Friday, January 17, 2014

Why Do We Still Buy Textbooks?

In this day and age where everything in Government is about saving money I would like to propose a new and radical idea. The government should stop funding textbooks. Let’s think about it for a second. Everything a teacher needs to run a classroom program can be found online. Current, up to date, pertinent reading material. Math software is huge and mostly free,math manipulatives are available in an environment that emphasizes on line examples, social studies, history, geographic information at their fingertips. It is everything that teachers have ever wanted and more. There is an impressive array of free downloadable activities. There are programs that deliver parts of the curriculum in a manner that students appreciate. Research opportunities are available in areas of the student’s interest. What more could one ask for? And to boot, most of it is provided at no cost.

It would be better to spend the billions on providing up to date technology at every school for every student. Imagine that, no old technology in a school. There would be computers for every child. Students would learning about the things that are important in life, things that are useful in their world.

So why are we still spending millions, if not billions of dollars on textbooks yearly?  It would appear that big business has a firm hold on our governments. They provide research and development. They guide testing, a very big market for that now a days. They provide the materials in the timely fashion that directs the outcomes provided in government documents. Hmm. I wonder which came first, the documents from the government or the materials to support the curriculum. They always seem to be there right after the latest pronouncement from the government is given.

So in this day and age who is in charge of education?