Central Kentucky schools need textbooks. Current options are expensive and budgets are limited. Teachers and students can’t afford to wait for solutions. What are the alternatives? Go digital.
Digital textbooks have potential
It is time to step outside the traditional structure of content delivery and get creative. There is a wealth of educational resources on the web that can provide the same information found in a printed textbook. In fact, these resources have the potential to do extremely well in schools, offering the most current information available today.
Where can teachers find the reliable resources on the web to create a digital textbook?
Depending on where you live, the department of education is a great place to start looking for resources. Do yourself a favor. Don’t do a Google search. There isn’t enough time in your day, your week, or even your year to weed through the hits on Google to compile resources you need right now. Other people have probably already done this work for you. And there are places you can go that take the guesswork out of choosing content that connects effectively to state standards.
If you live in Kentucky, you are in luck! Here are some links to get you started.
1. The Kentucky Learning Depot
This is a repository of high-quality digital content aligned with standards for educators and learners in Kentucky. Content activities are student-centered, reusable contributions from educators around the state.
2. KET (Kentucky Educational Television)
This is an extensive library containing thousands of multimedia resources and lesson plans aligned with Kentucky academic standards.
How can teachers combine resources to create their own digital textbooks?
Websites, blogs and wikis are great places to house unit resources. But I have another option that you can explore. Try creating your own mini-textbook online. Before you decide this it too difficult and time consuming, check out these websites. Online publishing is easier than you think.
1. Bookemon is a free online publisher. It provides an easy book-builder, bookstore quality hardcopy, and no software is necessary.
2. Issuu You Publish a site to collect, share, and publish in a professional format.
3. Youblisher is a site to make your pdf documents flippable. It looks like a real book in an online format.
4. Bookr is a site used to create and share photobooks. This is a great format to make elementary level books containing lots of pictures. Use your imagination!
5. Big Universe Learning is an online reading and writing community. This one isn’t free but worth taking a look. Create an account for $100 to obtain access for a year.
6. Story jumper is a place where students can get in the game. Create content-rich books together and use them with future classes. What a great way to include students in real-life problem solving while they learn.
What are you waiting for?
Why wait for the textbook funding debate to end? Create your own solutions now. Work with your colleagues and involve your students in the construction of digital textbooks.