District Administration - March 2010 - (Page 76)

tech disruptions • Cathleen Norris and Elliot Soloway Textbooks Are Finished It’s time to trade them for computers. There was a Time when TexTbooks added value to K12. in the old days, (1) content was truly scarce, and age-appropriate content was scarcer still; (2) teachers came to rely on the instructional resources such as the lesson plans and assignments that accompanied textbooks; and (3) students spent a significant portion of the school day, upwards of 50 percent, with their noses in textbooks, absorbing content. But in the internet era, the first and third of those three value propositions are no longer true. First, content is readily available on the internet. “i do not use the textbook in my class, because everything i would use from the textbook i can find online,” says Derek Burtch, a high school english teacher from north Union, Ohio. second, in classrooms engaging in projectbased/problem-based learning, students spend no more than 5 percent of their time absorbing content; rather, they are using their computing devices nonstop, creating and sharing content. not surprisingly, teachers still need instructional resources—but these resources could be purchased online from educational publishers. while publishers could produce such materials as software or applications at a fraction of the cost of a comprehensive textbook, it’s not clear that doing so would make for a healthy business for publishers, who are accustomed to selling high-volume, high-priced textbooks with a high profit margin. in the United Kingdom, for example, Pearson has become a leading provider of a computer-based “learning platform”— a BlackBoard-like application geared expressly for primary and secondary education. Pearson is clearly anticipating where its future revenues will be coming from—and it’s not going to be from paper textbooks. 76 March 2010 not free to produce. Fortunately, organizations such as the JasOn Foundation, Curriki.org, and the Verizon Foundation’s Thinkfinity.org are doing just that and making first-class content appropriate for education available free on the internet. schools are generous, sharing organizations, and the open content movement is growing fast. The Future Needs to Be Now while the argument for online content seems obvious, the educational blogosphere is awash in the following type of thinking: “it will be a few more years before we have an affordable device that makes sense for a move to digital content. The right tools have to be in place first, and then it will take time to train teachers. all good things take time. if you try to plunge into something too fast, you can quickly get into trouble.” indeed, whether it is online content, project-based learning, portfolio assessment, or whatever discontinuous change that is proffered, education’s response tends to be “go slow.” we can’t go slow, what with the dropout rate in america’s cities hovering at 50 percent! The deadly seriousness of the education situation in america makes Dr. King’s 1963 observation on racism one that is appropriate to us in education: “This is no time to engage in … the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.” DA www.DistrictAdministration.com Visit Cathleen and Elliot’s Tech Disruptions blog. Textbooks for Computers The money saved from not buying those comprehensive textbooks, then, can be used by schools to purchase networked computing devices that provide access to internet-based content. a number of states (Texas, indiana, Florida, Virginia, arizona, iowa and Tennessee, to name a few) have already made it legal for schools to purchase technology with monies originally earmarked to purchase textbooks. indeed, the only way schools will find the money to buy computing devices is if they no longer buy textbooks—a fair trade-off given that, in the 21st century, a computing device is certainly more important for education than a textbook. To be clear, we’re not referring to digital textbooks, which are simply versions of paper textbooks that publishers typically provide if the paper-based version is purchased. a digital textbook is still a textbook, and as we have already stated, textbooks are no longer needed. Open Source: A Provocative Idea That said, there is no free lunch. Online content—good online content—needs to be created, organized, displayed, and most importantly, vetted. while much of this content may be available for free, it is Cathleen Norris is a Regents Professor at the University of North Texas and co-founder and chief education architect at GoKnow Learning in Ann Arbor, Mich. Elliot Soloway is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan and co-founder of GoKnow. District Administration http://www.Curriki.org http://www.Thinkfinity.org http://www.DistrictAdministration.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration - March 2010

District Administration - March 2010
Contents
From the Editor
News Update
Curriculum Update
Conversations
Administrator Profile
District Profile
Toward a More Perfect Union
The Moxie of Kathy Cox
Logging On to Learn
Battling Sexual Abuse
Supervisor’s Opinion
Problem/Solution
Crisis Response
Product Focus
New Products
Tech Disruptions

District Administration - March 2010

http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201511
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201510
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201509
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201508
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201507
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201505
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201505_AudioVisualSolutions
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201504
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201503
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201502
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201501
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201412
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201411
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201410
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201409
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201408
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201407
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201406
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201405
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201405_AudioVisualSolutions
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201404
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201403
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201402
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201401
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201312
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201311
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201310
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201309
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201308
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201307
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201306
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201305
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201303
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201302
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201301
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da201301_AudioVisualSolutions
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da1212
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da1112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da1012
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0912
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0712
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0612
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0512
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0412
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0312
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0212
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da_avguide0112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da1111
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da1011
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0911
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0711
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0611
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0511
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0411
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0311
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0211
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0111
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da1110
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da1010
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0710
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0610
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0510
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0410
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0310
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0210
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0110
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da1109
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da1009
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0909
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0809
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0609
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0509
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0409
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0309
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0209
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0109
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da1208
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da1108
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da1008
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0908
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0808
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0608
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0508
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0408
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0308
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0208
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0907
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0807
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0707
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0607
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0507
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0407
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0307
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0207
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0107
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da1206
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da1106
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da1006
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0906
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0806
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0706
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da-palm0606
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0606-av
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0606
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pmg/da0406
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com