The way I see it, the new problem is the $1,000 textbook. I'm referring to the push of districts to create ebooks...of all sorts. Now it may not cost $1,000 up front, but when you factor in (1)device to create, (2) PD to train people to create, (3) time invested in creating, and so on, you very quickly see the cost of ebook. Just like digital pencils, the problem with ebooks is that they do not change teaching and learning. So WOW your kids get to their textbook via a device instead of physically flipping pages. What's that? You can push updates as curriculum and standards change, NEATO! You say this eliminates the excuse of "forgetting" your book, GOOD for you!
Okay, enough with the dry whit. What's the point of ebooks in your school? ....If you answered anything about 21st century skills, cost efficiency, or CCSS then you shouldn't be making an e-textbook. The creation of digital content was awesome in the hands of teachers up to about three years ago. The curve we are quickly falling behind is allowing students to crate digital content. Our students should:
1. Own their learning
2. Leave a legacy
3. Publish original content
4. Go back, possibly years later to edit and reflect on their work
5. Collaborate, write, draw, link, connect, correct
And so fourth.
Digital textbooks should be created by students, for students and with students on mind. They should not receive points, grades or any other tangible rewards for their efforts. They should be sold on the idea that there is an intrinct good to learning. Students née to be motivated to help others and leave digital footprints worth following.
If your district is considering considering ebooks please think about a few things:
1. Who owns the content?
Are you using an app or paid service. If you are then there is a good chance your intellectual property is no longer yours. 2. Who creates the content?
Should teachers be involved? Should students be involved? How much will be done by each?3. What is the purpose?
Are you creating a new culture of teaching and learning? Do you just want to save money? Are you giving students ownership of their learning?