Friday, February 11, 2005
The Text book question
Every year our students spend between three and four hundred dollars on text books in the high school. In this age of information these text books become dated almost as soon as they are published and we are locked into their errors for as long as we continue to use them. The large investment that we make in them causes us to use them for several years. The presence of textbooks also creates the idea that there is fixed body of knowledge that exists outside of the students that we just pour into them. With laptops in each student's possession the question of text books becomes very real. In a laptop school we will begin to move away from textbooks in hard copy. Every bit of information that is now contained in any text book that we use is available on the Internet. It is up to our students and teachers to find that material and begin to develop web sites that serve as depositories of the information that our curriculum uses. We need to map our curriculum and then using that map gather the data that we need to support our education. I am not talking about putting text books on line but abandoning the idea of text books per se. We will become a curriculum of questions that our faculty poses to our students and then we find answers together to. In a constructivist vein we become constructors of our own knowledge. Just a thought! What do you think?