Going Beyond the Textbook in Math

textbookLess than two weeks from now, I’ll be traveling to Discovery Education HQ in Maryland to participate in the Beyond the Textbooks forum with a group of educators that I vehemently admire. To say that it is an honor to be a part of such an important event is an understatement. Together we will be taking a hard look at the current state of textbooks and idealizing what the future of textbooks should be…TECHbooks, that is. Our focus will be on Discovery Education’s newly announced math techbook.

The State of Digital Textbooks Today

I have access to several different “digital books” at school for both my high school and college course. There is a vast difference yet both are equal in their linear views.My high school digital book, which is provided by the publisher, is basically a pdf with links to basic problems. My college digital book is a cd, an online course with videos and examples. The problem with the college book is that the student “problems” mimic the textbook entirely which means that as long as students can mime the work, they can pass…mastery or not. I’m mentioning my college book because it does have small elements that I would love to see in a HS book, very small, but still present.

Over the next few weeks, I will be reaching out to students and teachers developing a collection of ideas as to what the ideal math techbook should be. My thoughts are that it should be…

  • Connected to the world & able to work offline
  • Interactive
  • Have simulations
  • videos…with the ability to view others online
  • inquiry based
  • performance based
  • problem based
  • Connected to the teacher and to each other

Basically, I want a book that incorporates the 4Cs, Critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. Most important, I want it to be differentiated for all types of learners.

Finally, I want it to be available on multiple platforms.

I want to know what you think! What would you like to see? Am I missing any ideas? What do your students think? Please share! Comment or tweet your ideas using #beyondtextbooks

The event will take place March 27-28th. Please join the conversation. Together we have an opportunity to let our voices be heard as we map out the future of what math education can be.



Comments 4

  1. As a parent and an educator I would like to see videos demonstrating the many ways to solve a problem. Show students that there’s more than one path to the correct answer.

  2. This sounds great. I am looking for great digital text for our freshman bio course right now. Everything on your list is just what we need. I would also like for the student to have rights to the “text” for life — including updates, new editions, new scientific discoveries, etc. Also, and maybe this is what you meant by interactive, but it would be great to have a portion of the text dedicated to student generated content: learning journals, labs, models, videos, etc.
    Can’t wait to hear/see what you all come up with!

  3. Pingback: #Stuvoice Matters in the Digital Math Textbook Conversation | RnDesigns

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