The creator of this fabulous, fact-filled super graphic on textbooks vs. e-books asked me to have a look at the chart about textbooks since I’ve weighed in on the subject previously. I’m not surprised by any of the statistics quoted. I think the data reinforces the point I’ve been trying to make that textbooks and printed media are crucial learning tools the students and the teacher needs.
Through some public private partnerships, textbook makers need to create the type of books that have the assignments clearly written right in the books. The teacher should be able to modify the lessons, but the lessons should already by written out, I think. It’s not a matter of the federal government imposing some curriculum on the schools. That is not the way to see at all. It’s about ensuring that there is a solid curriculum in place, that is knowledge based, content rich and sequential, so that grades aren’t repeating the same topics year after year. We’ve gotten very disorganized with this move to do everything online. There are some great resources on the Web. PBS Teachers does incredible work integrating current events and lesson plans. That is an incredible and free resource. But even an excellent resource such as PBS can’t replace a literature anthology, a history book, or a science textbook. It’s nonsense to assume we would have classrooms without them. I realize budgets are tight, but that is an absolute essential in my mind. There will be teachers who have a lot of their own activities they want to share with the class, but there needs to be a solid framework in place and I think the traditional textbook is the proper media toward that end.