from Desales University Library
I was recently reading the Foundation for Excellence in Education (2010) Digital Learning Now! document. Of particular interest to me was “Element #5:” Content: digital content, instructional materials, and online and blended learning courses are high quality. Check out this forward-thinking statement:
States should abandon the lengthy textbook adoption process and embrace the flexibility offered by digital content. Digital content can be updated in real time without a costly reprint. The ongoing shift from online textbooks to engaging and personalized content, including learning games, simulations, and virtual environments, makes the traditional review process even less relevant.
Transitioning to digital content will improve the quality of content, while likely saving money in production that can be dedicated to providing the infrastructure for digital learning.
This will be a tough nut to crack, but once schools and districts start thinking this way, there will certainly be an improvement in quality. I started down this path in 2007 when I assumed the role of the first science department chair at Oxford High School. My perception of the biggest challenge is the time to develop and maintain the high quality resources as part of the blended learning environment. This, unfortunately, probably is not “doable” by the classroom teacher alone because there is just not enough capacity to give teachers the necessary time to make it all work. But . . . teachers are key to the process. So partnerships are a necessity.