After attending a workshop yesterday at Lakes Country Service Coop in Fergus Falls, I am TRULY convinced that teachers should be creating their own digital textbooks. We listened to speakers from Fergus Falls, Anoka-Hennepin and Moorhead and LOVED what Fergus Falls did! All three districts have done great things writing their own textbooks to fit the needs of the teachers and students, and ALL are STANDARDS BASED - but Fergus Falls, I believe, is the one we need to copy! Two social studies teachers, I don't have their names, sorry, got together and created a digital textbooks in iBooks Author - LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!! The way that it is SO interactive, content and standards based, and truly what they teacher teaches, SO COOL! They were able to embed not only great text from sources they found, but also video, interactive photo galleries, quizzes, and Podcasts. The best thing - WE HAVE iBOOKS AUTHOR!!! Every one of our teachers has a MacBook Pro with iBooks Author on it- we have the TOOLS needed to start these babies:)!!!
However, TIME TIME TIME was the thing all three schools mentioned was a HUGE factor. These teachers spent on average 150-175 hours each in the summer creating these. That's A LOT of time!! Time well spent, though, as they now have a tool they can use yearly - change as changes come up - and continue to edit and progress as needed! Oh yea, did I mention that each district saved over $100,000 by paying teachers to do this instead of buying curriculum???:-)
We will see where this goes from here in Barnesville - but curriculum alignment, to me is the most immediate need in order to accomplish this - all of them started with making sure ALL standards were in place where, and then were able to move forward - time will tell:)!