Thursday, August 05, 2010

Guest Post at Edutopia: Increase Student Engagement by Getting Rid of Textbooks

Guest post published today at Edutopia. Came out of a recent #edchat and the comments many of you all made here about the pros and cons of textbooks.

Follow this link, head on over to Edutopia, and dig it: Increase Student Engagement by Getting Rid of Textbooks.

And thanks to Elana and Betty for the guest gig.


  1. I found this blog at Edutopia and immediately was confirmed in some of my ideas about textbooks. Thanks. I added your link on my blog, which is about gaming in the classroom. Your posts are really going to help me move forward after a hesitant technological start.


  2. Shelly,
    I found your blog at Edutopia as well. Thanks so much for saying out loud what a lot of teachers are whispering! I'd be interested to know what you think of what we're doing at the Tres Columnae Project (, which is an attempt to create a crowdsourced online Latin learning system.

    gratias maximas iterum!

  3. Great post! You wrote: "The students do not learn 'better' because my life as a teacher is 'easier.' So true! I think the same argument applies to electronic whiteboards as well.

    In science class, I would also say that you could go a step further and eliminate not just textbooks, but almost all lecturing as well. Students are creating knowledge in the lab and sharing it with the class. One popular method for this is called Modeling Instruction. Interactive whiteboarding is a key component of Modeling. You can read my take on it here:
    The $2 Interactive Whiteboard.

  4. Interesting conversation...but it comes more than a few years after we (and others) already brought it up. As as district we've been going textbook free for years...even built an entire high school around the concept. The Open Content Revolution is here.

    Here's a podcast I did using a prezo we've given across the country and internationally.

    Matt Federoff
    Chief Information Officer
    Vail School District


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