces print/text especially because these new tech advances are very expensive!!

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