Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
polarbear, I'm wondering-- which textbooks become outdated quickly?

In social studies, I can certainly see how this is a problem, and also in technology related coursework.

But in most math, literature, science, etc. classes, I guess I just don't see this as a problem of any kind. The rate of change there is VERY low, at least up to the undergraduate collegiate level.

HK, my parents were teachers (many eons ago) and I have quite a few friends who are teachers in our local public schools. While the info in some textbooks might not be out-of-date, there are other issues and the lifespan of textbooks is considered to be much shorter than the lifespan of information contained within most smile Firs there is the issue of wear and tear - textbooks really don't last forever. And it's not just an issue of information becoming outdated and incorrect (which is the issue with social studies), but there is the issue of new information becoming available - which happens all the time in science. Curriculum philosophy can change too. You would think math wouldn't change... but the math textbooks my ds has had are very different than the textbooks I had when I was in school. The concept application examples are from *his* real world, not the world I grew up in or Euclid lived in. I wouldn't need that to learn and understand math, and I'm fairly certain ds doesn't, but for my dd who struggles with math concepts and for kids who are "checked out" when it comes to middle school and high school math, I think it will help. Calculators are very different now, with a lot more functionality, and there are problems contained in the textbook specifically designed to be worked out on calculators. Technology is always moving forward and usually at a fast pace; while the basic math concepts aren't changing, but as our toolbox changes, the way we carry out calculations changes, and our ability to do more complicated calculations and manipulate larger amounts of data changes.

What I see most though in our kids' school is the impact on literature - they read a *lot* of books, good books. Some are classics, but many are newerish-to-brand new books that are incorporated with social studies, geography etc. The books ds read most recently for school were published in 2004 and 2012. I'd say more than half of the books he read last year assigned by school for project work and literature study were recent publications - and they were great books. Having current fiction and non-fiction brought a lot of interest and meaning into class discussions that the kids identified with.

I suspect there can be issues with storage space in classrooms and also with accidental loss as well as damage to textbooks that can be avoided by using online books.

FWIW, I don't see our district ever supplying iPads to all students across the board - the trend in our district (at the moment) appears to be BYOD - or at least that's the "in" thing at the moment smile


Last edited by polarbear; 08/27/13 05:34 PM.