Textbooks: Now and Later

14 Feb

Without a doubt, textbooks are changing.  Below is a digital representation outlining and highlighting some of the most outstanding innovations occurring in the textbook world.  There is a portion in Part 4: Reinventing the Textbook, that stood out the most to me – Interactive textbooks.  What more could we ask for at the primary level?  The experience could eliminate the need for both workbooks and textbooks while also making learning more accessible and engaging.

The Digital Classroom
Via: Accredited Online Universities Guide

3 Responses to “Textbooks: Now and Later”

  1. Mary Lou Donahoe February 15, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    The thought of a digital classroom is very exciting to me as a teacher. Technology can not only be helpful to aid students access information but it can be differentiated to the student’s needs with help from the technology department. Technology can be particularly useful when assessing students in non high stakes tests. It can be easily modified and provide instant feedback to the student and the teacher. The idea of having so much information available is a great asset. As the article discuses the iTunes store has many interactive books available. I have used some of those to provide support for a given reading lesson and the students seem to grasp the concept much better. I think technology itself is really not the answer, good teachers are necessary to prepare good lessons. We could compare a teacher to an orchestra conductor, the instruments do not create the music, we need the script but the conductor ensures all the instruments play when they need to play to create a wonderful experience for the spectators. I recently read the following on Education Week: Christopher Dede, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, also notes the unique relationship between students and their mobile devices. “Kids think of phones as an extension of themselves in a way that they don’t think of with laptops or workstations,” he says. “Part of what you have is this intellectual partnership with your cellphone where you do some of the thinking, and your cellphone does some of the thinking, and then you’re smarter.” I think the iPad has a similar effect on children. It is mobile and easy to use. It takes effort and work to know all the technology available and prepare the lessons, once it is in place I think a digital classroom can be a very rewarding and learning experience for both the teacher and the student.

  2. Kimberly February 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    Can we get the IAuthor on the ipads? Is there training so we can create programs for our class?

    • J. Andrew Bairstow February 15, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

      Hi Kimberly,
      iAuthor, I discovered, can only be used with Lion (the newest operating system). The problem with Lion is that a lot of other 3rd party apps have not updated themselves to operate on Lion, yet. Once we can be assured that all of our software will operate smoothly, the upgrade to Lion will not be far behind. I’m guessing it may be a summer project.
      In terms of training, creating an iBook with the iAuthor is much like creating a document on pages. One only needs to spend some time exploring and attempting to “get it.” It has the same tools and tool bars as the other iWork applications.

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