Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Creating Textbooks

Just read Signs of a Significant Disruption in the Traditional Textbook Model from the online THE Journal. Apparently the Indiana DOE thinks the offered Social Studies textbooks are not "interesting [or] engaging." So they are changing the definition of textbook (!) to mean any "systematically organized material" and that now includes multimedia and internet materials, whether (and this is my favorite part) "packaged for them or packaged by them"

Yay!! Teachers may create their own materials! Well, truthfully, we all do it anyway. I have not ever been totally happy with everything provided for me and my classes by any textbook. In the past two years, I've actually broken away from the math textbook, though mostly for self-serving reasons (I don't have enough for my classes and they are 9 years old and shredded).

I can align my units and lessons with the state standards, compensating for individual weaknesses and playing to strengths. I can find materials online, I can adapt and create materials with the help of free internet resources (my students and I love geogebra!). I can drop in and out of online instructional resources (eNLVM, for one) and collaborate with other classes (see the Math Survey project here) .

So, even teachers can (and should?) operate at the level of "creating" in Bloom's Taxonomy.