12 comments
  1. On one hand I completely understand what you are saying, on the other hand, when I really want to understand something, a well edited, organized, detailed book is indispensable. Sometimes sifting through tons of links many with repetitive info can be trying.

    Really I like to do a little of both. Get a solid core of information from a book, and then surf the internet for the gems of info that let me make a new connection.

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    1. Oh, I'm a big fan of well-edited, detailed books. I should have made that more clear. What I don't like are textbooks. All books should be supplementary, unless the class is specifically designed as a book study. I think it's a tragedy to look at what a Philosophy 101 book does to Plato, for example.

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  2. David Weinberger's book, Too Big to Know, spends some time talking about how the physical nature of books shapes thoughts and thought processes and also how the connected nature of the internet is having the same effect on thought. If you haven't read it already, I think you'd love it as it is in line with this post.

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    1. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for letting me know.

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  3. Thanks for saying that "all books should be supplementary." It should be one of many resources. But it's tough to wean teachers off textbooks when they have limited access to other resources, either by choice ("safe" to follow the textbook) or due to lack of time and funding.

    I smiled when reading Aaaaardvark because I retained a lawyer once with name of Arkes #firstoneIsaw :) Thanks, John!

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  4. I cannot wait for textbooks to disappear.

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  5. Deep down, I don't think that coursebooks will ever disappear and shall be replaced by some sort educationally designed software by a computer engineeer.. yes, educational technology is here to make education more appealing ,plasing to eye and satisfactory and more digestible to students..but, technology alone cannot do much....if students aren't cognitevely mature enough, studious, academically gifted and intrinsically /extrinsically motivated, they SHALL NOT LEARN...no matter how much technology we use. I mean, I had mentally retarded students that quit school halfway thorugh the term in the past..IT IS US and BOOKS SUPPLEMENTED WITH TECHNOLOGY to work wonders in education, I humbly reckon... Don't get me wrong, please...
    Thank you!

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  6. Students have NEVER used textbooks. Teachers use textbooks. And the more closed minded the teacher, the more strictly he or she will follow this textbook. I don't think textbooks will go away until the vast majority of teachers choose to come up with their own sequence, be willing to go out looking for examples, and in general be daring enough to try an "unproven," unprescribed lesson that may fall flat on it's face.

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  7. Textbooks can survive if they're reinvented. Check out what they're doing at www.schoolyourself.org!

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  8. I still remember the days of textbook buyback. That's just the way the world works. With new technology, old precedents sometimes become unnecessary.

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  9. Yes but great explanation about the textbook and i am new guy to this job thanks to sharing the wonderful articles.
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Please leave a comment. I enjoy the conversation.