Textbooks are something that has been a part of education for some time now, and I personally do not see that changing anytime soon. More and more texts are available online, but I still do not see actual texts going anywhere. I agree with Christensen and Johnson’s (2011) frustration with the current education using textbooks. Christensen and Johnson (2011) mention that the industry focuses on creating and commercializing books for the large undifferentiated masses of students (p. 2296). Furthermore, textbooks by their very mature are fixed and static (p. 2296). In the course EDU 6133: Diversity in America, I was given an assignment to review a textbook. What I found about the textbook is that the material presented followed the traditional or typical elementary social studies texts for the information that was introduced. Just as Christensen and Johnson (2011) is that textbooks are typically fixed and static meant for the majority of the population. Those students who excel at reading and interpreting information from texts will learn from utilizing textbooks, but what about those who struggle in this academic area?
The solution that Christensen and Johnson (2011) foresee in the near future is through the usage of integrated software. Integrated software “can incorporate pathways for different types of learners as methods for teaching in these different ways become understood” (p. 2333). In essence students can learn from other students as well as share their findings or methods to others on the network. I am not totally sold on this digital approach, but I do believe that these efforts to meet the needs of the individual students are extremely important. Christensen and Johnson (2011) best puts it by saying “we often learn better when we teach than when we listen to a teacher” (p. 2437). Students need to be actively engaged and this can be achieved by having students teach their classmates. I really like the idea of students sharing what they have discovered or how they came for their answer. Some students just learn better when other students articulate their answers rather than listening to the teacher. Online learning is not the only way to differentiate instruction, teachers can still create lessons that stray from the traditional elementary approach of worksheets or high school lectures. I believe there is no denying the potential towards these online approaches and even in the next five years it will be interesting to see their educational impact.
I feel totally comfortable and familiar with using the eReader now. A new feature that I used this week was the dropdown bar in the notes and markings section. It makes it much easier to find the specific note, highlight, or bookmark by organizing through the specific category. Instead of having to scroll through all my notes and highlights to find the one bookmark, I am able to view just the bookmarks. This function especially now that I have a bunch of markings comes in handy.
Christensen, C., Johnson, C.W., & Horn, M.B. (2011). Disrupting class: how disruptive innovation will change the way the world learns (kindle). McGraw-Hill.