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10 Alternatives to Textbooks M. Ekdahl, TL Mentor Assisted by M. Kempthorne, District Librarian and J. Martens, Adolescent Literacy Mentor
“Whatever your guesses are the next year or for 2020, the questions that need answers are not about the rapid expiration dates of the newest device – including the ‘revolutionary’ iPad – nor to what degree technology will be ubiquitous in home and school nor even how new technologies will be used by the next generation of teachers and students. No, those are not the questions that need to be asked. Instead, fundamental questions have to deal with matters of educational philosophy.
What knowledge has the most worth? Why? What are the best ways of teaching and learning? These questions, in turn, depend on broader moral and political questions about what is the ‘good’ life and how one lives a useful and worthy life. When these questions are asked and answered, then and only then can new technologies play their role in schools and classrooms.
The Limitations of Textbooks Textbooks, although they certainly have an important role in content areal learning, have been scrutinized by educational critics who express concerns about their quality in terms of accuracy, readability, and appeal. These criticisms remind us that some textbooks may as well be made for furniture rather than learning ….Textbooks by themselves are not enough. Vacca and Vacca (2005) Content Area Reading: Literacy and Learning Across the Curriculum. NY: Pearson Education, 154.
TC4C • So where are you on The Continuum for Change in teaching and learning? • Just fine where I am, thanks. • No time to think about it. Just surviving here. • What was good enough for me is good enough for them. • If the kids can’t or aren’t reading, why • Convince me. • I get bored doing the same old thing over and over. • I’m aware that students get bored with “read the chapter, do the questions.” • I’m always looking to try new ways to engage kids with learning. • I love to work with technology. Let’s go … • Want to work on a new unit together? Let’s try Blogging Mathematicians!
Traditional Textbooks: Top Ten Alternatives What are other teachers or educators doing? Check out – BestLibrary.org Eduscapes.com Kathy Schrock`s Guide for Educators Your recommendations?
#2 = Databases Go to VSB Webcat, click onto Digital Library: Try these: Global Issues in Context (SS and Science) Biography in Context Bookflix (ESL, SPED) Newspapers (All) Culturegrams (Home Ec, SPED, ESL)
#3 = eBooks Go to VSB Webcat, click onto Video and More: Check out such online book sources as: Books should be free LibrivoxAudio Books Open Library Accessible Books Online Project Gutenberg World Book EBook centre Smart History Art web-text Merlot eText Content Online
#4 = Good search and retrieval strategies Keywords Google / Beyond Google = Chrome, Scholar Wikipedia – “begin here but never end here” CCRAP – #9: evaluate sources for currency, coverage, relevance, authority, perspective Schrock’s Evaluating Websites page BOOLEAN Machine Advanced Search features Wolfram Alpha (For Math, see By Topic) Corroboration – hoax sites ME’s Plagiarism Website
#5 = Authentic Sources Authors Creators Scientists National Geographic NASA TED Talks Your recommendations?
#6 = Product Launches and Trials What do you want to see? Ask Media Services for product trials Ask Teacher-librarians for product updates
#7 = Digitization Initiatives Canada in the Making - Constitutional History Canada in the Making - Aboriginals: Treaties & Relations Canada in the Making - Aboriginals: Treaties & Relations Where are the Children? Healing the legacy of the residential schools Moving Here, Staying Here. The Canadian Immigrant Experience - LAC Multicultural Canada Historica History by the Minute Canadian Encyclopedia, The Black History Canada from Historica … and lots more
#8 = youtube, NFB, TED, etc. Go to Webcat, click onto Video and More tab Find a good short youtube clip, perfect for the lesson, like - Hans Rosling's200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes - The Joy of Stats - BBC Four
#9 = Trade Books (and TLs) Trade books are: • Published for use by general public • Informative, entertaining, appealing to range of readers • Picture books, fiction, non-fiction, poetry • Provide intense involvement in a subject and power to develop in-depth understanding • Opportunities for reading to learn and learning to read • Best when used in multimedia environment with curriculum integration in mind • An optimal way to exend and enrich learning See more in Vacca and Vacca, Chapter 5 (circulating)
#10 – Self-created Resources Create your own resources with tools like: • Animoto, blogger, Prezi, etc. Find out more about: • Merlot • Lulu
Points of Inquiry: No longer can it be assumed that the teacher is the expert as students actively construct their own personal understandings of information. This kind of learning is best accomplished within a model of inquiry .…
Learners: • Are actively involved in the learning process • Use prior knowledge, ask questions, investigate • Construct new understandings and communicate these • Reflect critically as they become independent as learners
C21 Teachers • Move to the side, guide, scaffold learning • Provide feedback, empower deep learning • Encourage students to have more authority over their own knowledge and inquiry • Are actively engaged in learning, assessing, and teaching • Ensure new learning happens in active, collaborative, social contexts (real or virtual)