Downloading e-homework

Students won’t get textbooks at a new school opening in Britain: They’ll download assignments from e-textbooks to their cell phones or computers.

Online books are under development.

(Headteacher Mark) Emmerson said: “It will be as simple as downloading a ringtone to their SIM card, something practically all teenagers will now know how to do.

“The majority of pupils have their own mobile phones and access to internet at home. Homework requires usually only one or two pages of a book at a time, so it won’t require too much information.”

Giving every student a pile of textbooks is too expensive, Emmerson says.

Via Nothing But Arbroath.

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  1. Roger Sweeny says:

    Modern textbooks are ridiculously big and heavy. Transporting them to and from school is a problem. Since it seems to be impossible to downsize them, transporting them electronically seems like a good idea.

  2. Well, they can already download a great deal of the homework, so why not download the book too?

    Actually it sounds like a good idea. I too can’t believe how big and heavy some books are, or how kids are expected to carry them around. Lockers are unavailable to most kids in NYC, and it’s very tough for them sometimes.

  3. My daughter is in one of Texas’ experimental schools where she is issued a laptop (which I kindly refer to as my $1100 liability) and expected to use it. Since they have no textbooks, there are things I consider a problem that nobody else does.

    1) When she is sick, she does not have a textbook to go read the material that was covered in class.

    2) She cannot consult a textbook if she has to look up how to do a math problem, or part of a multi-step problem, or such other knowledge that needs reviewing to answer a problem. I see this to an even bigger problem down the road, especially in algebra, where you get the answers to the even problems to help you.

    3) Instead of assigning problems from a textbook, the teachers just make photocopies of all assignments and send them home.

    4) Students will read and explore their textbook such as the short essays, pictures, and biographies that publishers put in them. Even just a glance helps students learn about things or just realize that there are many more ideas to be explored.

    5) As her parent, I don’t have a clue about what is covered in the classroom.

    That’s just a couple of the problems I find. On top of it all, my child is not learning how to takes notes at all.

  4. tim-10-ber says:

    to mollo —

    Hmmm…Sounds like your child’ school is ill equipped to handle the computers. So…why did they give require your child to have one?

    My son is in private school and we were required to buy a tablet computer. The kids were also required to take tech to learn how to use them and before school started they had orientation where they learned the basics including HOW TO TAKE NOTES ON A TABLET computer. Hmmmm…

    In addition, some of the textbooks are on CD rom which is what all schools should do. Those CDs are loaded on the computer. This way the student (and parent) knows the homework assignment as well as what was covered in class when they were out.

    One of these days the public school administrators will learn there are better ways to use computers. I will not see that happen for my children which is why both were pulled from public schools including the supposed #24 school in the country. (OOOH the way public high schools are ranked is so misleading!!! But that is a topic for another day!)

    Good look. Explore what schools who understand how to incorporate the technology are doing with computers in their classrooms. Maybe you can educate the staff at your child’s school and make this a better experience since they are required to have computers. Giving a child technology in a non-user friendly manner is a complete waste of tax-payer money. I hope you have made the press aware of this waste in your school system. In today’s economic times those dollars can ill afford to be wasted.

    Good luck!

  5. The use of blogs, wikis, on-line learning and other Web 2.0 tools has helped make considerable changes in the way I teach language arts. And the best thing about this change is how the information is always out there and easily accessible for students and parents.

    Giving every student a pile of textbooks is too expensive, Emmerson says.

    No more heavy, outdated textbooks, and a lot of services on the web are free too!

  6. deirdremundy says:

    I like the idea of e-textbooks. Harder to lose, impossible to damage, updated for each year with a minimal cost.

    I’d like to see teachers advance to e-notebook checks, too.

    Then, instead of having to save every stupid piece of paper they gave you (like busy work crosswords!), you could just mail them your note-files from the class.

    We could do away with the practice of giving a kid who aced all the tests a ‘c’ because she didn’t save her dittos!

  7. It’s really hard to teach good annotation with a etext.

  8. What about kids who don’t have internet access at home?

  9. Everyone is talking about the utility of electronic schoolbooks, but I find this statement much more appalling: `”Homework requires usually only one or two pages of a book at a time, so it won’t require too much information.”

    I’m guessing that the “Short Attention Span Theater” of reading on the internet makes it impossible for the little dears to concentrate for very long, but really, one or two pages? That is truly pathetic.