Curriculum

Interest in Digital Textbooks Growing

January 19, 2010 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

West Virginia is that latest state to show interest in testing digital textbook options for K-12 schools, according to this article in the Charleston Gazette.

The state has asked two high school history teachers to experiment in their classrooms with Web resources and other digital content. Student will be issued laptops and have access to a wireless network. It’s not crystal clear from the article, but it sounds like the teachers are essentially tapping into open educational resources on the Web.

“There’s a zillion different sites and ideas out there,’' one of the teachers told the Gazette. “We’re basically building this database of Web sites that can be used by social studies teachers all over the state.’'

Last week, it was announced that a select group of schools in the Indianapolis school district would test out content provided by Discovery Education in place of traditional textbooks. California launched its own digital textbook initiative last year with a review of about a dozen open-source math and science texts and the promise of more in the future.

As state and local budgets tighten, textbooks tend to be one of those purchase items that get pushed to the back burner for a while. Given the expansion of free online resources across content areas, it is only natural that school officials would explore their options for supplementing aging texts with updated content on the Web. But many experts caution that finding appropriate materials and fitting them into the established curriculum in an efficient manner is not always that easy.

What’s your case for, or against, digital texts?

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.

Events

Reading & Literacy Webinar A Roadmap to Multisensory Early Literacy Instruction: Accelerate Growth for All Students 
How can you develop key literacy skills with a diverse range of learners? Explore best practices and tips to meet the needs of all students. 
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
College & Workforce Readiness Webinar
Supporting 21st Century Skills with a Whole-Child Focus
What skills do students need to succeed in the 21st century? Explore the latest strategies to best prepare students for college, career, and life.
Content provided by Panorama Education
School & District Management K-12 Essentials Forum What Will It Take for Schools to Get Better?
Find out what educators and leaders can do to incite lasting and productive change that will make a difference in the lives of students.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Curriculum Miami School Board Reverses Itself, Approves Sex Ed. Textbook
The board reversed itself again to accept the text but to maintain a block on access on the more controversial chapters.
3 min read
Image of books on a library shelf.
iStock/Getty
Curriculum Florida School Board Rejects Sex Ed. Textbook Under Pressure
Critics said the material was not age appropriate for students in middle and high school.
2 min read
Image of books.
iStock/Getty
Curriculum 4 Ways States Are Exerting More Control Over Classroom Materials
States have limited power over what materials teachers use—but some are wielding influence anyway.
7 min read
Curriculum Opinion A Search for Common Ground: Navigating Tough Classroom Conversations
Should parents or legislators have a say in what subjects educators teach?
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty