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Free Online Resources May Eliminate the Use of Textbooks

Textbooks Could Be A Thing Of The Past

Textbooks have been a staple in classrooms for years now, but according to an ESchoolNews article, they could very well be a thing of the past and even better, be replaces with a free online alternative.

“Textbooks, those long-entrenched staples of classrooms, could soon be pushed from their place of prominence by a high-tech alternative: online lessons that can be downloaded, customized and updated — all at will, and all for free,” says Sharon Noguchi of the San Jose Mercury News.

Noguchi suggests that current content; student’s appeal and the economics behind the move are factors that make the switch appealing. It also seems like those responsible for the early stages of the high-tech textbook alternative, are excited to be able to bring this technology to students.

“’We’re just at the initial stages of a revolution in education,’ said Matt Chamberlain, principal of Venture School, an independent study school in the San Ramon Unified School District,” according to the article. “Selecting and managing online material is challenging, ‘but to put resources in kids’ hands is very exciting.’”

But educators aren’t the only ones excited about this new technology, teens and middle school students are really coming around to the idea as well.

“Using a textbook is really boring,” said 14-year-old Tiffany Bynum, one of the inaugural class of ninth-graders at Design Tech High charter in San Mateo, according to the ESchoolNews article.

“And a book’s index and table of contents can’t compete with a quick Google search,” added Noguchi as Bynum also confirmed by saying “‘It’s hard to find things you’re looking for.’”

The faster and easier it is for a student to find information, the more they will be able to make efficient use of their time instead of rummaging around a textbook’s table of contents with sometimes hundreds of page numbers.

Noguchi also outlines the hard to grasp concept of a “free” tool along with commentary from experts who are working to put it all together. Is this a feasible way for students to access information?

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World contributor.

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