Textbook Tuesday

Good morning my good readers! How is Tuesday going for YOU? Mine is going brilliantly…and yes I do realize it is only 7:45am but still! 🙂 I rocked out an 11 mile run holding about 8:17/pace. Feels nice! Thank you legs! 🙂 And later this morning I have a date with Physique 57 Arms and Abs…oh how I hate you! But first, right now my one track mind says Coffee Please! Or more like Coffee NOW! Far be it for me to deny my body what it wants! 😉

Dinner last night was good! We had some random leftovers from the weekend that Keith was more than happy to polish off and I made myself a flatout pizza. I used tomato sauce, low-fat mozzarella, spinach, mushrooms and some turkey pepperoni. Twas deelish! Who says you can’t have your pizza AND eat it too?

So interesting question for you guys. Rick Perry, our Texas Governor, is proposing that Texas (in the next four years) abandon using traditional textbooks in public schools and replace them with computer technology. He argues that textbooks get out of date quickly and by using computer software to teach students it allows the curriculum to be updated almost instantly. Issues on how to get this technology to children without computer access at home is still being discussed. But the with new developments like Kindles and IPAD’s, it may be easier than originally thought. It has yet to be determined whether or not this would be cost-effective.

What do all you teachers think out there? I tend to think there is still a place for hardcover books in our society but that could be just because I grew up with them and can’t really imagine schools without books. But I do realize times are changing. Do I need to catch up with the times…am I being archaic?

What do you think? Would it be more beneficial to stop using textbooks in public schools?


52 Responses

  1. i think that he makes a good point as far as saving money in the long run on buying new textbooks when the old ones contain old info; it’s something that’s going to have to be done slowly though! the thing is, REAL BOOKS are such amazing things that you can keep forever and i think it would be sad to teach kids that they don’t really matter since you can read them online. not to mention how horrible it is for the eyes to read on a computer screen…

  2. Well, you read my blog so you know I am a firm believer in having your pizza AND eating it too! LOL. Interesting idea on the text book thing. I wonder what the studies would suggest in terms of retaining information from reading the text books (or print outs) vs on a computer screen. The last I read anything about that, memory retention is far greater when reading actual text. Maybe kids are so used to computer screens though that that research is out of date?

  3. Oooh yummy looking pizza! You know how I love my pizzas, haha. I dunno about the whole textbook thing, while I do see where he is coming from, I think it would be harder to make sure the kids are paying attention the the material instead of one some other website or something.

  4. I am all for technology and agree that the information in textbooks does get out of date quickly. However, I am a sucker for a real book. I think that before long books will be a thing of the past. I have already seen a huge transition with my boys (they are in high school). More and more of their assignments require the computer rather than textbook. Such a shame!

  5. Yeah I agree with textbooks (with Kelly above). Kids spend too much time in front of a computer screen…hell, society does. It just seems wrong somehow to see a kid studying …from a computer…or reading outside on a bench…with a computer…I don’t know! I guess there are pros and cons to both sides. You can do more research on the computer…but then again – you can do that in the library too 😉

  6. Pizza looks greats! As far as the textbooks goes, that tough! I feel like kids spend too much time on computers the way it is now and live such sedentary loves, would this only worsen this? I completely agree with textbooks getting out of date, but I think its important to think about the time the children will have to spend on the computer in order to learn something new!

  7. Very interesting…I think the romantic English teacher in me will always root for actual books, but I do think that they’re becoming more and more a thing of the past. I can see pros and cons to this situation…but I wouldn’t be surprised if this type of textbook-free classroom came to pass in the next five or ten years.

  8. Kelly, I will let you carry Charlotte’s backpack when she has only 2 of her textbooks in it, the thing weighs a ton. So I am a big believer of textbooks on an iPad. I really think that is the way to go, and I think that textbooks will become more interactive, with videolinks etc.

  9. I realize that it would be most likely cheaper and so much easier to use continuously updated software as a teaching tool, but I have a really hard time saying that kids should spend the entire day in front of a computer screen… no good!

  10. I think online textbooks and kindle-like textbooks and hardcover textbooks all have their place. Personally if I had a textbook online I would get WAY too distracted. I don’t think it’s a good idea to be staring at a bright screen for too long, either, and I have to say I concentrate a lot better when it’s just me and a textbook with nothing else in it but boring old text. 🙂 As well as the fact that it would be more expensive if a kid lost or broke theirs and whatever else can happen to expensive pieces of technology.
    However, I agree that the reading material gets out of date way too quickly, and it would probably save money in the long run so long as no one damaged the things, haha. I’m all for whatever works to get kids learning more, and being more interested in what they’re learning. I like what Tina said about it being more interactive with videos and all, because that’d be very beneficial towards kids’ interests in the subjects they’re studying and maybe even help them absorb the information better.
    But it’s interesting, because most of the textbooks in the country come from Texas, so I wonder what that means for other states if Texas goes all computery on us? 😛

  11. I can’t comment on the textbook thing because my jaw is still hanging open from reading about your run. Wow, girl, you are amazing! I DREAM of running 11 miles at that pace! Maybe someday, right? 🙂

  12. I don’t like that idea. I could see it becoming more cost effective in the long run but I tend to concentrate better when I have a book in front of me rather then the computer.

    Kids are at the computer and in front of the tv way too much as it is.

  13. I agree that there is something special about “real” books, I hope that kids appreciate that as well as all the amazing technology!

  14. I graduated from a Texas HS three years ago and a LOT of my textbooks were either online or had summaries online and I ended up usually using those. I’m more appalled by the legislature’s rewriting of Texas history to be honest 😦 (highlights include downplaying the role of Thomas Jefferson in the founding of our nation. Ha!)

  15. The textbook thing is tricky. Honestly, I think we should go the technology route due to being a little more earth friendly by not printing so many books. However, I do like the feel of a good book in my hand.

  16. I think it would be a beneficial option, but sometimes having something to put your hands on (ie pages!) is really helpful. I know in college I got really excited because I could highlight and write in my texts since I owned them. It’s a really helpful way for me to learn- I can’t always grasp everything I need when I’m staring at a computer screen.

    • That is exactly how I learn too. My textbooks in college were filled with highlights and side notes. I retain the information better that way for sure!

  17. Awesome job on the run girl! Maybe one day I’ll be that fast 😀

    I think it’d be very beneficial for kids to be learning how to use computers early (although it’s not very good for your eyes 😕 )

  18. Textbooks are often out of date before they are even published, since it can take several years for them to be printed. But, the information in grade school and middle school textbooks isn’t the stuff that will be out of date – that information is all pretty basic. It’s the college textbooks that are the issue there. Computers are great for research, but brings up all kinds of issues about teaching kids how to find “real” information, which I guess is a useful skill to have. The school I teach at has only 1 computer lab, and many of the kids don’t have computers at home. But, they also don’t bring their books home, so…

  19. Believe it or not, my hometown went to this method this school year, and I’m from a very tiny Texas town. My family still lives there and my neices and nephews go to school there. They love it! I was was weery at first, seeing that the students are responsible for their lapptops, but it has worked really well so far.
    I believe the program is that they will get a new laptop every 4 years and when they are a senior they get the option of purchasing their current one at the value it is at that time.

  20. I love books and don’t think I would want to read a novel off of a computer screen just for my eyes sake but I can see how this might work for text books. In high school I lugged my books dutifully back and forth and caused myself some serious back pain! I read everything I was supposed to and continued that in college. The 4 years I was in college (2004-2008), I think the book/computer balance really changed. Though there were books available in the library and we had text books, if someone had a quick question (or major research), the computer was used WAY more frequently. Research papers I wrote in high school were book based but any research in college was internet based. For some subjects, visual learning is helpful and online books would be great. I can totally agree with the outdated-ness problem with books, especially in many science subjects!

  21. Ooo, such a toughie. I love a true book- the pages, the smell, the beautiful covers. But I also think that using something like kindles would be great and more adaptable to changing information and technology. I don’t think that just using the computer is great because I bet it would be hard to focus on the reading without wanting to browse the web at the same time. Heck, I can barely read my email without wanting to surf blogs at the same time!!

    But it would be more cost efficient to use portable tech books like kindle and ipads. And it would also save kids from having to lug those heavy backpacks!

    Great great topic to bring up, Kell!!

    Dinner last night looked awesome- nothing more satisfying than pizza- and healthy pizza? Perfect!

  22. John Grishman was on the TOday show a long time ago promoting a book and he was talking about how the “book” is dying. Now people read via internet/kindle…people get tapes, etc…even authors are publishing via the net, or books being downloaded (similar to the piracy in movies …or with music). Its kind of like CD’s..their going…and even DVDs are used in computer vs. tv anymore. Grishman was talking about how he dislikes that…the book ought to be saved. Nothing like sitting on the grass in a playground with some serious Fitzgerald or silly Kinsella to feel a bit of silence in your head.

  23. Gosh! I feel like i haven’t commented on your blog in FOREVER. Sorrys!!

    Mmm pizza. I’m making my flatbread pizza again tonight, just to get rid of the rest of the tomato paste and mushrooms lol. YUM. Can’t wait.

  24. This might work in Texas, but wouldn’t work in inner city schools or in low-income neighborhoods.

    Great run girl!

  25. Wow thats very interesting–it is amazing how quickly textbooks can have out of date information! geez, pretty soon books will be a thing of the past. Crazy–sort of makes me sad!

    I agree with Melissa Nibbles–what would low income areas do?

  26. I had to pay $70 to access an online text for one of my undergrad courses, and it sucked. Reading tons on the computer is horrible! I think kids get enough screen time as it is. Call me old fashioned, but I feel like books are more effective than the computer when it comes to academics. I’m a mom, not a teacher, though I’ve had tons of experience tutoring high school kids.

  27. i think all school…higher ed & k-12 should do this. do you know how many trees and how much money could be saved instead of buying new books just because they added a paragraph or a new exhibit….load of crap. college students…like me…get the worst of it every semester…a new edition every year is a bunch of BS!

  28. Interesting topic!

    I think there is something to be said about real books! While I embrace all the latest technology… we can stray away from the importance of books! We spend enough time on our computers already.

  29. I think online textbooks are a good way to save money. On the other hand, I think it will deter kids from wanting to read novels since most of their reading will be computer based.

    As far as homes without computer access….that’s why we have free, public libraries.

  30. your speedy and energetic morning runs have me in awe! 11 miles like it’s nothing. I envy you. Some days I love running and some days I do hate it. Good days and bad.

  31. Hmm, I wouldn’t be surprised if textbooks were completely gone in the future…the world is changing with all the technology and computers! I do enjoy having them though, I keep em’ in my office so it makes me look smart haha 😉

  32. What am awesome run!!! 11 miles at 8:17 – so awesome! I need to get out there tonight!

  33. I understand the idea about having updated textbooks (I totally remember having books where the history ended in the 70s or 80s), but I personally hate reading on the computer! Of course, I think kids are most and more used to computer screens so this probably wouldn’t be too much of a stretch for them

  34. I prefer paper books that I can hold and highlight and carry with me. But I also think it’s inevitable that books are going digital, so it’s really a matter of whether the school systems do it now or in a few years. I think in the future kids will be able to carry all of their school books around on an e-reader (instead of breaking their backs with dozens of heavy books) and will be able to mark up, highlight, and take notes on the pages. As much as I love traditional paper publishing, I think it’s more and more clear that all books—textbooks or regular fiction and nonfiction books—are going digital. It’s a shame, because I like to have them on my bookshelf and I like to hold them while reading, but I also think it’s something that’s inevitable. And if the school can get ahead of the curve and start saving sooner, then why not? I feel old reminiscing about the good ol’ days of paper books.

  35. I think textbooks will be gone before we know it, technology just keeps replacing things like that and they hurt my back anyways haha.

  36. you know i am a teacher and i rarely use my textbooks. i like this idea!

  37. That pizza looks Yummm! I am old-school, so I like the idea of textbooks and actually having pages to flip through. BUT, it will be great for kids to learn how to be more tech-savvy at a young age. The earlier the better. However, that will mean MORE competition from the younger generations! eek!


  38. i just saw that he was on the cover of my newsweek this week. haven’t read the article yet but i am very curious now. i think it is important to learn how to use new technology but textbooks are incredibly useful too. it is a different sensory expereince to sit and read a book opposed to reading words off of a screen.

  39. Dang! 11 miles @ 8:17 before 7:30am! Are you naturally fast, or did you have to train hard to be a fast endurance runner???

    • Truthfully, I think it is a little bt of both. I have always been fast but I have also had to work really hard to get my endurance up and then keep a fast pace. I train really hard! This time last year I was at about 8:50/pace and so it is rewarding to me to see my hardwork pay off!

  40. Great run!
    Hmm it’s bound to happen someday but there IS something about a textbook–I can’t picture school without them!

  41. I teach 1st grade and so they’re not really too reliant on textbooks yet. They do have one for each subject already at this age though. Really the only one we use every single day is their reading book for our literature studies. I think it would be hard during class to reference something that was in the story unless each child had a laptop at their desk and that would just not be financially possible for one thing. And it would also just be way over their heads for most of them at this stage in the game. So I can’t really speak for the older grades, but for the youngins, I definitely think a reading textbook is absolutely necessary. As far as math, ss, science, and health go I take a much more hands-on approach, so we rarely use our textbooks in those subjects. Very interesting, Kelly!

  42. I havn’t done the research but you would have to think that it would be a lot cheaper (and a lot more environment-friendly!) to update computer software rather than print new editions of textbooks every few years. I wish they would bring this to the universities…my wallet doesn’t like buying new textbooks every quarter. =(

  43. I like the idea of moving to computers, but yes, it does mean every kid would need access to one. The online versions of the books my daughter need some work. Sometimes they are accessible, other times not. Ideally, each laptop would be loaded with the book and the software will let the kids take notes on the computer and hi-light important passages. I have heard about a college that has done this. It sounded pretty cool.

  44. Well, I taught Spanish so we didn’t really use a textbook since the class is about conversation and writing and not as much reading. But for classes like history and english I have a hard time picturing a classroom with no textbooks!

  45. I don’t think you’re being archaic. I felt the same way before I bought my Kindle – now I don’t like holding real books. Lol. I can see so many pros to this – the weight of all of those books in the backpacks would be gone. The information would be current.

    Love ya!!

  46. I was the one to wonde while on the comp at school, O get what he is saying though to save money. I like a good book, but when I was in school. we really didn’t user our books. we used them occassionally but mainly had paper handouts or taking notes.

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