Monday, November 5, 2012

Digital Textbooks

  Well, digital textbooks are on my mind today.  I am downloading eBooks from the site CK-12!  This site is based in California and has MANY digital textbooks for FREE to download.  Our thought last spring when buying Macbook Pros for every teacher in our district, was that over the course of three years (roughly), teachers would be using them with iBooks Author to make their own digital textbooks.  These could then be shared with students, and textbooks, as we know them, would become obsolete!  The digital books would be based on the Minnesota standards and match perfectly!  As things change within our state, we could then easily adapt to that change by making adjustments with the digital textbooks that we created!  My job this year - well, my goal this year, is to create a few digital textbooks!:)
   We currently have a 6th Grade teacher, Mr. Cox, who wrote his own math book.  He started chapter for chapter and to my understanding has most of, if not all of it, completed!  He puts the book into Dropbox and the students download it from there.  He is doing a few chapters at a time so it isn't so overwhelming to have the ENTIRE textbook on the iPads - plus the download is SIGNIFICANTLY faster!  Included in his digital book are sites, podcasts, videos, pictures, quizzes, etc.. he has REALLY done a great job with this!!!  He will definitely be our "expert" when we start doing these!  If anyone is interested in checking his out - I KNOW he would be willing to show you how to get started:)!!
   Our Physical Education/Health teacher, Mr. Meyer, has used the eBooks on CK-12!  He finds chapters that pertain to the content that he is teaching and then also throws them in Dropbox for the kids to access.  The information is up to date, and at any time, Mr. Meyer would also be able to use these in iBooks Author to create his "own" book.  For now, he has been able to find the materials he has needed through the CK-12 site.
   If you have NOT been to this site - here is what it will look like.  Simply choose the content area that you are looking for and you're ready to go!

   The BAD thing about this site is the lack of content area covered!  It's GREAT for the Math and Sciences, but LACKING in the areas of English and electives - so some teachers will have NO luck with this at all - BUMMER!  I wish that they would find some individuals to add the arts, home economics and middle school.  There are a FEW things there, but definitely not a TON!!
   Here is the link if you are interested in checking it out and downloading some PDF eBooks to get you started.  The best thing is it's FREE and you can use this for creating your own books - GOOD LUCK!!!

Happy eBooking and Textbook Creating
Mrs. I:)

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