Thursday, December 15, 2011

Students Give Glimpse of the Future of the Book

Slide from AP Gov update to "Media" chapter.
As I explained in Re-enlisting as a Digital Teacher,  until recently I have not been certain I would continue teaching my AP American Government and Politics class.  This ambiguity caused me to stay with an edition of my e-text a year longer than I otherwise might have done.

Necessity being the mother of invention, I turned the datedness of the textbook into a group challenge project for the students.  The chapters selected were "Public Opinion", "The Media", and "Elections". Each of the three groups did a nice job.  In fact the results were so satisfactory I think I would consider it for any conventional textbook

That's the catch-- "conventional textbook".  Because my students demonstrated what a contemporary textbook should be.  It should not be a static chunk of information.  Instead it should be a continually updated resource that one enjoys through a subscription or license.  The kids provided charts, videos, and placed them on slides that were superior to the ancillaries provided by the publisher.  Shouldn't these ancillaries be updatee as well?  I know the textbook model will evolve to become a more dynamic resource.  But sometimes I wonder if I will see this happen in my lifetime.  At least I got to see how it might be with the help of my kids.

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