Thursday, June 03, 2004

Digital Textbooks

It amazes me how the world is changing and how fast it is changing. I use computers some in my 2nd grade class. Some of the students are very good at it and some are not. I feel as though it would be hard to have digital textbooks in my class. Even though I am sure there are adapting that can be made. However, for older students, I think it is wonderful. Kids today would much rather sit in front of a computer than sit down to read a book. They are more motivated by technology than paper. There seems to be much more advantages than disadvantages.

The students can have study groups via instant messaging about the subject. It is a lot easier to carry around. Seven books for seven classes can be back breaking. A channel 5 news report stated that backpacks are causing back trouble for several students. Digital books would easily alleviate that. The most important advantage is that most students enjoy being on the computer. When a person is doing something they enjoy they are more apt to learn from it. They have in front of them a "book" that relates to every learning style.

Part of the article suggested that the students construct their own digital textbook. Many students may not be computer literate enough to know how. However, with a little guidance, they can learn. Futhermore, by creating the textbook, the students will learn so much more then they would if they just read it. It is my firm belief that people learn by doing. This suggestion would certaintly put the students in a learning situation.

The only disadvantage is the fact that computers are not always dependable. For example, the teacher assigns the class to answer the questions in the back of chapter 1 for homework. The student sits down at his/her computer at home ready to get started. Then it happens. The mouse won't work. The computer froze up. Perhaps, it crashes completely. Then what? It is the only computer in the house. That student most likely won't have his/her homework.

Does the advantages out weight the disadvantages? I think so. I believe there is a very good chance that more and more schools will be going toward this in the future. Maybe not to far into the future.
Link to article


Blogger Amy said...

I agree with you on the issue of students having computer problems at home or maybe not having a computer at all. I think in the near future this will not be a problem.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I like what you mentioned about the back problems. This really is an issue! I feel sorry for the very studious who end up lugging home 6 books a night!

10:53 AM  
Blogger kelly wurst said...

I like what you said about study groups and instant messaging. That would really appeal to my high school students.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Brittany Pyles said...

I agree with you that it might be hard for you to use the electronic textbooks in your classroom of second graders. A little sidenote, but I subbed in a second grade classroom for one day and wanted to pull my hair out at the end!!! So if you can manage to somehow use computers AND put up with second graders, I applaud you:) (They were cute for a day, but I was ready to get back to my seventh graders at the end of the day!)

10:58 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

Like you said, integrating digital textbooks into a high school classroom would be much easier than a second grade classroom. By the time students get into high school, they are almost all pretty literate on computers anyway. I definitely agree that students would rather look at a computer screen than read a book. Many times I feel the same way. I really like how you mentioned that when a student sits down at a computer, he/she has "a book in front of them the relates to every learning style." That is so true and what an excellent point to make.

9:59 AM  

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