This year, BCSC will be moving away from adopting the new social studies textbooks in Indiana. Several reasons exist for this: 1. teaching students in a collaborative and digital age, 2. rising costs and limited revenues, and 3. uninspiring textbooks.

What are other schools doing to support their teachers in this transition? How are educators getting the support they need to teach without a textbook? What are schools using successfully as resources?

Tags: adoption, resources, social, studies, textbook

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Great ideas...we are actually going to re-adopt the former textbooks.
I have used an on-line book from Pearson for my Junior WH class. (4th year now) We use the 2003??? version. It is stale and the links don't work from year to year. But I think the newer versions are pretty good. They have online test-making applications built right into the book I believe.

I do use it as focal point of the classroom not something to supplement with.

Economically, this is the way to go.

Good Luck.

I am in the process of buying several kindles from It has a lot of potential and I can't wait to get my hands on one of those gadgets. You can store Microsoft Word documents and you can have subscriptions of newspapers and magazines delivered as well.
Perhaps once you begin to develop your curricula such a device will be handy otherwise year after year you will have to deal with the task of keeping your materials updated.

I heard from Doug at Blue Skunk blog that only 6 Kindles can be tied to a single account. So if the school buys a book, only six devices will have access to it. We were discussing the potential of Kindles in the classroom. I'm assuming that means through Amazon. I'll be looking forward to what you find out when your Kindles arrive.
That makes a lot of sense, and we have been reviewing the use of Kindles in our schools. We also have several teachers who use the Sony PSPs. Any work with those?
I have to add that it is a very GREEN idea :) imagine how many trees you will save :)
Thanks. We officially went paperless--as much as possible--on January 5, 2009. It has already made a huge impact. Students find this very relevant.
I have started to use Clickers in my classroom. I use the textbooks and textbook associated resource books to create the assessments, and that is all I use the textbook for. The clickers allow me to make sure that my students read the textbook, but then the information that I present through my powerpoints I research on the internet to create individual units. The Clickers have eliminated the time that I would normally be bogged down with grading daily assignments, and opened it up for me to spend more time researching and creating new units to keep my content fresh and hopefully interesting to my students.
Any work with Sony PSPs?

I, too, teach in Indiana, and this year, we are actually not adopting a science series. We are going to use the old text book, but not as we have in the past. Our school recently subscribed to Discovery Education, where we have access to a variety of learning tools (i.e. videos, lessons, etc).


I would love to hear how it works out with your social studies this school year.


Thanks for sharing!

Well, in my case, I prefer to have some kind of textbook, but that's only because I teach upper-level high school math, and it helps the kids to be able to see examples worked out in the book.  Yes, I give them a lot of examples in class, and they can find things online, but some books actually do a good job of working out examples step-by-step, with explanations alongside.  I don't use textbooks in Algebra 2, because we "use" Carnegie Learning, and I loathe with an intensely burning passion that useless software and method of teaching....inner calm.  Find the inner calm.

As I was trying to say, I don't use textbooks in Algebra 2, because the books provided have absolutely no examples.  Carnegie is all about "discovery" learning, so the textbooks are all questions, trying to lead the students to discover things on their own.  I don't like that, and neither did my kids.  We did just fine without textbooks last year, and we'll do fine without them this year.

If I could find math textbooks that have absolutely no pretty pictures, no useless "Interesting Facts", no ridiculous "Connection to [insert subject area here]", and just gave worked-out examples and then practice problems, I'd grab those in a heartbeat.   Otherwise, I'd be fine with some kind of software or app that summarized things for them.  The only reason I don't prefer that is because many of my students will get on the computer and then get lost in Facebook.  The parents last year didn't like the lack of textbooks for that reason.  All HW was online, and they had to constantly remind the students to get off of Facebook and finish my homework.

This idea is really great. First off, we will be saving the trees and contribute to a better environment.


And in using technology to replace textbooks, the possibilites are endless. We can use ebooks as a replacement. We can also make use of audiobooks, which can be beneficial because the students can continue "reading" even if their eyes are already tired. We can even use downloadable podcasts as a record of previous lessons which students who weren't able to make it to class can use to keep themselves up to date.


Although there will be significant expenses at the start, i believe this will have a ripple effect and the savings will be realized sooner than later. 



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