One more thought came up after yesterday’s meeting of the Task Force on Student Access to Technology.
While talking with Tim Maggard, the Hardin County Schools Director of Technology after the meeting, we discussed the fact that digital technology in the classroom may require an entire new set of defining terms.
That includes possibly that “Digital Textbooks” as they are employed in Hardin County should really be considered “Digital Learning Systems.” What Hardin is doing allows teachers to develop their own, on line learning modules. That gets the teachers involved in a way that has never been possible with printed textbooks. The on line modules also incorporate a huge number of features like dictionaries and calculators that obviously are not included with a standard print textbook. Taken together, the combination of the teacher and all the tools unleashed by the technology truly are a system. Calling this a digital textbook really under-states the power of this new approach to education.