Search form

Partnership With Apple Helps Tennessee Launch Digital Resource Library to Replace Obsolete Textbooks

Partnership with Apple Helps Tennessee Launch Digital Resource Library to Replace Obsolete Textbooks

In order to save money and replace obsolete textbooks, the Tennessee Digital Resources Library (TDRL) launched today after a partnership between the Tennessee School Boards Association and Apple, Inc. made it possible.

"The TDRL curated digital material replaces costly classroom textbooks that often are obsolete before ever reaching students. With free, vetted and modifiable learning resources newly in place, state Boards of Education can now redirect funds formerly spent on textbooks toward devices and technology infrastructure,” said The American Public Education Foundation (APEF) in a statement.

The library has been over a year in the making; from August to March 2015, 58 of the state’s teachers helped curate digital materials aligned to state standards for math, science, English and social studies classes.

David A. Pickler, J.D., founder and president of Pickler Companies and president of the American Public Education Foundation became involved in the project after hailing it as a “game changer for public education.”

Through APEF, he provided teachers involved in curating resources for the library with incentives like iPad Air 2s and stipends of up to $1,000.

"The TDRL, which empowers local education leaders and teachers to fulfill the enormous promise of public education, offers the opportunity 'to bridge the digital divide and create greater educational opportunity for all students,' says Pickler,” according to APEF’s statement.

Many advocates for digital resources in education argue that replacing obsolete textbooks with curated resources is not only in the student’s best interest, it’s also in the best interest of the district’s budget.

Last month, for instance a group of teachers in Shelby County Schools got together to address the mounting $40 million budget deficit plaguing the district. Their first suggestion was to stop investing in textbooks altogether and instead move to digital resources.

"The School Board should elect to cut the textbook budget, which would save Shelby County hundreds of thousands of dollars. This money could be used to supply teachers with copy paper and ink for printing-resources that teachers find indispensable and often have to purchase out of pocket,” the group said.

Not all advocates of digital resources are proponents of getting rid of textbooks completely, but many individuals do agree that digital resources should be utilized more in K-12 classroom.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


Latest Education News
What better way to promote summer learning than to engage in STEM activities?
Why Singapore's math curriculum is creating the world's best and brightest in the subject.
Sexual assault cases persist from elementary school up through college, so what's the solution to make schools safer?
Some experts are arguing that more classrooms that utilize blended learning will help decrease the high number of...
Parents in the Hazelwood School District are no different than many parents across the country in that they don't...