Tom Whitby had a nice blog entry on the work of the ad hoc #beyondthetextbook group that was assembled and came up with ideas about moving beyond the textbook as the main source of information in classrooms. He summarized the groups and recommendations:
- The mechanism will exist on the internet allowing 24/7 access with computer or mobile access.
- Many forms of content may be included: text, videos, audio, animation, graphs, and diagrams
- The ability for flexible content will be provided.
- The teacher will be able to add or subtract material to meet the needs of the students allowing for differentiation.
- Content will have highlighting and note-taking capability
- Content will be linked to dictionary and encyclopedia for easy reference.
- Content will have language translation capability.
- Content will be linked to other supplemental material for further exploration.
- Formative assessment will be built into lessons to assess understanding before moving on.
- There will be a social media component for collaboration and feedback.
- Students will be able to create content within the mechanism.
- Student created material will be archived and shared
- Student created material will be placed in an ePortfolio within the mechanism.
While all of these are laudable, I had to think about the focus of the group, the overall actual ability to complete what they are saying, and what actually happens when these services are offered to teachers for free.