Textbooks? What are those?

Textbooks? What are those?

I recently read (in a textbook, ironically) that there are some who estimate that very soon the traditional textbook may be all but obsolete as forms of interactive media replace it. The example they use involved hypothetical “credit-card” sized books.  The textbook is called Teaching in the Middle and Secondary Schools and while I’m unsure how the credit card sized book would work, I’m certainly excited about the potential.

Here’s an example of how new technology is replacing the textbook and is shaping the way that Physical Education is taught.  Check out these Skill Posters put together by the gals and guys at ThePhysicalEducator.com. Notice that there are several things included on these posters:

  1. Images and text to show the steps for proper technique
  2. A list of main cues (short, memorable phrases for each step)
  3. A QR code that links to a video that shows the perfect technique
  4. Three QR codes that link to descriptions of practice drills

I have not seen this used in the classroom but I can imagine it being an excellent replacement for the traditional textbook. Each group of students would only need to have a QR code reader (typically a cell phone) and they would have access to unlimited material. This material could reach beyond the text and images that one would find in a traditional textbook. It could include video, audio, interactive forms, opportunities for social interaction through Facebook or Twitter, etc.

In my 9th grade PE class, I introduced volleyball last week.  While I have put some instructional videos on my website, my hunch is that exactly zero (out of my 40) students has taken the time to view the videos.  If they could have a QR code poster on the side of the gym wall as they work with a small group to perfect their form, that could be wonderful.

Have you seen any classes or schools using these?  What do you think?

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About Mr. Zerwas

Passionate about Family, Health, Fitness, Nutrition and Multimedia - Teaching Video and Broadcasting and Del Oro High School in Loomis, CA

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