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I wondered what thoughts/ideas you have in regard to using digital curriculum as textbook replacement?
We have (generally) foregone traditional textbooks and now use digital stuff. Most of what we have purchased comes from Social Studies School Service (I authored a large amount of the US History material), although we also use some online materials such as C-SPAN Classroom. We also are subscribers using Discovery Education Streaming.
What are you all doing in this regard? Post your thoughts in the discussion.
I have used snippets of this online textbook in my 8th grade US history class. The website also has some really intriguing projects and document based lesson plans. With this online - and free to access - I can see getting rid of the generic textbook. It forces teachers to use primary sources and a number of secondary sources - which mimics the actual work of a historian.
With just a textbook it is too tempting to lapse into just moving chapter to chapter, rather than building units and essential questions. In addition, students accept uncritically, the word of the textbook, which is not really the right lesson to take away from a history class (that there is one accepted "history" that they just need to memorize).
We use Safari Montage for our video, pictures, etc...It is not bad, we left Discovery Education because of budget cuts, but I liked it better than Safari. I also use Digital History website, it is great. Another good one is http://www.authentichistory.com/
I am taking a class offered by the Teaching American History Grant in my state (FL). It focuses on primary source documents. That is were I am looking to go next. I have so many website from this class, wish there was one by time period (sort of like authentichistory) but that is mostly music and photos.
Digital is the way to go, especially with all the budget cuts coming down the pike:)
Thanks for getting me thinking!!
We use Discovery Streaming (the Plus version) and I find it to be extremely helpful in our curriculum. We also are using a lot of material from Social Studies School Service, and a lot of that deals with primary sources. (I've been a curriculum developer for them for approximately 10 years.) I'd love to discuss use of primary source material in the classroom further, and can share some examples of what I do.
Let me know if you would like to see some examples.
I can probably do that, Michael.
One quick caveat, however. Over the years, I've done some consulting work for Social Studies School Service. So, while I'm the author and use these materials in my classroom, they are also available for retail sale.
I've created several sets of "document-based questions", for example. My students right now are analyzing reports written by Attorney General Robert Kennedy and Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin regarding their meeting regarding removing missiles in Cuba. My APUSH kids are analyzing political cartoons dealing with FDR's court packing plan.
I also created a set of "analyzing visual primary source" Power Points. For example, students can look at elements in the famous "Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter" photo from the Battle of Gettysburg, or can make conclusions about supplies to be included in a fallout shelter during the Cold War.
Hope this is a good start.
I am still working on my teachers certification, so I am in college classes now. I am taking a geography class in which I heavily rely on the digital text, but as I am reviewing for the exam, I find myself reaching for the textbook.
The digital text is a new skill for me, and i think it takes some getting used to. For me, I think the real benefit is easy access anywhere, but I'm not willing to give up the textbook. perhaps it's because I'm not an digital native, but rather an immigrant.