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Three Ways to Use cK-12 FlexBooks in the Classroom

The cK-12 Foundation offers FlexBooks—full, digital texts that both students and teachers can access on multiple devices in a variety of formats. Supporting PDF, MOBI and ePub, FlexBooks are designed to overcome some of the limitations of traditional textbooks. Anyone—including teachers, students and parents—can adapt, create and configure one.

FlexBooks can be used in a number of ways in the classroom. Here are three ideas to help noFlexbooksvices get started.

Turn Projects into Textbook Chapters

Because anyone can amend a FlexBook, it can be enhanced in a myriad of ways. After completing a class project, continue the lesson by having students write about their experiences. They can include the steps as well as the outcome and how it ties to the academic standard.

For example, try adding a written history of a model-rocket launch to a math, physics or science FlexBook. This addendum would not only demonstrate a real-world application of the concepts, but also make the book more valuable to future readers.

Go Multimedia

Because they’re completely digital, FlexBooks may contain any number of digital media files. Try a flipped-classroom exercise where students present on a given topic. The teacher can record either the audio or video and add it to the FlexBook covering the same topic. If a FlexBook already contains a video file, teachers may screen the clip to enhance the in-class lesson.

Similar to the audio/video activity, students can take digital pictures and add them to a FlexBook. This is particularly useful for books on science or history. If a FlexBook covers the life cycle of butterflies, students can find them in nature, take their picture and add it to the chapter as an example of a butterfly native to their area.

Save Money (for Administrators)

Administrators love to save money, and FlexBooks can help them do exactly that. Skeptics need only look to the Minnesota school district that saved over $170,000 by having their teachers write the textbooks rather than purchasing them from a publisher. Equipped with a $200,000 textbook budget, the district allowed a team of three math teachers to use the FlexBook model to write the textbooks. Each teacher spent 100 hours over the summer to get the job done, at a total cost of $25,000. The result was an extra $175,000 in the district’s bank account and a math department in possession of easily updatable textbooks.

Article by Jason Tomaszewski, EducationWorld Associate Editor
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