Internet-enabled ‘flexbooks’ replacing traditional textbooks

At Brandon Valley High School in South Dakota, bulky science textbooks soon might be replaced with slimmer science “flexbooks,” a new model of textbook creation in which teachers write their own curriculum using information gathered from online resources, reports the Argus Leader. Tanya Czepull, district curriculum coordinator, and high school science teacher Justin Lovrien have told the school board about the benefits of flexbooks as opposed to buying new textbooks through the seven-year rotation process. The board will consider the proposal this month. The state Department of Education doesn’t track how many districts buy textbooks or write their own, because districts aren’t required to report that information to the state. But education officials expect it’s a trend on the rise. “This seems like a great idea,” said Julie Mathiesen, director at Technology and Innovation in Education in Rapid City. “Teachers like to customize their content, and this allows for that type of customization.” If the textbook is online, a lot of the value would be in links that students could use to see the animation of a science concept, such as a virtual cell, for example. “This is going to be much more engaging to our students,” Mathiesen said…

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