Thursday, November 08, 2007

School textbooks: no more dead trees versions?

School textbooks could be going the way of the dinosaurs, as technology makes other options possible:

Free Online Materials Could Save Schools Billions
By Greg Toppo
USA Today
11/07/07 11:37 AM PT

Could Free-Reading offer a glimpse of the future, when big, bulky -- and expensive -- textbooks go the way of the film strip? Adam Newman of Eduventures, an education research and consulting firm in Boston, thinks so. "This is a shot across the bow for a lot of people," he says.

Since March, Dixon Deutsch and his students have been quietly experimenting with a little Web site that could one day rock the foundation of how schools do business.

A K-2 teacher at Achievement First Bushwick Elementary Charter School in Brooklyn, N.Y., Deutsch, 28, has been using, a reading instruction program that allows him to download, copy and share lessons with colleagues.

He can visit the Web site and comment on what works and what doesn't. He can modify lessons to suit his students' needs and post the modifications online: Think of a cross between a first-grade reading workbook and Wikipedia Latest News about Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia written and edited by users.
More Teacher-Friendly

If Deutsch wants to see a lesson taught by someone who already has mastered it, he clicks on a YouTube Latest News about YouTube video linked to the site and sees a short demo. "I find it's more teacher-friendly than a textbook," he says.

Oh, and it's free. [...]

The article goes on to give some examples where this is being implemented, and what it could mean for the education industry.

Related Link:

Would you buy a $50 eBook Reader?

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