Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Textbooks of the Future

At our school, we are well on our way to making lessons and readings more tech savvy.  Each teacher maintains a website and all of our course documents are downloadable from these sites.  What remains, however, are the textbooks. 

We have some online subscriptions to some of our books, but the online versions are often just PDFs of the original text.  This helps with the problem of heavy backpacks, but does little to enhance the format of the text itself. 

More and more publication companies are embracing Kindles, Nooks and iPads as a means of reading their material.  Not only does this compile all of a student's texts onto one tiny reader/tablet, but it allows for functions that would be impossible for a paper textbook.  If you are not yet convinced, check out this demo of iBooks textbooks for iPad.

With these new formats, videos and demonstrations can be embedded into the text in place of still photos.  Many of the books also have applications for taking notes, making notecards and generating study quizzes. 

At the moment, we have a few iPads to share amongst the faculty and each student has a netbook.  We are not yet equipped for a full transition over to eTextbooks, but I am excited to see how this takes off in the future!


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