While the NFL has an app out for phones and tablets, text books are yet to appear with such helpful devices. These improvements are long overdue.
Like many other teachers, I have visited the websites of text books I have used. They are frequently, truly difficult to negotiate. I don’t recall a one that was organized like the book, where additional activities had a strong correlation to the text. Nor are these activities easy to find.
It is time this changes. I work with some students who have tablets with a kindles app where we can read the books required for literature. We also have an application for some math problems. This saves the district money as the books don’t wear out and don’t get lost. Books on Kindle are cheaper than in print and allows for easy modifications to the curriculum. Students at different reading levels can be provided texts at different levels to truly offer individualized instruction.
Importantly, using technology is how today’s generation learns. Many schools have done away with cursive writing and spelling. While I personally think this is a mistake, just as not memorizing times tables are, I can see where apps will cause schools to not teach handwriting at all. So yes, we need to be sure we don’t go overboard in using this new technology. None the less, reducing the weight of children’s back packs, insuring that students always have their school work with them wherever they go, and having textbook publishers organize their websites so they are more conducive for both teachers and students, are all worthy reasons why school districts should embrace technology as a serious means of improving education.