Monday, August 8, 2011

Digital Textbooks...Like Putting Lipstick on a Pig

No More Paper, No More Books…No More Problems…

I find the topic of digital textbooks to be fascinating. It sounds appealing…heck it sounds romantic…. Really?...Lit Maven.

Let me explain....
The current situation is that most students are using "regular" textbooks.

I remember the excitement of opening a textbook at the beginning of the year and seeing who had their name in it last year.

If it was a boy, there was sure to be bad words somewhere…or Rock Band logos…Sometimes there were speech bubbles with inappropriate comments.

The textbook was a rite of passage. A unifying force so to speak. Walk down the hall and you knew who was in which grade or at least, taking which classes. But how old school is that notion...

But the question cannot be about textbooks vs. digital textbooks. It has to be this:

Can we move away from digital textbooks (textbooks) towards a blend of other internet resources?

You is a matter of intention. If it is to save money, by having a digital textbook then essentially you are putting lipstick on a pig.

Are we enlightening he child...or lightening the backpack?

Oh I are thinking.."there is so much you can do with a digital textbook, Lit Maven."

Perhaps you can change the font size or search more efficiently...but really is this a breakthrough?


So what can we do instead?

This week I would like to investigate the possibilities of teacher created textbooks. That is... textbooks (resources) that are a blend of materials such as audio,video, images etc.

I will be answering questions like:

Where can you find the information to include?

How can you store and distribute the information?

Of course I may come up with more questions along the way.

Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!


  1. Hi Brandi!

    Very interesting post.. I especially agree with the digital textbook v. textbook and how that should NOT be the answer.

    In regards to your last three questions, if I may, I would like to suggest

    They have a textbook browsing feature in which they have mapped popular school textbooks to the videos on their site, so essentially as the teacher is going through the book, there are videos that directly correlate with whatever lesson he or she is teaching. also in beta testing right now, they have a 'maps' feature in which both teachers and students can create playlists of however videos they want in any order they want, so they can have their own personalized lesson plan. it's like flipping the classroom... students can watch the videos at home and then teachers can run experiments, show other videos, have discussions in class. and it's all up to the teacher's discretion because she can customize her lesson plan. pretty neat, i think, and she can also share her map with other teachers across the country.

    hope that helped, check em out!

  2. Thanks Brandon! I will be using your suggestion in my upcoming posts about gathering resources for your own "digital" textbook. Have you used Brightstorm in the classroom? If so, what was your experience?

    Thanks in advance.


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