If I were selling a K-8 technology text in the state of Texas, I think I would do one thing that none of the other publishers do:
I would align my technology lessons to the other guys Math, Science, ELA, and Social Studies textbooks.
Here is why:
Say for instance I have a technology lesson where I am asking students to create a chart and a graph using a spreadsheet. Now usually, if I am JUST teaching technology applications, that type of lesson would be taught in isolation. A random technological event. A drive-by technology lesson if you will. It would not be related to anything actually going on in the classroom other that it was another lesson in the classroom.
However, if my technology applications textbook were aligned to say the Math textbook of another publisher, then as a teacher, I would be able to take that isolated spreadsheet lesson and plop it right into the time when I am teaching graphs and charts in my classes. Same with science. When the Pearson book or the McGraw Hill book calls for us to be collecting data and creating graphs, then I would know exactly when it is done not only in my science lesson but also in my technology lesson as well. I wouldn’t have to do a lot of searching and waiting. It would be done for me already.
So for the students, the technology lesson would not be a discrepant event. It would just be a natural part of the science or math lesson cycle. For the teacher, the technology would make more sense as a tool.
It would not be THAT hard to do:
I would find the top ten adopted core curricular textbooks for grades K-8 and then align my lessons to those in the books.
I would put the page number, the standard and the lesson title of each book right next to mine.
Of course, my idea is not totally original. The folks at NROC, the creators of Hippocampus.org have taken all of their online courses and aligned them to the top textbooks in the US for years.
Check it out:
As you can see, the book, the page numbers and the lesson are all aligned.
Pretty sweet. Makes me wonder why the other Tech Apps publishers haven’t thought of it.