Friday, February 15, 2013

The Future of Textbooks


            I remember when I first heard about the concept of losing the textbooks and introducing electronic devices to serve the same purpose….I thought people were crazy! I felt quite sure that this would never happen and people would surely find that nothing could replace our precious textbooks! Now I am finding that my negative thoughts were very ignorant and I am actually looking forward to a future of more technology and less books – there, I said it J
            I have been a little resistant to change from what I knew growing up in school, to how I teach my own students. I have only been teaching for five years, but I have been so hesitant because I don’t always feel very tech savvy. As I become more and more comfortable with it, I seem to embrace it more and more. As long as somebody is willing to teach me, I am willing to learn!
            Why this change? I have seen how technology can enhance learning and increase the productivity in the classroom. I am ready for more. By using technology rather than textbooks, I see many advantages. Students will love them, they would be more interactive, my little 3rd graders would not have to carry 20 pounds of books on their back just to finish a small assignment, space….desk space for students and the shelf space – AHHHHHHH the shelf space! I think about doing novels in our classes, we could order them and instantly have the book on the child’s device. Their tablets would have texts, graphics, video, audio, built in quizzes, they can interact more with the material they are learning, and would likely be more engaged with this than a typical textbook. I could see it really helping struggling students, too! There seem to be endless advantages. Like with anything else. There would be some roadblocks – I think about students losing their homework (now an ipad?!!) that could be scary, or the fact that technology doesn’t always work and I can’t always fix it, and it would really be a HUGE adjustment. It would take a lot of leg-work to plan out the specifics on how to integrate them into the classroom, but I feel like it would have excellent long term benefits.
            I NEVER want to see books go away, however. I think there is something about holding a book, feeling it, looking at the cover, seeing how thick it is, turning the pages, and being off a computer after being on one for so many purposes throughout the day. I believe I will always have books in my classroom for my students…..but the reality is that textbooks could become a thing of the past!

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